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10 Steps to a Happier Life, Backed By Research

I haven’t posted in quite some time (and may not. Who knows?), but this seemed something worth sharing, saving and reading again.


I went through a number of great books on happiness and pulled together ten research-based tips that can help build a happier life:

1) Cut the small talk. Discuss what matters.

Via Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology:

First, happier participants spent more time talking to others, unsurprising finding given the social basis of happiness. Second, the extent of small talk was negatively associated with happiness. And third, the extent of substantive talk was positively associated with happiness. So, happy people are socially engaged with others, and this engagement entails matters of substance.

(For more on how to be someone people love to talk to, click here.)

2) Have at least 5 friends you can discuss your problems with.

Via Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life:

“National surveys find that when someone claims to have five or more friends with whom…

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27 Writers on Whether or Not to Get Your MFA

I know I need to be better about updating this site myself, but I’ve been very busy on other projects (re: writing a script, applying to grad school, and editing for, which you should check out).
I love hearing from authors and seeing glimpses into their crazy lives and personalities; maybe a few of you will also enjoy this read.

And for your information, I’m looking at an MFA in screenwriting. Thoughts?


Now that September is here and school is back in session, a writer’s thoughts turn to the eternal question: Is an MFA worth it? Ever since the publication of the Chad Harbach-edited anthology MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction earlier in the year, the perennial neurosis about whether or not an advanced degree in writing is worth it has become a progressively louder conversation. It’s one that we should be having, considering the explosion of the MFA in the past 40 years: from a mere 79 programs in 1979 to 854 today, according to Harbach. The MFA may even be having its moment — after all, the last shot of Girls Season 3 had Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath joyfully looking at her acceptance to Iowa. We checked in with some of our favorite writers from then and now to see what they think of the rise of the MFA.

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Ms. Graduate

Ms. Graduate

This month I graduated college! My mom and my brother (pictured) and many other family members came out to celebrate. Now that I’m out of college, I’ll have more time on my hands as I search for jobs and do some freelance work—in other words, I’ll be working on my blog again. Here we go.

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May 16, 2013 · 1:13 am

Friday favorites is on vacation

…and so am I. That’s right, I’m on vacation, hence the lack of new posts. The Internet connection isn’t great when I do have cell service, but I’ll get back to regularly scheduled posting next week. I’m really excited about the new Motion City Soundtrack album released last Tuesday, so expect a review sometime soon. Bye for now!

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Friday Favorites: special “Mom” edition

Mom blowing out the candles on her cake.

Happy sixth birthday, mom! Well, six-candled birthday…

So I kind of missed the 24-hour period that is typically referred to as Friday this week, but I’m not apologizing. That is because my Friday, just like this post, has been specially dedicated to my mom on her birthday.

While both parents had a big impact on my love of music, today is about my mom. She was my first fan at band concerts, even when I was laughably, er, unskilled at alto saxophone when I first started. She was my first duet partner, as we sang along to songs in the car or I taught her what song I learned at school that day. She helped me have the confidence to sing in front of people in church and helped me learn all the words to many a song in the thick hymnals lining the church pew. She even bought me my first guitar, which I’m only now learning to play—and she’s patiently handling what odd twangs come from her house at all times of the day or night.

My mom means much more to me than just music, of course, but since 1) this is a mainly music-themed blog, and 2) there’s no way to possibly explain how much my mom means to me, I’ll leave you with this:

Happy birthday, Mom! Thank you for all you do, and I love you so, so much.

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Party Box

I entered college as a journalism major because I liked to write. Soon after, I realized the joys of writing features. I hoped to one day write about music, perhaps concert reviews or band interviews. I came up with the idea of BoumBox, intended to be a magazine combining two of my interests: music, and French culture. After all, boum is French for a dance party, and I do love a good play on words.

Then it hit me. Why not start writing about the media I love now, without deadlines and without pay? If nothing else I’ll find out if I really do enjoy the topic, but I hope to find out more.

So here it is, my BoumBox, just waiting to be filled with musings on movies and music and books. So tune back in soon.

– Courtney

Courtney with a mustache drawn on her finger

Welcome to BoumBox! Grab a pen, draw a mustache, and party on.

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