Homeless Sleeping In Streets During Horrible Weather

Are You Really 'Freezing Your Butt Off' While The Homeless Are On The Streets?

Next time you want to complain about the weather, check your privilege.

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The United States is in the middle of a polar vortex and none of us were prepared for how bad it was going to get.

As of Monday, I didn't know what a polar vortex was and I'm sure a lot of you don't either. Basically, a polar vortex is an area of low pressure that keeps the cold air up north. Right now, the jet stream is bringing the air south towards the United States sending our temperatures down fast.

These record-breaking temperatures are not what any of us are used to. With the wind chill, some states are dropping to -60 degrees. With this kind of weather, you can get frostbite in 5 minutes! 5 minutes!

You might be planning a different walk to work, class, or the store. For some people, that's not an option.

Approximately 80,000 people in Chicago are homeless. For some, that means residing in shelters, but for others, that means doing their best to survive. Buying a nice winter coat is an investment for the homeless because it is that expensive. My friends are out here wearing two pairs of socks, but some of the homeless are lucky enough if they can get one. No amount of clothing can protect you for extended hours at once.

So next time you are complaining about being cold during your 5-10 minute walk somewhere, think about how fortunate you are to know you have a place to go. Whether you have a $200 winter coat or a $20 winter coat, a house with heat or without, 10 blankets or one, you are so incredibly blessed in these hard times.

Please consider donating to your local homeless shelter. Any amount of clothing, food, water, blankets, and money helps more than you think. If you cannot afford any of that, keep the homeless community in your thoughts and prayers.

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6 Major Health Benefits Of A Crazy Road Trip

Take that sick road trip you've been wanting to go on, it's actually super good for your health.

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We all have a crazy adventure planned, that we live out solely through our Pinterest boards. It wasn't until recently, when I myself took the trip of a lifetime with two of my best friends, that I realized how good road trips can actually be for both your mind AND body.

Driving = Hippocampus Expansion

Taylor Kellogg

Driving, especially long distances, helps your brain with spatial reasoning. A Sunny Afternoon explains that driving actually helps this region of the brain make calculations and increases brain power. Kinda like sudoku... but on wheels.

New places, faces and experiences = MENTAL WORKOUT

Taylor Kellogg

Think of all the cool things you will see, the hundreds of different people you could meet, and the awesome places you'll explore. This overload of new information to process will help your brain build its capacity.

NATURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Taylor Kellogg

Fresh air and sunshine is the key to bettering your mind, which leads to bettering your body. Not only do your lungs get a break from pollution-filled air, but the sun boosts the Vitamin D levels in your body to put you in a better mood.

Good company = good mood.

Taylor Kellogg

Choose your travel buddies wisely. Yes, you'll be stuck in the car with them for a LONG period of time, but they also can help with your mental health. The happier you are and the more you laugh, the bigger boost your serotonin levels will get.

You (most likely) will get a lot of good exercise.

Taylor Kellogg

OK, hear me out... I know being cooped up in the car on a road trip isn't very good exercise. It's so important to pick a place that features some sort of physical aspect (I just took a hiking trip to a few national parks in Utah) so you can stretch those legs.

Your mind will thank you for finally going tech-free.

Taylor Kellogg

We're all obsessed with our phones (you are... admit it). Going on a road trip is the perfect way to go unplugged and give your eyes/mind a rest. Less smartphone/email/social media time means less stress.

If you need some backup for convincing your parents to let you go on a road trip, show them this article. You're welcome and travel safe!!!

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The 5 Most Influential Albums I've Ever Listened To

The music that has moved me to and through tears

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I begin this article by thanking everyone for opening up and sharing their personal experiences with music for my previous article. Because of all your personal responses I've felt inspired to compile my own list of music that has moved me throughout my years of existence.

1. "Antisocialites" -Alvvays

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This is an album I've recently come to appreciate and love. After coping with my first major breakup, I used a lot of my extra time trying to find music I could relate to my situation. I had listened to "Antisocialites" before, but it wasn't until this time in my life when I truly related to every word in this album. I always loved how this album sounded and the groove of each of the songs; the added attention to lyrics helped me appreciate this album in whole. This has also become one of my favorites to put on in the car driving around. It's easy listening with a lighthearted feel and some special lyrics.

2. "1989" -Taylor Swift

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No one can deny that Taylor Swift has come out with some of the biggest pop jams in contemporary music and this album is probably the ultimate proof. I got "1989" for Christmas the year it released and the cd has been in my mom's car cd player ever since. I think this album is so important to me because of all the good memories linked with it. This album reminds me of easier times, but I feel that as I grow I'm able to relate to this album more and appreciate Taylor Swift's ability to tell a story that is universally relatable. She's absolutely my pop queen and I will forever be a Swiftie with no shame.

3. "After Laughter" -Paramore

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"After Laughter" quickly became one of the most important albums I ever listened to because of its musical approach to heavier emotions. This album tackles themes like depression, loneliness, and forgiveness with easy-to-dance-to songs with amazing instrumentation. There is something so uplifting about happy-sounding music with sad lyrics. This album reminded me in some of the darker times in my life, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

4. "Hounds Of Love" -Kate Bush

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This is the album that helped me appreciate storytelling in music. The B side of this album is absolutely breathtaking and it is unlike anything I've heard before. Between Kate Bush's beautiful voice, production choices, and the story, this album is so unforgettable and special. Every time I hear "Hounds of Love", it's a new experience and that is what has made it one of my all-time favorite albums. The mixing on this album is theatrical and unique, truly unlike anything I've ever heard before. "Hounds of Love" has gifted me with a whole new perspective regarding how an album is created and I'm so appreciative of that.

5. "Blue" -Joni Mitchell

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"Blue" is the album that has always been there for me. From the time I was first introduced to it, all the way to now this album has and continues to affect me in many ways. Because of all these factors, I made sure to keep this album as sacred as possible. I only listen to "Blue" in solidarity and find it to be one of the most vital albums to healing. I'm so influenced by Joni Mitchell's words and I find her vulnerability so empowering. It was the first album I listened to where a woman was so exposed emotionally and still so strong. It taught me that releasing emotions doesn't make you weak and that by exposing feelings of depression, sadness, and fear you could expedite the healing process. I cannot thank Joni Mitchell enough for creating one of the most important albums I've ever listened to.

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