11 Life-Changing Things To Try In 2018

Zoë Burnett / Via BuzzFeed

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The BuzzFeed staff is always trying new products, apps, hacks, and DIY projects, and we decided it was time to start sharing the best of them with you. Each month, we post our recommendations for what’s actually worth it. This post features a mix of items that we purchased with out own money and those that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. (But! We’re under no obligation to write a review of those things, let alone a positive review.)

1. , which asks you a different question every day — and has a space for you to answer it once every year so you can see how your answers have changed over the course of five years.

Sarah Han / Via BuzzFeed

I‘m terrible at journaling but I‘ve always wanted to be the kind of person who kept it up and, in theory, be ~more in touch~ with myself or some shit like that. Though I‘ve struggled with clinical depression since high school, I wasn‘t officially diagnosed until sophomore year of college, when I started spending entire days sleeping and generally not being functional. I bought this around that time, but truthfully it didn‘t serve me too well back then. Fast-forward a few years, and now that I‘m in a slightly better stage in my life (read: I have a great job that forces me to somewhat stick to a routine) I‘ve started it up again, and tbh, I really look forward to it every day.

Some questions are more thoughtful (“When is the last time you had an inspiring conversation?”) while others are sillier (“How many times did you curse today?”), but either way it only takes at most a minute out of your day. So no “I‘m too busy” excuses! And best of all, it‘s almost impossible for my anxiety-ridden self to stress out over answering one quick question — an actual miracle. It‘s a great jumping-off point if you find journaling too intimidating, or if you want to work your way up to longer-form journaling. But best of all, it‘s a super-simple way to inject a little bit of self-care into your daily routine, which we could all use a little more of. —

Get it from Amazon for .

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2. , a service that makes taking daily vitamins easy, customizable, worry-free (and kinda fun?).

Emmy Favilla / Via BuzzFeed

Vitamins and I identify best as fair-weather friends. I typically have a stash of multivitamins at home that I forget about until I feel a cold coming on, and I pop a B-complex (I‘m tired a lot) and some biotin (I‘m vain and like shiny hair and nails) from time to time. But I guess I could be more on top of figuring out what vitamins and supplements I need for my specific health concerns — and, you know, actually taking them. So last month I decided to try , a service that does all the legwork for you and provides a personalized vitamin regimen based on your lifestyle.

When you first sign up on Care/of‘s website, you‘ll be asked some basic questions (age, gender, etc.), as well as what goals you have in mind (e.g., I chose brain, energy, digestion, and skin). Then you‘ll answer between three to five questions for each “goal” — everything from your sleeping, eating, and drinking habits to questions about your mood and energy levels — and a list of recommended vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, and/or probiotics will appear before your very eyes. Once ordered, they’re sent to you monthly as a box with 30 packs each containing your daily dosages (and each printed with a fun challenge, inspirational quote, fact, or question — which, cute).

After doing the math and comparing my order to the price of the cheapest similar vitamins I could find on Amazon, Care/of‘s price tag wound up being about $10 more a month — but for me, the convenience factor more than makes up for that difference. I don‘t eat a full meal until I‘m at work, and I have dinner at home maybe half the time; quite frankly, I don‘t have the patience or dedication to plan out my weekly vitamins in a pill box or plastic baggie. More importantly, I trust the that Care/of is committed to: Its products are made ethically, sustainably, and without harsh solvents or processing materials. Have I felt a difference with respect to all my aforementioned goals? It’s only been about two months, but my brain, energy levels, digestion, and skin all seem to be faring quite well. I’m not saying that’s all thanks to my new comprehensive vitamin regimen, but I’m not saying it’s not, either. —

Get them from Care/of starting at (with free shipping over $20). Get 50% off your first month when you enter promo code BUZZFEED at checkout.

3. The , a brilliant drain strainer that will keep your pipes clear of hair (and end your dependence on Drano).

Jess Probus / BuzzFeed

Ok, so you might think you have a lot of hair, but let me tell you, you don‘t even know!!! My wife and I both are often recognized from behind by the height and heft of our hair and no one knows it more than the sad, overused, heavily purged shower drain in our apartment. If I had a dollar for every Drano injector or tub snake or as-seen-on-TV miracle product I‘ve purchased to alleviate our hair problem, I would have enough dollars to hire a plumber, which I have also actually done multiple times. But that was before the came into my life.

The name was probably the thing that first made me click, because it‘s fun to say. Then I read some of the more than 5K raving Amazon reviews and immediately ordered it. The craziest part of the TubShroom‘s magic isn‘t just that it catches ALL the hair before it gets down the drain, every time, but that it does so without slowing down the draining process for the shower. It‘s incredibly easy to clean off and I only have to do it once a week when I‘m cleaning the bathroom. Life-changing, indeed. —

Get it from Amazon for .

4. so you can transform your feet into Disney Princesses (no fairy godmother required).

Rachel Christensen / Via BuzzFeed

I got these Disney Princess socks last Christmas from my sister-in-law, but I‘d pay my own $15 for a five-pack because they are so stinkin‘ cute. My sock-princesses are Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Elsa, and Anna — a pretty solid group, and if I‘m feeling particularly dorky one day I could see doing an Anna–Elsa combo.

But beyond being cute, the tops of the socks (aka their dresses! squee!) are tall enough that they cover my ankle, but short enough that they stay hidden in my adult-woman boots. This is a big bonus as someone who loves cute Disney things but prefers them to be my little secret.

After a few washes, the socks are still in great condition, except for Elsa‘s hair, which is starting to look like moldy bread but I‘m letting that gooooooo. And if you‘re more into superheroes, you‘re in luck! The same brand makes . —

Get a five-pack from Amazon for .

5. The that will help you keep your knives sharp and seriously raise your vegetable-chopping game.

Elizabeth Lilly / Via BuzzFeed

My first NYC roommate‘s dad sharpened her kitchen knives for her and they made easy work of dicing and cutting things (like the standard 22-year-old Elizabeth dinners of grilled cheeses and chicken fajitas). I was living it up for a few years until she moved out and (rightfully) took her razor-sharp knives with her. I’ve been making do over the past few years, but when I saw a in , I decided I’d give that a go before buying new knives. Also, cutting with a dull knife is dangerous! I have an easy enough time injuring myself on the reg; I don’t need to increase my chances.

The little sharpener comes with detailed instructions and actually fits in my knife drawer so I won’t have to scare the dog by hollering “WHERE IS IT?” as I search for the missing item. I pulled out my assortment of knives and gave it a go on a Rachael Ray knife (similar to ). It’s a pretty handy knife, but wasn’t what it used to be back in the day. I set it on the edge of my cutting board and pulled it through the coarse notch three times, per the instructions. Even though mushrooms aren’t notorious for being tough to slice through, they’re oddly shaped and move around. With my newly sharpened knife, though, I was able to slice through them with no effort… even the stems! I also manhandled an onion and it was sooo easy to slice through the skin.

Yes, I should probably invest in a decent set of kitchen knives, but this little sharpener is making my hand-me-downs way more useful. And it’s so easy to use in comparison to the menacing that you see villains in cartoons using when they’re thinking about eating the Roadrunner (or a similarly cute protagonist). —

Get it from Amazon for (available in three colors).

6. The , a hair dryer with three comb attachments to make the perfect blowout attainable for anyone with an outlet.

Morgan Steffes / Via BuzzFeed

My best friend‘s mom used this for 20 years. We used to make fun of her for it because it looked so weird…until I tried it. I absolutely love this hair dryer. I immediately bought one for myself on Amazon. It comes with three brush attachments: a large brush and two combs of different sizes. You brush your hair while you‘re drying it, so once you‘re finished your hair is already combed through and good to go.

The only issue I have had with it is the large brush attachment — it ended up becoming loose after a few months and I was no longer able to use it. Regardless of that, I have used the two comb attachments for two years now and they have not become loose and they work perfectly! Despite my initial skepticism, this thing is now the only hair dryer I use. —

Get it from Amazon for .

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7. , a reasonably priced memory foam mattress that feels way more expensive than it is.

Yi Yang / Via BuzzFeed

It’s hard to find a good mattress that doesn’t cost a month’s rent. I had been on the hunt for months with no success. One day while surfing Amazon, I stumbled upon the . It had , and it was under $300. I was a little hesitant to order such a huge item online, but my old mattress gave me serious back pain so I was in a pinch. I splurged ($179, to be exact) and got the 12-inch queen-sized one because I have a weird fascination with the Princess and the Pea, but I couldn‘t actually get my hands on 12 mattresses. It was delivered rolled up, but within five to ten minutes it flattened out completely. The mattress is really thick and quite firm (but not hard), which is great for my back. No, you can’t feel a pea under this mattress.

After the first night sleeping on it, my life changed FOREVER. It’s so damn luxurious, and by far the best mattress I’ve ever owned. My sleep quality has significantly improved since I made the switch to this baby. I was paranoid that a foam mattress would be too hot in the summer, but is wasn‘t a major problem for me. On cooler days, it’s very comfortable, and I do have a cooling mattress topper for really hot nights. The moral of the story is, for this price, I can’t imagine getting a better mattress. —

Get it from Amazon for (available in various sizes and thickness options).

8. , a fail-safe solution for your rank dental devices.

Jessie Gaynor / Via BuzzFeed

For as long as I can remember, I‘ve been a nighttime tooth-grinder. Without the intervention of my trusty night guard, my smile would be just a puff of dust at this point. But as anyone who wears a nighttime dental or orthodontic device knows, keeping them clean can be challenging. And gross. Gross and challenging. Like a Lars von Trier movie. Enter .

In addition to toothpaste, soap, and water, I‘ve tried cleaning tablets in the past — specifically denture cleaner. (I‘m sorry if this review is getting too glamorous for you.) Though the denture cleaner had a pleasant minty linger, it didn‘t get all the gunk off my mouth guard, even if I soaked it for a few hours. I worried Retainer Brite would be more of the same, but I decided to trust the 1,723 five-star reviews and give it a shot — and DAMN. I wish I had tried it years ago.

Every morning (ish), I take out my night guard and put it in this Amazon suggested when I bought the Retainer Brite (thanks, benevolent overlords!), along with some warm water and one of these tablets. It fizzes and bubbles, and within 20 minutes, my night guard is as clean and neutral-smelling as the day it arrived from the (inexplicably expensive) dental lab. Because my morning routine is basically skjdhfkfgldfg?????????, I sometimes just leave it to soak all day, and I haven‘t seen any ill effects. If you‘re looking for a better way to clean your night guards, mouth guards, retainers, or Invisaligns, I highly recommend picking up a box of these babies. —

Get a nine-month supply of the Retainer Brite tablets for and the cleaning case for on Amazon.

9. , a plant-based spot cleaner that works even better than the chemical-packed kinds.

, Yi Yang / Via BuzzFeed

I am such a clumsy person. Every time I go out to eat, I inevitably get a few food stains on my shirt or pants (which is why I mostly wear black now). I had used many stain-removing products in my life, but none of them really got the tough stains out. I saw the in a BuzzFeed post titled . The product description says it‘s nontoxic and able to remove grass, berries, blood, sweat, oil, tomato sauce, cosmetics, pet accidents, dirt, and hundreds of other stains and odors — so I decided that it was worth a try.

I have a pair of light-blue shorts that were splashed with some hot chili oil (the stains look like little orange dots), and let me tell you, grease stains are basically permanent. I have a pile of “pajama” shirts to prove this. The stain was also a day old because I had forgotten to pre-treat it. Not good. But it was the perfect time to put my new stain remover to the test. I applied the product directly onto the stain, rubbed it in, and let the product set in for 24 hours, which is what the bottle instructed for best results. The next day, I put the shorts in the wash, and after drying, I carefully examined them for results. The stain had COMPLETELY vanished. Before I got this product, clothes with grease stains never came out 100% stain-free, even with a pre-treater. You could always see a faint yellow mark. Needless to say, this handy stain remover will forever be a laundry must-have for me. —

Get it from Amazon for .

10. The , an adjustable tilting tray that will make eating, working, and pretty much any computer-related bed lounging so much easier.

Sarah Han / Via BuzzFeed

Sometimes friends just get you as a person, and what I mean by that is they buy you a birthday present from . As much as I try to fight my sloth-ness, sometimes it can‘t be helped, and I‘ll shout it from the rooftops: I fucking love my bed!!! Not just for sleeping of course; anything is better in bed — eating (crumbs… are just a part of life, okay?), doing work, watching TV, pondering life‘s deepest questions, etc. Enter this .

First of all, anytime I put my laptop on my lap, I immediately hear my mom scolding me about the radiation, heat, or this and that. Given that, and since I hate leaving my bed and I *need* to have a sturdy surface to work (or watch YouTube) on, this desk solves everything. Better yet, I can snuggle underneath my blanket and wiggle my legs around whenever they start to fall asleep. I usually use it flat, but you can also elevate the desk (there are different notches for your preferred angle and a removable wooden ledge to prevent your laptop from avalanching onto your chest). There‘s also carved-out patterning to provide ventilation, which helps *to an extent* (but I usually have approximately 223 tabs open).

There‘s also enough room on the desk next to the adjustable portion for snacks and a little round indent for a cup of water (or wine, in my case). And last but not least, there‘s a little drawer that slides out on the side. When I‘m not using the desk, I just pop it underneath my bed. I could literally wake up and scoop up my desk in seconds, and thus live my best life. Writer-recommended, sloth-person-tested and -approved. —

Get it from Amazon for .

11. , a pet odor–neutralizing candle that looks and smells delightful.

Elizabeth Lilly / Via BuzzFeed

Residing with a 40-pound-plus nugget with enough sass to bring down an ancient empire can take a toll on things, including upholstered furniture. Cleopatra, queen of the apartment, spends a good chunk of her time on our hand-me-down couch. As a result, it smells like eau de dog. Regular candles have helped some, but there‘s always been a lingering smell. So I decided to try a , which promised to help help banish the doggo stench.

And oh my goodness, these candles work crazy-well. They‘re quite fragrant from the get-go, so you don‘t have to keep them lit in a never-ending cycle. And they smell and look lovely, not like something that‘s made specifically for neutralizing odors. The Lavender Green Tea is refreshing, but I‘m partial to the Ruby Red Grapefruit scent. Cleo is too caught up in napping and nesting in blankets to notice a difference, but *I‘ve* noticed it! On top of that, the jars are cute, they‘re made of 100% natural soy wax and without dyes, and the company supports nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue groups. —

Get it from Amazon for (available in 16 scents).

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