Bro journaling. Is there such a thing? I’m saying yes, let’s make it a thing.
There is so much cultural shame bound up in depression for men that it often becomes compounded by the experience of going through it alone. Some of the guys dearest to me have suffered in near silence during emotionally difficult times. I could see something wasn’t quite right but had to break down entrenched barriers to get them to communicate with me and expose just how emotionally dire things were.
That’s why this study on the positive effects of journaling related to gender hit me like a thunderbolt. My main takeaway:
“According to Lieberman [a psychologist at UCLA], men seemed to benefit from writing about their feelings more so than women, and writing by hand seemed to have a bigger effect than typing on a keyboard. That’s an interesting note: could men benefit from journaling more because in general they tend to keep their feelings to themselves? A journal can certainly act as a safe space for emotionally deprived men to vent.”
As a woman I easily (over)share with my closest friends. It isn’t unusual for us to reach out to one another when we are having a tough time. But men often don’t have that luxury. They don’t have as much of an opportunity to work through their feelings, prevented by a mix of stigma and stunted habits.
That’s why I’m particularly proud to be sharing our conversation with #AllSwellMuse, climber and “motorcycle dirtbag” Sterling Pierce Taylor on masculine self-expression and overcoming fear. There are few things more thoroughly bad-ass than free soloing. No stranger to this pursuit, Sterling talks candidly about the current state of men finding outlets for creativity and emotion.
Bring on the rugged journaling. Turn your dearest dudes on to the experience of putting pen to paper. It’s a powerful and dignified act, and it just might save someone you love from unnecessary suffering.
I hope you enjoy reading Sterling’s interview, as well as a slew of other inspiring gems in this latest AllSwell Reads.
When Aleksander Doba kayaked into the port in Le Conquet, France, on Sept. 3, 2017, he had just completed his third — and by far most dangerous — solo trans-Atlantic kayak trip. He was a few days shy of his 71st birthday. He was unaccustomed to wearing pants. He’d been at sea 110 days, alone, having last touched land that May at New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. The trip could have easily ended five days earlier, when Doba was just a few hundred feet off the British coast. But he had promised himself, when he left New Jersey, that he would kayak not just to Europe but to the Continent proper. Read the full story above.
In 1980, at just 17 years old, now iconic American photographer David LaChapelle left his rural North Carolina home for New York, which would lead to a meeting with none other than Andy Warhol. The established artist hired LaChapelle immediately as a photographer for his celebrated magazine, Interview. Warhol reportedly told LaChapelle: "Do whatever you want. Just make sure everybody looks good." In this mini-doc the emblematic image-maker reflects on kitsch and spiritual matters from his remote Hawaiian home. Watch at the link up top.
When a Guggenheim opens a gallery, the world listens. Gallerist and art advisor Santiago Rumney-Guggenheim has done just that in Tulum, making the town a new force to be reckoned with on the contemporary art scene. The gallery promises to showcase an impressive roster of contemporary artists and to foster creativity at Azulik in the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s also located in a treehouse, meaning curved walls, and has a no shoe policy. Interesting, right? Read more at the link up top.
In a world where digital interfaces, devices, and processes are ubiquitous and immensely powerful, analogue ideas and methods are enjoying a resilience precisely because of what they, uniquely, can accomplish. It can be as simple as paper and pen, paint and canvas, modeling clay or balsa wood, or simple electronics and motors to convey an idea. There is a reason why every creative worker and aspiring startup titan working in a coffee shop can usually be found toting a journal next to their laptop and phone. Learn more at the link above.
The Bajau, a people of the Malay Archipelago, spend almost all of their lives at sea. They live either on boats or in huts perched on stilts on shallow reefs, and they migrate from place to place in flotillas that carry entire clans. They survive on a diet composed almost entirely of seafood. And to gather this they spend 60% of their working day underwater. They sometimes descend more than 70 metres, and can stay submerged for up to five minutes. Many researchers have speculated that they carry genetic traits which adapt them to their remarkable lifestyle. Now, as they report in Cell, Melissa Ilardo and Rasmus Nielsen of the University of California, Berkeley have shown that this is so. Read on at the link up top.
A self described adventurer and motorcycle dirtbag, Sterling Pierce Taylor is no average dude. With a fear of heights, this adrenaline junkie pushes himself up rock faces all across the US, looking fear dead in the face. Needless to say, he loves challenges - and his motorcycle. Sterling is on a yearlong motorcycle trek of the US, climbing as many cliffs and mountainsides as possible, an AllSwell notebook never far from his side. Get to know Sterling and his key to tackling fear and masculine self-expression above.