14 Newsletters to Make Your Inbox a Better, Brighter Place

[featured image via Shutterstock]

Receiving newsletters gives me the same thrill I used to feel when receiving magazines in the mail as a kid. While I understood that I was one of many subscribers, it still felt like I was receiving something special just for me! Subscribing to a tinyletter is an even more deeply personal experience. It feels like having someone’s raw thoughts delivered straight to your inbox.

There’s a newsletter for everything these days, and I subscribe to…over 50 (I know! I have a problem!), but I have put together a list of some of the best, covering a wide range of topics from film to perfume to online shopping to food. They’re all intended to brighten up your inbox. Let me know what else you ’scribe to!


With Love & Squalor by Esmé Weijun Wang

This newsletter isn’t just for writers, but if you are a writer, it is required reading material! The newsletter is warm and affirming, full of advice and inspiration. It focuses on positivity, which is definitely something everyone’s inbox could use these days!

Encouragement Notes by Esmé Weijun Wang

This project is incredibly cool. It’s a limited subscription of just ten emails, but it’s incredibly rewarding. After signing up, you receive one encouraging email every day for ten days, excluding weekends. It provides a bit of lightness during dark times.

Fermentation and Formation by Jenna Wortham

New York Times Magazine staff writer Jenna Wortham’s health and wellness newsletter is full of simple, straightforward guides to tinctures, teas, and minerals. Jenna delivers extremely soothing vibes directly to your inbox. It’s the most calming newsletter I subscribe to.

Bits & Bobs by Little Red Tarot

Beth Maiden’s wonderful queer tarot blog has a newsletter containing tarot tips and news.

Madwomen & Muses by Angelica Jade Bastién

Vulture staff writer Angelica Jade Bastién is one of the best culture writers in the game right now, and she sends out an occasional newsletter containing personal essays and criticism not published elsewhere. “The Texture Of Loneliness” remains one of my favorite entries.

Grief Bacon by Helena Fitzgerald

This is a beautifully written, feelings-filled newsletter from writer Helena Fitzgerald that never fails to make me emotional. Fitzgerald writes brilliantly on life…and that sounds broad, but it’s seriously hard to sum up this newsletter succinctly, because it’s about so many things all at once and just trust me it’s very good!

The Dry Down by Helena Fitzgerald and Rachel Syme

Helena Fitzgerald also collaborates with Rachel Syme on this newsletter all about perfume and yet about so much more than perfume. Listen, I don’t even wear perfume, and I’m still obsessed with this newsletter. So if you’re a fragrance lover, you absolutely must subscribe to this newsletter. But even if you aren’t, I still recommend it!

The Lesbrary

Stay on top of lesbian and bisexual lit news and reviews with The Lesbrary’s weekly newsletter.

Do Not Buy by Katie Heaney

Writer Katie Heaney has an entire newsletter where she meticulously documents her online shopping obsession and begs you to tell her not to buy things. If you love to online shop (especially for clothes and beauty products), this newsletter will speak to you. Side note: Katie’s got a memoir about coming out coming out soon, and you can preorder it here.

The Concept Of Waffles by Ruby Tandoh

Writer Ruby Tandoh’s newsletter includes recipes and tributes to her favorite foods. It’s unpretentious and lovely food writing that also candidly touches on eating disorders. The most recent dispatch was all about desire, appetite, and St. Vincent (!!!). Ruby also has a book called Eat Up: Food Appetite and Eating What You Want coming out in February, and it can be preordered here.

The Shatner Chatner by Mallory Ortberg

Do you miss The Toast every single goddamn day? Welcome to the club! At least Mallory Ortberg is back on Twitter and also sending out a tinyletter full of Toast-like delights. It’s full of emotional pop culture processing, and Ortberg always finds humor in unexpected places.

Another Round by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton

We’ve told you to listen to Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast before, so if you still don’t, get on it! But perhaps you want more Tracy and Heben in your life (same) or podcasts aren’t really your thang. In either case, you should sign up for their newsletter, which is always fun and informative. Every week, Tracy and Heben share things they’re reading, watching, and listening to as well as some behind-the-scenes stuff about the pod. Sometimes, other members of the pod squad, like producer Neena Pathak hop on, too.

Almost Nothing by Raquel

Did you know Autostraddle staff writer Raquel has her own tinyletter? Well, it’s true! In Raquel’s own words, Almost Nothing features “irregular dispatches about literature, design, ethics, and being a queer, Brazilian weirdo.” It’s intimate, sincere, unfiltered, conversational—all the things a great personal newsletter should be!

Shondaland

Did you know that Shondaland isn’t just a place you can visit on Thursday nights on ABC but also an entire online publication now that’s putting out awesome interviews and culture and politics writing? The Shondaland newsletter mostly acts as a link roundup for the site, which has some very badass contributors, like Nicole Cliffe, Kara Brown, and Sarah Hagi. Shonda Rhimes herself occasionally hops on the newsletter for some words of wisdom.


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Kayla

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 322 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. This is so cool! I love email as a communications medium, newsletters included, if they’re not (as almost all commercial ones are these days) just a stack of HTML-embedded images. I just wish there were a button at the end of the article to automagically sign up for all of them. =:D

  2. Oh my goodness, Angelica Jade Bastién is probably my favorite cultures writer right now (not working at Autostraddle, that is) and I had NO IDEA she had a newsletter!!! Score! Thank you kayla for the heads up.

    I also read the shondaland newsletter since I often forget to check the website. I love the design of it; it’s so bright and colorful and warm. Also, it’s funny and feminist in all the way I associate with Shonda’s brand.

  3. How did I not know about Jenna Wortham’s newsletter? I listen to her podcast with Wes Lowery…how is it possible that I missed that? Sign me up.

    The Another Round newsletter is one of my favorite things. I especially when Tracey adds in her animal pictures. It’s definitely worth adding the newsletter and the podcast to your weekly rotation.

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