Billie Eilish, the sound benefits of silence and a charge of optimism

The first day of school presented an opportunity for kindness for Christian Moore who held the hand of Connor Crites, a distraught schoolmate with autism who had wandered away from his personal aide. Christian and Connor are now inseparable friends.

Welcome to The 5-Minute Recharge, the newsletter with 1 quote, 3 ideas and a 5-minute challenge to recharge your wellness.

We spent part of our summer vacation thinking about how to make our newsletter the most useful source of wellness information in the minimum amount of reading time, and have changed the format to present 1 thought-provoking quote, 3 powerful ideas, and a 5-minute challenge to recharge your wellbeing.

We hope you enjoy the new format as we continue to pursue our mission to bring you the best in wellness. Please drop us a line at with any comments, suggestions or recharge tips.


“There are so many things that I can’t stop, but I can delete Twitter…”

~Singer Billie Eilish decides she loves herself too much to look at other people’s opinions of her. Shoo Twitter! Shoo!


  • THE SOUND BENEFITS OF SILENCE and SOLITUDE.Our bodies react to noise–especially noise over which we have no control–as stress, releasing cortisol and setting off a cascade of reactions that has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Can you reduce stress by going on a noise fast? Joel Pavelski found peace during a quiet month of audio abstinence during which he turned off the podcasts, tuned into the DMN (the Default Mode Network that provides a unique connection to creativity) and became reacquainted with his thoughts. But peace of mind isn’t the only outcome of spending time in silence: in a West Point address, essayist William Deresiewicz stresses the importance of learning to be alone with your thoughts in solitude as a key element of leadership. According to Deresiewicz, solitude isn’t just being alone with your thoughts. It can also mean deep work (see DEEP LIVING IS GOOD LIVING below) or reading, or the intimate conversation that comes with deep friendship. As Emerson wrote, “the soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude.” So grab some soulful solitude with a dear friend and become a better leader.


  • DEEP LIVING IS GOOD LIVING. What do Carl Jung, Mark Twain and J.K. Rowling have in common? They’re all influential people who chose to cloister themselves–in a stone house without electricity, a cabin, and an Edinburgh hotel room–so that they could think and work deeply without distraction. As we live increasingly distracted lives, a chorus of voices is trying to entice us to put our devices aside (or in a locked box) and focus. One of the loudest, most articulate voices belongs to digital minimalist Cal Newport who warns us that even a quick email scan has lasting negative effects on our ability to think. Newport asserts that everything that draws us away from the mindfulness that comes with living deeply is also drawing us away from the good life. If you like what Cal has to say about the joys of digital disconnection, you’ll love this 620-mile “almost-disconnected” journey on foot through Japan in “all its inevitably boring walkiness.”


  • DO THE WORK. Byron Katie is on a mission to encourage us not to believe everything we think. It’s a whole lotta work to examine your beliefs from every possible angle to determine if they’re true, and to think about who you’d be without them, but the reward for your effort is less mental suffering. In this 10% Happier Podcast, Katie joins Dan Harris in conversation and takes him through “the work”  on a surprising belief about which he’s been obsessing for months…


“Don’t make me an optimist, you’ll ruin my life.”
~ Fleabag

Apologies to Fleabag, but a recent study has linked being an optimist to happy longevity which begs the question: is is possible for those of us prone to pessimism to become more optimistic? The optimistic answer is YES! One simple way to increase your supply of optimism is to focus on what’s going well. Therefore our first 5-Minute Recharge Challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to sleep on positivity: before going to bed tonight, reflect on three things, no matter how small, that went well today. Better yet, write them down.

Here’s Lynne’s sleep-on-positivity list from last night:
1. The rash on my face is much redder today (because I slapped much too much hydrocortisone on it last night), but it looks healthy, like I’ve been downhill skiing for several hours.
2. Bianca Andreescu wins the U.S. Open. 🇨🇦 Yay!
3. Salmon and rapini. Yum!

Bonus charge: And when you awaken tomorrow (awakening is one good thing that has already happened) visualize the day going exactly as you’d like it to go….and for those of you think visualization is hocus-pocus:

“I really believed I could be at this stage…I’ve been visualizing it every single day. I guess this visualization works.”
~ Bianca Andreescu