Self-Care Sunday: 5 Magazines That Won’t Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

While magazines can be fun to read, it can be hard to find a magazine that doesn’t make us feel bad about ourselves. Many focus on quick-fix diets or other extreme behaviors, rather than promoting overall well-being. Reading them can make you feel like your body is something to be “improved” upon rather than something to be enjoyed. Covers feature models who don’t represent the many shapes and sizes women come in.

But things are changing. Women’s Health, the magazine I wrote Body Clock Diet for, is leading this cause with their “anti-drop 2 sizes” campaign, which I recently wrote about. Other women’s sites and magazines have made it their goal not to be diet and exercise-obsessed, with stories that appeal to a range of women’s interests.

Here are a few you can feel good about reading:

Real Simple

Real Simple is devoted to helping you find easy solutions for life’s challenges. The magazine’s Amazon description sums it up: With Real Simple, “you’ll find articles about reducing stress, simple makeup and hair techniques that look fantastic, easy recipes, organization ideas, uncluttered décor, and ways to remove burdens from your life while retaining all its fullness.” Sample articles include “5 Ways to Make Mornings More Manageable,” “A Month of Easy Dinners,” and “How to Pull Off a Career Pivot.” On the cover, you might find pictures of yummy looking food you can easily prepare, chic fashion accessories to help you pull off a streamlined look, or a picture of a pretty beauty product. Real Simple is about helping you manage life and not about reaching unrealistic or unhealthy body standards/expectations. Food has been described in the magazine as “delicious” or something you will “love” and not something to restrict or avoid. It’s not only Real Simple, but a Real Smart way of approaching the women’s market.


Ageism is a common practice in women’s magazines. Advertisers want magazines to target “the younger crowd.” As a result, articles are skewed towards women in their 20s and 30s, and it’s as if women who are 40 and over do not exist. More is a welcome antidote to that, a real breath of fresh air, and proof that beauty knows no age: A recent interview features Susan Sweet, the general manager of Neutrogena, with the headline “This is What 47 Looks Like.” More includes women who are making a difference in society, women we can look up to and be inspired by. There is, for instance, the story of a woman who became a UNICEF ambassador. Their latest issue spotlights over 40 cover model/actress Rachel Weisz; inside you can learn how she crafts “a meaningful life.” MORE wants their readers to have more of everything that’s good — more energy, more health, more peace — check out their article on meditation in the workplace. Their healthy eating section doesn’t include any harmful diets, and the fitness section focuses on realistic goals, like just getting more active at midlife. Well-being is the ultimate goal.

Psychology Today

Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t need to be a psychologist to read Psychology Today. This is a fascinating magazine for the general audience. Started in the late 60s, Psychology Today provides insight into why we do the things we do, with articles and blogs written by experts in the field. It’s an excellent tool for helping you cope with life, and if you can’t find the mag on newsstands (Rite Aid and Barnes & Noble carry it), the blog gives you a good sample of what the magazine is like. One great feature of the website is the way it is broken down into topics. You can search for all articles about eating disorders, or general health, or stress, or whatever interests you, and you can search for mental health professionals and treatment facilities. The magazine gives you real-world tips backed by science, and you won’t find any body-negative language. Check out a sample article, about ditching social media to pursue a more mindful existence.

Experience Life

Experience Life may be difficult to find on newsstands, but it is worth seeking out (check out Barnes & Noble for copies). Created in 2001 by Pilar Gerasimo, EL refers to itself as “the no-gimmicks, no-hype health & fitness magazine” and that is the perfect description of what you will find here. It’s full of tips on mindfulness, nutrition, yoga, healing, parenting and more — generally everything that can help you “experience life” in a more positive, more fulfilled way. Gerasimo started Experience Life after she came to the realization that there were no “whole person, whole life” publications in existence. “I figured I couldn’t be the only person who wanted a smart, health-oriented magazine that addressed the real-life challenges of balancing healthy priorities with the realities of the current culture,” she’s quoted on the mag’s web site. “I couldn’t be the only one who wanted deeper perspective and more complete information on important health and lifestyle topics.” Check out their website and you will be amazed at the range of subjects this publication covers. I am especially impressed that are one of the few magazines that really make an effort to explore what mindfulness can do for you.

Diabetes Forecast

When people first get diagnosed with diabetes, they may falsely think they can’t enjoy food anymore. But I believe that all foods fit, even when you have diabetes. (Check out my Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook for yummy proof of that!) Diabetes Forecast, a magazine created by the American Diabetes Association, shares my philosophy. Here you can find diabetic-friendly recipes like dark chocolate-raspberry pudding and Ronaldo’s apple pie. There is plenty of helpful healthful info about diabetes, along with a special section called Body & Mind. Body & Mind provides day-to-day advice on living with diabetes, such as stress-reducing tips, creating a diabetes-friendly home and dating with diabetes. Even if you do not have diabetes you can find helpful advice that you can use in your life like ways to bust clutter (and how that can improve health) and curvy yoga. Diabetes Forecast calls itself the healthy living magazine, and that’s truly what it is, a look at all the things you can do to lead a healthy lifestyle. Great parenting advice here as well, if you have a child with diabetes.

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