14 Feel-Good Products Our Editors Are Using to Kick Off 2023 on a Positive Note

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Credit: Guille Faingold/Stocksy

Personally, I find “fresh starts” to be a little daunting. They make me feel like I’m making a serious commitment to a new habit, and when I inevitably break that commitment — I know I will! — I’m going to feel like I let myself down. That’s why any time I want to change an old habit or start a new one, I prefer to get in the headspace of “positive notes.”

A positive note feels less consequential than a fresh start, although it can be just as impactful. Positive notes are more forgiving, because the phrase doesn’t suggest that I’m doing something wrong if I start, say, remembering to use my standing desk’s standing function, but then stop for two months. My note just reminds me that I have the option and willpower to treat myself more kindly, and even if I don’t heed that reminder every day, I can benefit from it when I do — with zero slacker’s guilt.

Find inspiration for your own positive notes with these feel-good tools and home accessories that our editors found helpful for themselves!

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If you like to take breaks from your WFH station and do work from your sofa, you already know that you should be protecting your neck and spine by propping up your laptop to a more ergonomic height. This portable desk pillow does exactly that and comes in six stylish finishes — including woodgrain! Our Senior Commerce Editor Alicia found that it made her WFH days more comfortable and liked that the top keeps her laptop from sliding around.

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One of the biggest barriers to staying hydrated is simply not remembering to drink water. (In fact, writing this reminds me that I should get a refill!) Make daily hydration easier by keeping a bottle that not only holds a large amount of water, but also gives you positive reinforcement every time you look at it. AT contributor Ella found the "deadlines" printed on the bottle easy to follow and appreciated that its bright colors made it difficult to forget.

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This portable mat may not be able to replace professional acupuncture treatments, but it's a quick and effective way to reduce tension in your neck and back without leaving your home. Our editor Alicia found this mat and pillow set to be surprisingly relaxing. After using it, she said she "enter[s] an almost meditative-like state. As an anxious person, this is a feat to find both mental and physical relief at the same time."

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Give your blender a break and enjoy vitamin-packed smoothies with these shakeable, freeze-dried smoothie mixes. Add your base of choice — water, milk, or plant-based liquids — and get a delicious beverage any time of the day. Our editor Tamara appreciated how simple they were to make and how they took away the guilt of buying (and not using) fresh fruit before it went bad.

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Clevr Blends
was $79.00

Reducing your caffeine intake is much easier when you can swap your morning coffee or tea with something that still leaves you feeling energized. This Oprah-loved latte blend uses adaptogens instead of caffeine to make hot or iced beverages that have the rich taste of coffee, mocha, chai, or matcha, but with none of the jitters (plus some added vitamins). If you're wondering, adaptogens are just natural substances that help your body adapt to stress.

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was $129.99

Upgrading your keyboard to an ergonomic model is the easiest way to pick up better typing habits — mostly because you don't let yourself use a less comfortable square keyboard! Our Commerce SEO Editor Sarah picked up one of these to help with her wrist pain and found it to be remarkably effective at reducing overall strain and discomfort.

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When you find that your motivation to exercise is waning, a little spontaneity can help by getting you out of your routine and possibly even making exercise fun. These dice give you a full-body at-home workout routine that doesn't require any weights or equipment. Sarah found that rolling the dice and getting surprised with a different routine every time was reminiscent of the childlike fun of recess.

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was $439.00

Sometimes a busy schedule or inclement weather prevents you from taking a walk or run outside. Traditional treadmills are nice alternatives if you have the room, but a sleek treadmill such as this 6-inch tall one is much more manageable in smaller spaces. Our Chief Financial Officer Riva liked that this model is easy to move under furniture or out of the way, and that it's super quiet.

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was $55.50

If you have a hard time figuring out which habits you want to change or pick up, a five-year journal can help tremendously. By leaving yourself little notes over multiple years, you can more clearly identify patterns in your life or behavior, which lets you see that they are patterns that can be changed. Our writer Rudri found this journal so useful, it became her go-to gift for friends.

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was $34.99

This highly compartmentalized container is a powerful tool in the fight against Skipped Lunches and helps you reduce spending on expensive lunch salads. The containers in the top protect dressing and mix-ins from greens below so you can quickly assemble everything and enjoy your salad when it's fresh (and much more appetizing). Our editor Britt found that it helped her spend less money on lunch overall and liked that its lid is completely leak-proof.

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If you want to include more plant-based milks in your diet, you can do that more easily when you have the tools to make your own beverages. While Best List Editor Britt had been buying plant-based milks for years, she liked having the option to make them at home instead of always having to go to the store. This tiny and stylish machine is also perfect when you only want a single serving.

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Planners are most helpful when you actually use them, and this one is designed specifically to make writing and organizing it super easy. It does that by prompting you to break down bigger yearly and monthly goals into smaller tasks that are more manageable to track and eventually accomplish. Britt also liked being able to quickly scan any page with her phone and upload her notes and schedules into editable text in email, Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, and more.

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Combination desk-exercise equipment is often — and unfairly — ridiculed for being overly ambitious. But these machines aren't necessarily meant to sneak a strenuous cardio workout into a meeting marathon. The idea is to let you conveniently keep your activity level up throughout the day, and the Deskcise does just that. Our editor Britt found that doing a bit of regular exercise during the day helped her be more alert and productive.

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Sitting on commercial flights is never a truly pleasant experience, but you can offset one of the most common discomforts — swollen feet and ankles — with a good pair of compression socks. Alicia got a pair of these over a year ago to help her deal with discomfort that was preventing her from running as much as she wanted to, and she says they still work great.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 14 Feel-Good Products Our Editors Are Using to Start Off 2023 on a Positive Note