My life feels existentially crushing lately. Between my waking nightmare of a country and personal struggles I won’t get into for now, I am wildly varying levels of stressed, (socially) anxious, probably malnourished, sleep deprived, and exhausted both physically and mentally.

Some mental health tactics help. I have meds, I exercise more regularly, and I can deep breathe and meditate. Something else I have found to help lately is Reddit. No, seriously, hear me out.

For all its (gradually improving) faults, I think Reddit has some redeeming qualities, one being a hyper focus on topical subreddits. I can go to r/AnimalsBeingBros or r/ImaginaryLandscapes and know that I will see nothing but cute animals being awesome and gorgeous fictional art—I know that I can get a respite from near-daily mass shootings and Trump’s barrage of hate and racism.

I subscribe to quite a few subreddits, but I recently decided to look into MultiReddits, a way to group multiple subreddits together. Then I experimented with creating a MultiReddit of nothing but happy things—stuff like cute animals, beautiful art, and whatever r/BeAmazed is. I use Apollo on iOS, but I think you can make these on the official site too. See the gallery below if you could use help with getting started.

Sure, it isn’t a therapist-approved emotionally centering 20 minute walk or relaxed breathing exercise, but I’ve found my little MultiReddit to be… helpful? Relaxing, in its own right. Now, when life annihilates my calm, it’s nice to have a ‘happy place button’ as an option.

My HappyPlace subreddits

Back when I was finishing college part time in Denver, I gradually lost the ability to breathe through my nose. My left nostril was almost always closed, and my right was mostly closed most of the time. I also was stuffed up fairly often without other symptoms of sickness. It was one of those body things that just happened over time and I never gave it much thought; it just gradually became my reality.

One day, I mentioned it to my older brother. Turns out he had the same problem most of his life, but he eventually went to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who diagnosed him with a deviated septum. In short, this is when the inside of your nose didn’t quite form right, and apparently a lot of people have it to varying degrees.

If your septum is deviated enough, like my brother’s and mine was, you might have a septoplasty in your future. It’s basically a corrective surgery to realign the septum in your nose to open the passageway and allow you to breathe through it.

Now, physically, I’m a relatively healthy person. I’m overweight, but I don’t have any serious physical problems. I got diagnosed and had the surgery in 2017 and it is probably the single best thing I’ve ever done for my body. It had been so long since I could breathe through my nose, I forgot how wonderful it is.

If you have trouble breathing through your nose, or you think you might have a similar problem, I highly recommend getting it checked with an ENT. Because of our insurance, I needed a referral from my general doctor first. But I’m fortunate enough that it wasn’t a difficult process, and it truly was a life changer for me. I hope you can treated too.