How Eclipses, Full Moons, and Planets Affect Your Relationships

The Great American Eclipse has us all kinds of shook. As people cleared stores out of their special eclipse specs and scrambled to the best cities for viewing, we can’t help but wonder: If the moon is affecting us this much externally, what’s it doing to us internally? As it turns out, a lot — and it’s doing it year-round. Astrology advocates (if you don’t fall into this category yet, check the surprising science behind astrology), here’s what the moon and other celestial bodies’ biggest moments mean for you.

1. Lunar Eclipses: As entirely different astrological events, lunar and solar eclipses unsurprisingly have entirely different effects on humans. Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and can coax concealed thoughts and feelings out of hiding. They prompt people to look deeper at things they’ve been avoiding, such as unaddressed relationship conflicts or even suppressed emotions for someone.

2. Solar Eclipses: The rarer of the two phenomena, a solar eclipse requires that the Moon pass directly between the Sun and Earth. Because the Moon symbolizes femininity and, consequently, emotions and desires, it’s no surprise that its eclipsing of the Sun hits us right in the feels. Unlike the lunar eclipse, which merely brings our buried emotions to the surface, solar eclipses actually force us to confront them.

3. New Moons: New moon, new you!Much like the beginning of a new year, new moons are for letting go of the bad and getting a grip on the good. A new moon is the optimal time to further consider untapped ideas, begin a new project, initiate a relationship, or explore new frontiers in an already existing one.

4. Full Moons: Mother Moon is back at it during this monthly event — full moons also evoke buried emotions. Essentially, expect the unexpected. Surprises that, in retrospect, were totally predictable often occur during full moons, like the first “I love you” from an S.O. or the revelation of an infidelity. Couples that meet during a full moon are more likely to be taken aback upon introduction, whether it’s due to the immediate force of their feelings or, perhaps, uncharacteristic behavior around that person.

5. Retrograding Planets: A planet is considered in retrograde when the Earth passes it as it cycles around the Sun. This creates the illusion that said planet is reversing relative to us. As the planet moves “backward,” so do our thoughts. When a planet is in retrograde, we can often find ourselves reflecting on the past to ensure a better, less mistake-ridden future (e.g., no more bad baes). Each planet’s retrograde means something different. Mercury’s retrograde — the most commonly known of the planets — impedes our ability to effectively communicate, which can manifest in a multitude of ways, from crashed computers to mutual misunderstandings.

How are astrological predictions shaping your plans? Share your thoughts with us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)

If you give us a dessert menu, our eyes will always flit to the chocolate option; we can't help it. Not only can chocolate help strengthen your heart health (thank you antioxidants!) but it's also a great option for parties and get togethers of any kind — since the tasty treat can range from bitter to super sweet, everyone can find a chocolate recipe that they want to eat over and over again.

We love that the rich flavor and smooth consistency of chocolate makes it a decadent dessert choice, even if we're just eating a bowl of DIY microwave fondue. But that's the best thing about chocolate recipes: they're easy, they're quick, and they always taste good. You can eat these picks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, because there's nothing better than having chocolate all day long.

Bites

Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Bars

If you're a big Andes Chocolate Mints fan, then this recipe's for you. Our favorite part is the fact that they're vegan!

Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta Cups

These creamy, bite-sized desserts are the perfect treat for after dinner, after work, or anytime you want one, really.

Chocolate PB+J Banana Bites

We already know that chocolate, banana, and peanut butter go well together, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the combo outside of a sandwich. Case in point: these sweet treats.

Homemade Chocolate Bonbons

With raspberries, marshmallows, and white chocolate, this is the perfect Valentine's Day dessert.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Egg Fudge

Peanut butter fudge is about to become your new favorite dessert. Add edible glitter for Valentine's Day, colorful sprinkles for Easter, and red, white, and blue crystals for Fourth of July.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

We're all about hot cocoa mix-ins during the holiday season, but add a romantic flair by filling some heart-shaped silicone moldswith melted chocolate. You can use them for hot cocoa or just eat them right off the stick.

Conversation Heart Bark

Valentine's Day just got a lot sweeter thanks to this recipe. You can make chocolate bark with all kinds of additions like seeds and berries, or swap your go-to hearts for the Friends Conversation Hearts instead.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Truffles

You can make this vegan chocolate recipe in just five steps, which might just make it the easiest upscale dessert ever.

Chocolate-Covered Cheese Bites

30 minutes (or faster if you stick them in the freezer) is all you need to turn cheese and melted chocolate into your new favorite snack.

Hollow Chocolate Confetti Eggs

Get a jump on your Easter prep by perfecting confetti eggs that are filled with all your favorite candy.

Sprinkle Dipped Chocolate Hearts

Get the best of both worlds with this chocolate recipe that features milk and white chocolate. Plus, pink sprinkles, which are arguably the most important.

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate and orange make a delicious combo, and these truffles pair them together in very a satisfying bite.

Star-Studded Dark Chocolate Cake Bites

If you prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate for a little less sweetness, then you must try these cake bites. The perfect portion size *and* a starry garnish? Count us in.

Hot Cocoa (And Other Drinks)

Jacques Torres’ Famous Hot Chocolate

You can't go wrong with a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter night, but our best tip? Add just a sprinkle of sea salt to cut the sweetness.

Spiked Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Even when it's not PSL season, you can still enjoy this hot cocoa that features pumpkin pie spice, dark chocolate, and rum.

Easy-to-Make Amaretto Mocha

This drink will warm you down to your toes, thanks to the combo of amaretto liquor and hot coffee.

Chocolate Martini

Sweeten up your happy hour with what's basically boozy chocolate milk. Yes, please.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

If you thought red velvet cake was your favorite dessert, wait until you try this colorful cocoa take on the recipe. The salted caramel marshmallows make for the perfect finishing touch.

Nutella Hot Chocolate + Marshmallow Sandwiches

Grilled marshmallow sandwiches are our new favorite snack, and we might add some Nutella and PB in there too.

Spiked Chocolate Espresso

This flavorful sip will give you energy and help you unwind, which makes it the perfect drink for your 5-9 routine.

Brownies

Boozy Baileys Brownies

With the sweetness from the brownie and the edge from the Bailey's, you won't regret spiking this dessert. Feel free to dye your frosting whatever color you want.

Decadent Potato Chip Brownies

We already know from chocolate covered bacon that the salt + chocolate combo can't be beat, but the potato chip crumbles on these brownies take things to the next level.

Guinness S’more Brownies

If chocolate is your favorite part of a s'more, baking marshmallows and graham crackers into your go-to brownie recipe only makes sense.

Healthy Brownies

Don't be scared by the fact that this chocolate recipe calls for black beans — you'll barely even taste them.

Cookies, Cakes, Breads, And Donuts

Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies

Not a huge fan of stuffing your cookies with snickerdoodle spread? Opt for peanut butter for a chocolate + PB masterpiece or Nutella for some extra cocoa.

Red Wine Pear Cake With Chocolate Ganache

Rich, delicious ganache gets stuffed between two chocolate cakes for an extra dose of cocoa. Pears add the perfect amount of tart flavor.

Baked Hot Chocolate Doughnuts

Dark chocolate chips, espresso powder, and creamy coconut milk all in the same glaze? Say no more.

Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Bread

Cherries and oatmeal prevent this banana bread from tasting too sweet, but if you're a serious chocaholic, feel free to add cocoa powder into the mix.

No-Bake Snickers Cake

Turn your favorite candy bar into a full-on dessert thanks to this chocolate recipe. A pre-made pound cake means that you don't even need to open your oven.

Vegan Miso Chocolate Cake

This cake makes all kinds of ingredient swaps for a healthier dessert (like oat milk for regular milk and maple syrup for sugar), but it also includes chia seeds which can improve your heart health.

Molten Chocolate Cookie

This single-serve chocolate recipe tastes amazing on its own, or when shared with a loved one.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

A dollop of raspberry jam on top of these cupcakes brings a fruity, tart touch that keeps you from being overwhelmed by the rich chocolate.

Cherry-Chocolate Covered Donuts

All you need for this cherry glaze is cherry preserves and powdered sugar. Go ahead and save some extra to glaze some cookies and cakes, too.

Double Chocolate Banana Pumpkin Bread

We love eating breakfast for dinner, but what about dessert for breakfast? This pumpkin chocolate bread is perfect for anytime of day.

Fun Extras

DIY Chocolate Toolbox

This chocolate recipe gives you a legitimate excuse to play with your food. Who can resist?!

Samoa Girl Scout Cookie-Inspired Popcorn

Girl Scout Cookie season can last all year with this chocolate, caramel, coconut popcorn. Our mouths are watering.

Aphrodisiac-Packed Pots de Crème

Consider this your new favorite date night treat. Add a little bit of rum, or keep it booze-free with vanilla extract. Either way, this chocolate recipe does not disappoint.

Paint Palette Box of Chocolates

Experience a box of chocolates like you never have before with this super artsy and creative recipe. It's almost too cute to eat! (Almost).

Chocolate iPhone

Give your chocolate lots of extra color with "apps" in every shade of the rainbow.

Chocolate Milkshake Waffles

Next time you're in the mood for chocolate chip pancakes, try this waffle recipe instead. The waffles themselves aren't too sweet, which makes it a great option for everyone, especially when paired with your favorite toppings.

Chocolate-Covered Amaretto Strawberries

You've had your fill of regular chocolate-covered strawberries, which is exactly why you need to try this colorful, amaretto-infused version. (Spoiler alert: they're also stuffed with sweet cream cheese).

Chocolate Hummus

If you want a snack that balances sweet and savory, this hummus features chickpeas and sunflower seed butter. Grab all the grapes, banana slices, and strawberries you can find.

Homemade Hot Fudge

The best part about making desserts yourself is that you know exactly what you're adding. In this case, all you need is water, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate.

Hot Cocoa Chicken + Waffles

We thought we loved chicken and waffles before, but adding a touch of chocolate totally transforms it into something new. This is a salty and sweet combination we cannot get enough of.

Chocolate Ring Pops

Using white chocolate for this DIY recipe means that you can make them any color you want — add food coloring and glitter for a monochromatic effect or rainbow sprinkles for a funfetti finish.

Cookie Dough Donut Sundae

You can feel free to save this recipe for summer, or get a head start on perfecting it now. The homemade donuts definitely set it apart from other ice cream sundaes.

Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

You don't need a machine for this two-ingredient ice cream. All you need is bananas, your favorite chocolate-y topping, and a food processor to make this chocolate dream a reality.

Sweet Fruit Dip

Your Galentine's Day brunch will never be the same once you introduce this fruity chocolate dip. After you scoop out the watermelon at the center to make room for the dip, turn it into a watermelon marg so it doesn't go to waste ;).

Campfire Cones

Ice cream, sprinkles, candy, cookies — this is our dessert dream come true.

Nut Butter Spread

Whether you choose to add it to your toast or use it as a fruit dip, you'll want to make sure you always have a jar of this spread on hand.

Follow us on Pinterest for the latest chocolate recipes and unique food trends.

All recipes and images via Brit + Co.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every single dream is determined to help the dreamer discover the transformative power of the greatest and most powerful love of all – self-love.

And because your waking life and dream life are interconnected – both reflect and comment on each other – your dreaming mind seizes on the theme of romance that is in the air every Valentine’s season to shine an even brighter nightlight on your relationships. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself having dreams about steamy affairs, reuniting with an ex, discovering your partner is cheating on you, kissing and falling in love with a stranger and so on. Keep reading for more on what these dreams really mean for you.

Photo by SHVETS Production / PEXELS

You may wake up wondering why on earth you had this sensual dream that felt so real when you were in it. What does it mean?

First of all, relax. You are not alone. Dreams themed around symbols of love and sex are exceedingly common. We all have them, a lot of the time. The reason being is that human beings are curious. In the dream state we can safely explore intimate relationships without hurting anyone. So, thank your dreaming mind – your inner nocturnal therapist – for offering you this virtual relationship training playground!

The next step is to understand the meaning of your love dreams. They often appear incomprehensible, but dig deep enough, and the symbols you find will always comment on your feelings and thoughts in your waking life, because what you feel and what you think tends to be what you attract.

With relationship themed dreams, your night vision will be commenting on your attitude towards relationships and what urgently needs to shift within you for you to attract lasting love.

What do you dream about...?

Below are some very common love dream scenarios. Be aware that every dream is personal to the dreamer, and these examples are simply universal, or the most likely interpretations that may not be relevant to your unique situation. However, these interpretations can help you think along the right lines, so the next time you wake up from a passionate dream affair, you have a head start in understanding.

Having An Affair With Someone You Know

Photo by Alex Green / PEXELS

In this dream you are having an affair with someone you know. This person may or may not be someone you fancy. Either way, they are appearing in your dreams for a reason and that reason isn’t necessarily romantic.

Think about the first word or feeling that comes to mind when you reflect on that person. This first word or feeling association you make will help you understand what quality your dreaming mind wants you to face within yourself. Maybe it's something you need to integrate within your own personality?

You see, dream affairs reflect the aspects of yourself that you need to feel more passionate about. Yes, in your dreams you really are having an affair with yourself. Other people in your dreams symbolize aspects of your own personality.

More often than not, the feeling this dream inspires is simply one of excitement or adventure, and if this is the case, your dreaming mind wants you to bring that sense of adventure into your own life (but not by having an affair.) Vary your routine a bit! Laugh more! Do something different! Book a holiday! Don’t look to others to bring a sense of magic your way. Spice up your own life.

Having An Affair With A Stranger

If you dream of falling in love or having an affair with a stranger – someone you have never met – your dreaming mind wants you to feel more alive. You need to step outside your comfort zone now and then. This is not necessarily about relationships and seeking out different perspectives, but about challenging yourself in other areas of your life. For example, challenge yourself in your career, hobbies, and interests.

Bear in mind that making love to a dream stranger can also suggest that you fear really getting to know the people close to you, or that you feel you can’t be true to yourself with others. If that’s the case, work on your self-belief and consider what you may be ‘cheating’ yourself or others of when it comes to your relationships. Dreams about unreciprocated love or being ignored by a crush have a similar interpretation.

Your Partner Is Cheating

Photo by DS Stories / PEXELS

You may be in a loving relationship and have a dream about yourself or your partner cheating. If this is the case, don’t panic!

This dream simply suggests that either of you may be feeling overlooked. Have you or your partner been spending a lot of time focusing on work, a pet, or another outside interest? Seize this Valentine’s Day holiday to book some quality time together, and rekindle the passion.

Having An Affair With A Celebrity 

Celebrities dominate the media these days, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming of having an affair with a celebrity, and an unlikely one too. Think about what association comes to mind when you think about that celebrity. It is that association which carries the hidden meaning.

For example, if you dream of a reality TV star, do you simply want to be noticed more? There is a quality that celebrity has that you need to integrate into your own personality for personal growth.

Your Ex

Photo by Monstera / PEXELS

This dream could be about an ex that you have absolutely no desire to rekindle things with, or an ex where there is still unfinished business.

If an ex reappears in your dreams, it is not a sign that you want to go back to them, it is a sign though that your ex has become a symbol of something important for your current personal growth and relationship happiness.

Have you found closure from that relationship? Do you need to make sure that you don’t repeat patterns from the past in your current relationships? Do you need to reflect on your own attitude when you were with your ex, and whether there is something you still need to learn there? Or, does your ex symbolize an aspect of yourself you need to let go of now?

In all cases, the clear message is that you need to empower the relationship with yourself.

Someone Falling In Love With You

Photo by Anna Shvets / PEXELS

When you wake up from this dream in which someone falls in love with you, consider how this surreal affection from someone else made you feel. If it made you feel good, then seek out more of that emotion from people in your waking life. If it made you feel insecure about the dream affection, then consider, why you don’t feel worthy of love and attention.

Are your current relationships dragging you down? Are you longing for a deep connection with others but failing to understand that relationships risk becoming toxic or co-dependent, especially if you don’t feel deeply in love and connected to yourself first?

Remember that relationship truth universally acknowledges that you can’t give to others what you can’t give to yourself. Your wise dreaming mind has always known that. Valentine’s Day is the ideal time for you to discover your self-love.

What These Dreams Mean For You

In essence, romantic dreams are mysterious, and can mean many different things, but the rule of thumb is that your dreams are typically symbolic and not literal. They are also very current.

If you truly want to decode their meaning, take a moment every morning when you wake up to ponder their meanings, reflect deeply, and look within.

All the answers, all the love, and all the magic you may be seeking from others is already right there within you, just waiting for you to celebrate it, not just on Valentine’s Day but every day!

Theresa Cheung is a best-selling author and dream decoding expert who has been researching and writing about spirituality, astrology, dreams, and the paranormal for the past twenty-five years. Theresa has over 40 published books and cards on topics of the science of cognition to intuition.

We don't always get to show our appreciation and care for our loved ones in the ways we would like to, but Valentine's Day and the surrounding season of love gives us the perfect excuse to be loud and proud about our love. Maybe you're preparing a thoughtful homemade dinner to enjoy by the candlelight with your partner, venturing out on a new experience for date night, or hosting a charcuterie party with your gals. However you choose to celebrate the romantic love, platonic love, and self-love radiating in your inner circle, finding the perfect Valentine's Day gifts can help express your feelings where words fall short throughout your love day celebrations.

Though gifting doesn't have to be the only route you take to express how you feel this season, it can be a great way for your friends, parents, or partner to feel deeply appreciated. We challenge you to up the ante on your gifting beyond roses and chocolates this year and delve into these Valentine's Day gifts that are suitable for practically anyone deserving of your heart eyes.

No matter how you plan to celebrate, be it an epic Galentine's Day brunch, baking your besties some heart-shaped cookies, or treating yourself to a slow, relaxing, self-care night, here are some of the best Valentine's Day gifts to give (and get) this season!

Valentine's Day Gifts For Anyone

Chocolove Valentine's Collection 3-Bar Pack ($10)

Because who doesn't love chocolate? This chocolate bar variety pack will give them something to snack on all month.

Threshold Stoneware Love Ya Mean It Splash Mug ($7)

This mug that can be used for their morning coffee or tea is a great, easy reminder of your love.

The Milk Bar Sampler ($60)

Satisfy your special someone's sweet tooth (because everyone has one) with this decadent dessert sampler from the renowned Milk Bar.

Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser ($123)

Diffusing oil can significantly reduce stress, pain and fatigue. Thoughtfully gift this diffuser along with a calming oil to someone that needs some zen in their life.

Baudville Appreciation Plant Cube ($9)

Cute plant-it-yourself kits delivered alongside powerful words of affirmation will make your recipient feel super appreciated this holiday.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Couples

Le Puzz Lighten Up! Puzzle ($32)

Pour out some of your favorite wine, crank up the romantic tunes, and do a fun puzzle together for an easy and rewarding screen-free date night!

MeUndies MatchMe Valentine's Matching Underwear

Laze out with your boo in the cutest matching undies! This season, you can get 25% off matching V-Day pairs from MeUndies with code MATCHME25.

Parks Project Shrooms Two Person Hammock ($85)

This double hammock will ensure you two get some cozy together time on any outdoor adventure.

We're Not Really Strangers Couples Edition ($20)

Dive deeper into your relationship this Valentine's Day with this introspective card game that'll make you think harder about you and your partner's connection.

heyday 35MM Camera with Built-in Flash ($35)

Cop this film camera to permanently capture all of the sweet memories you make as a couple!

Valentine's Day Gifts For Singles

Tinder Translator: AN A-Z Of Modern Misogyny by Alieen Barratt ($18)

Because sometimes you really just need a guide to navigate the insane and always confusing dating landscape.

Baggu Mini Nylon Bucket Bag ($17, was $34)

This space-friendly bag will be there for you on the go, no matter what, or where.

A Millions Of Peaches Subscription Box ($250/year)

If your best friend loves all things hand-crafted, then this box (from a women-owned small business, fyi) is the perfect Valentine's Day gift.

Afloral Pink Dolomite Ceramic Tile Vase ($37)

This modern vase will be the new home for all the self-bought flowers that your beautiful self deserves!

Really Good Boxed Wine 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon ($65/box)

When in doubt, wine it out. This boxed wine tastes amazing, and will provide you with the best night in of your life.

Loops Beauty Clean Slate Face Mask Set ($35)

Make self-care nights a regular routine with this set of 5 replenishing face masks.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Foodies

Kosterina Spicy Red Pepper Olive Oil ($25)

This olive oil flavor will bring the heat to any Valentine's dinner. Spicy vodka pasta, anyone?

Le Creuset Heart Shaped Cast Iron Cocotte ($165)

This heart-shaped cast iron pot turns any meal into one that's literally made with love.

Yui Brooklyn Heart Cake Shaped Candle ($36)

The baker at heart will adore this unique cake-shaped candle in their space.

KitchenAid Immersion Blender ($60)

We love a practical gift. Immersion blenders are the perfect item for homemade soup and sauce lovers.

Yai's Thai Pantry Staples Bundle ($46)

Bring the takeout to your foodie's home with this bundle of Yai's Thai sauces. They'll be able to prep stir-fries and curries with the most ease, and the plus side is, you'll probably be the one eating their delicious concoctions.

Bitossi Home Round Tomato Tray ($110)

A platter made for the pasta lover, your foodie gift recipient will use this for every show-stopping fettuccine, lasagna or spaghetti they make.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Your Girl Friends

Skylar Perfume Discovery Set ($15, was $25)

Gotta keep the girls fresh and clean. This perfume set samples a range of scents for your girl to spritz.

Beauty Pie Chocolat Luxury Scented Candle ($75)

Your bestie will love this sweet scent to burn during her hot baths and self-care nights.

Talking Out Of Turn Emotional Rollercoaster Glass Mug ($16)

A cute glass is guaranteed to make drinking coffee before work so much more fun!

Papier Poster Pop Notepads ($18)

You only want to best for your girl friends, which is why these notepads are optimal to keep them organized and successful during the work day.

Ichendorf Milano Woodland Animal Tumbler ($25)

Your bestie will reach for this irresistibly cute glass for every cocktail night you have together.

Best Valentine's Day Gifts For Your Guy Friends

Dos Hombres Joven Mezcal ($65)

If your guy bestie is a Breaking Bad fan, he'll go nuts over this Dos Hombres Mezcal.

Townes Butterfly Corduroy Cap ($31)

Keep your guy friend stylish as ever with this fashionable trucker hat that can be paired with pretty much anything he leaves the house in.

Assouline Art Deco Style by Jared Goss ($95)

Everyone loves a good coffee table book, which is why this pick was made for your guy friend that wants to impress. Gift him this intriguing conversation starter for his guests!

Houseplant Glass & Cork Ashtray ($108, was $220)

This handmade ashtray will bring some elevated design tastes to any guy's space.

Rabbit Freezable Beer Glasses ($40)

No more complaints about warm beer. These glasses makes having a good drink easy -- just pop them in the freezer for a guaranteed chilled glass.

The Best Valentine's Day Gifts For Yourself

Rumored Sunset Strip Mini Dress ($68)

Feel super sexy and confident in this mini slip dress! This piece will enchant your Valentine's wardrobe for that self-date you have planned.

Too Faced Love Flush Watercolor Blush ($27)

This sweet blush makes for a perfect V-Day gift to yourself because one, it's heart-shaped, and two, it gives you the cutest flirty flush.

Queen Musia Matte Creme Lipstick ($42)

Give yourself that empowering boost of confidence that comes with putting on a stunning makeup look, and splurge on this clean beauty lip shade that looks amazing any time of the year.

Warhol I Love You So Matted Print ($19)

Fill your spaces with gentle reminders of self-love like this simple print!

Parade Afterglow Jacquard Triangle Bralette ($20)

Being able to celebrate V-Day alone means you get all the more time to celebrate YOU! Up your confidence in a matching set from Parade.

Chillhouse The Chill Set($45)

Let your inner nail artist shine with this easy at-home manicure set!

Valentine's Day Gifts For Him

LEGO Flower Bouquet ($60)

Unlock your man's inner child (and maybe engineer) with this LEGO bouquet set that both of you can enjoy building, and marvel at after it's finished.

Rooted Water Bottle ($22)

Your man can take this brightly designed water bottle to work, the gym, during errands and on outdoor adventures. With this in tow, he'll be thinking of you no matter where he goes.

Rototo Coarse Ribbed Old School Crew Socks ($25)

These retro-inspired socks are of super good quality, plus they add some unique flair to any of your gent's outfits.

Blender Bottle ($12)

Your gym-loving guy can never have enough blender bottles for his pre-workout rituals.

RESERVE 12oz Old Fashioned Tritan Colored Glasses ($30)

Save your sips for these classy multicolored glasses that your man will love drinking out of, and you'll love looking at.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

Giant Vintage Heaven Pink Indie 90's Sunglasses ($28)

A fun pair of sunglasses will always boost your girl's mood. She can take this bright pair into spring fashion and beyond.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($22)

Your girl will be obsessed with this oh-so kissable, soft, viral gloss shade.

The Sill Pink Anthurium ($88, was $98)

Forget about flowers, house plants are the new cool gift.

Glossier You Eau de Parfum ($64)

Gift the sweet scents that all the 'it girls' are sporting to your other half.

Coe Jewelry Pearl Huggies ($100)

Your girl will adore these dainty pearl earrings because they match with any look, plus look super elevated.

Lights Laquer Y3K Trio ($29)

This nail polish set makes sure your girl can always stay on point and feel her best.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Mom

Rooted Coated Steel Circle Hanging Planter ($38)

This minimalist hanging planter comes in a variety of colors to match any plant-loving mom's space.

Burga Emerald Pool Phone Case ($50)

Keep mom looking sleek and in the loop with this eye-catching phone case.

Anthropologie Zaza Lustered Stemless Wine Glasses ($56)

The elegant finish on these glasses is just what the wine mom wants.

Artifact Uprising Color Series Photo Book ($22+)

If you're aiming to gift something more sentimental this holiday, a curated photo book is always a great way to go. Fill it with pictures of your favorite memories with mom. Don't be surprised when she starts tearing up!

Duo Baguette Birthstone Ring ($22, was $31)

Add your mom's birthstone alongside your own on this ring design for a way for her to always feel close to you.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Dad

Ohom Ui Self Heating Mug ($89)

This self-heating mug will make sure dad's coffee stays hot all day, making his workday a whole lot easier.

Wideboy Alarm Clock ($59)

Save Pops from that same-old iPhone alarm tone and help him elevate his morning routine with this design-forward clock.

Retrospekt Refurbished SONY Walkman Cassette Player ($149)

Dad will not stop obsessing over his childhood, "when music was better," when he sees this Walkman in his Valentine's gift.

Bosca Dolce Credit Wallet ($128, was $150)

Upgrade your dad's old, trusty wallet with a new sturdy design like this one. It's also super easy to access with an I.D. case and bi-fold design.

North Drinkware The Maroon Bells Pint Glass ($49)

Perfect for the outdoorsy dad, this pint glass can be made with the imprint of several different US mountain ranges, to remind him of your adventures together whenever he pours himself a beer.

Valentine's Day Gifts For Kids

GUND Snuffles Plush ($25)

Snuffles will become your kid's new BFF. Gift him to give them a cute plush to play and cuddle with. Just look how cute he is! We def want one for ourselves.

YumEarth Valentine's Day Variety Box ($12)

Treat your little one to these yummy, naturally-flavored lollipops that they can also share with friends or classmates!

Mini Smiley Light ($28)

Brighten up your child's room space with a delightful reminder of happiness, decorating with this iconic smiley face lamp.

HotSox Elephant Heart Balloon Crew Socks ($6)

Remind your kiddo just how much you love them with this pair of socks that they can sport any day.

Pottery Barn Kids Love Bug Heirloom Baby Blanket ($48)

Say "I love you" in the sweetest way by gifting your babe an heirloom piece like this Valentine's blanket that they'll get to cherish for the rest of their lives.

Want more Valentine's Day gift ideas? Subscribe to our newsletter for more ways to show your love this year.

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

"How are you?" "I'm good." A lot of conversations stop there, but more often than not, we aren't actually good. There's so much happening in all of our lives that it's important to make friends you can be vulnerable with — and that you can be that friend for others. But starting deep conversations in any of your relationships can be harder than it sounds. Keep scrolling for five questions to ask your friends to let them know how much you care.

Have You Had A Good Cry Lately? What About?

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It's pretty easy to cry when we're feeling upset or if we're experiencing an influx of love or joy — tears are the emotion that can't be kept in. And with so much happening around the world, it's extra easy to feel overwhelmed right now. Asking a question like this acknowledges that we're all feeling something and it gives your friend the space to express their emotions without feeling bad about it.

What Are You Dreaming About Right Now?

Be someone who helps your friends dream big and reach for their craziest goals. There's nothing like hearing someone talk about something they're passionate about, and when you have a deep-rooted love for that person, it's even more fun to hear. Plus, if they answer with their actual dreams from last night, then you can have a good laugh too.

How Is Your Soul?

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There are certain things that affect us on a very deep level, and while our bodies might be okay, our souls may have taken a beating recently! Asking about your friend's soul or heart will let them talk about how the details and nuances of their emotions. This is a great question for people who feel things deeply, even if it's not exclusive to them.

How Did [Insert Event] Make You Feel?

If you know the ins and outs of your friend's life, there's a good chance you know if something in particular has affected them. Whether it's trouble with their partner, their parents, or they were really hit hard by something on the news, don't be afraid to ask them how they're feeling (when it's appropriate, of course). Asking them about a particular event or conversation will help them focus more than if you just ask how they're feeling in general.

There's A Lot Going On In The World, How Are You Handling Everything?

It's okay if you're not handling things well, and right off the bat, this question will let your friend know that it's okay if they're overwhelmed. Since everyone handles things differently, this is also a good way to check up on someone without making assumptions about how they're feeling.

What's Something That's Made You Smile In The Last Few Days?

There are two reasons this can be a great question. First, allowing your friend to focus on a positive story will allow them take note of something beautiful around them, no matter how small it is. Second, asking for a recent example will remind them to look for the good since they'll have to sift through the good and the bad to give you an answer. It'll boost their mood, especially if they've had a rough week.

You've Seemed A Little Off Lately, Is Everything Okay?

We've all changed in the last two and a half years, but if you've picked up that your friend seems extra sad recently, you can ask them what's going on. It'll show that you're attentive and allow them to talk about something they're dealing with if they don't feel comfortable bringing it up.

What Did You Think About [Insert Entertainment Program]

Maybe your friend has been recovering from a loss and was impacted by the pilot of The Last of Us, or they're super excited about a new job opportunity and finally got around to watching The Bold Type. Either way, if your friend loves stories and resonates deeply with fictional characters, this could be a great way to help them work through both positive and negative emotions.

What's Something That Impacted You Last Week?

The great thing about a question like this is that it lets your friend decide whether they want to talk about, something difficult or positive. Or both!

Do you have specific questions that you ask your friends? Let us know on Twitter and subscribe to our email newsletter for more mental health and friendship ideas.

This post has been updated.

Art has always been a beautiful thing because of, well, its beauty. There's something relaxing and therapeutic about creating something just for the sake of creating it. It doesn't have to be utilitarian, it doesn't have to make sense, and you can make it as private or public as you want. That kind of emotional release is exactly what we need when we're fighting the winter blues or just having a really bad day.

We talked to Dr. Vanessa Kennedy, Director of Psychology at Driftwood Recovery, about how art therapy (using your favorite medium of art to express your emotions) can help you process how you're feeling, and how it can actually strengthen your brain along the way.

One thing that's important to note is that art alone is not a replacement for professional therapy if that's something you need, nor can it cure anxiety and depression if you're facing them. But if you're looking to boost your creativity and your mood, keep reading for Dr. Kennedy's advice.

If you're facing a problem — you're not sure if you should end a relationship, you're stressed about work, or you're in a funk and don't know why — art can help boost your mood, even if you're not fixing an actual problem. Art, whether you're painting, singing, or doing pottery, can reduce the stress hormone cortisol's levels in the body, and increase your serotonin levels, according to PNAS. Not to mention that when you're working with your hands, you're not doomscrolling on social media. Talk about a win-win-win!

For beginners and experts alike, there are particular skills that you need to do art, and those skills can actually help you access emotions that are otherwise difficult to find.

"Sculpting with clay is a tactile manipulation process that may engage more concentration and movement to create a piece," Dr. Kennedy says. "In contrast, journaling may tap more into verbal skills and unlock emotions that are important to express. Painting with oils, which takes more time to dry and may require more patience, might be a very different experience than painting with watercolor, which can be more difficult to control."

The good thing about working with art therapy is that, even if it stretches your patience or concentration, it's something that you can control. You're in total control of what activity you choose to do, what products you use, even if you need to relinquish some control over what the final product looks like.

Regardless of which medium you prefer, Dr. Kennedy says that these creative outlets allow us to focus on, and rest in, the present moment. Not to mention the fact that we're also tapping into more than one, if not all, of our five senses when creating art, which can help us practice mindfulness.

You might prefer to bullet journal and scrapbook, or love to turn on music and paint a visual representation of what you hear, but it can actually be beneficial for your mind to switch mediums every once in awhile. Even if it's something you feel you're not good at.

"Switching mediums for creative outlets can tap into various cognitive processes, promoting cognitive flexibility or neuroplasticity [which is the ability of the brain to remain flexible and grow in response to stimulation]," says Dr. Kennedy. Singing taps into the speech and sound production centers of your brain, while physical art like pottery exercises your sensory centers. "These sensory channels for input promote being fully immersed in the present moment, an essential aspect of mindfulness, relaxation, and anxiety reduction."

Because of the fact that they use different areas of your brain, creating with your hands and creating with your mind can also have different effects on your mental health — but one isn't necessarily better than the other.

"Creating with your hands can be just as therapeutic as creating a story with your mind through creative writing, and these activities use some brain regions in common, yet others differ," says Dr. Kennedy. An activity like embroidery engages your whole brain by using the left side to analyze threads and stitches, and the right side to create patterns, compare colors, and visualize the end result.

"While more complex relationships exist between creative, visualization, sensory, and motor regions within the brain, they are nonetheless all engaged in a focused activity that taps into our senses and promotes mindfulness," Dr. Kennedy says. "Therefore, our brains release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in activating the brain’s reward system, when engaged in a satisfying creative activity."

This is definitely an excuse to buy (another) adult coloring book, or keep a journal to jot down story ideas wherever you go. You never know when inspiration will strike!

The best part about these artistic projects is that they're fun *and* they count as self-care. "Artistic, creatively-loaded activities involve many brain functions working in concert," Dr. Kennedy says. "[They] can improve mood through increased serotonin and dopamine and an overall reduction in cortisol levels."

"Regular incorporation of these activities can have a similar impact to meditation by reducing anxiety and depression levels," she continues. "Sharing your creative projects with others can also add an extra layer of mood and confidence boost through the emotional satisfaction of creating something for someone you love. While the primary goal is self-care to improve your mental health, you may end up inspiring someone else as a bonus."

Check out our DIY page for more artsy ideas and let us know your thoughts on art therapy in the comments.

Few books that have made as much of an impact on BookTok like Colleen Hoover's It Ends With Us. The story follows a woman named Lily who is intrigued by a new relationship with Ryle, but an encounter with her first love Atlas — and the reminders of her past that Atlas carries — complicates everything. Blake Lively's starring role was just announced on January 26, and our jaws dropped!

We had high hopes for the adaptation, and when it was announced that Justin Baldoni would develop the film in 2019, we knew the story was in good hands. Baldoni won us over with his role as Rafael in Jane The Virgin, and his feature directorial debut Five Feet Apart made us cry our eyes out. If you're a Colleen Hoover fan, keep reading for everything you need to know about It Ends With Us.

What Is "It Ends With Us" About?

It Ends With Us follows Lily Bloom after she moves out of her small town to start a flower shop in Boston. When she meets Ryle on a rooftop and quickly falls head over heels, it seems like fate. That is, until she comes face-to-face with her first love Atlas. It's a story of strength, deep-rooted relationships, and identity that made waves on social media.

Who's Starring In "It Ends With Us"?

Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni (who's also directing) are set to star in the film, but the rest of the cast has yet to be announced.

Who Else Is Working On The Film?

According to Deadline, Lively, Baldoni, Hoover, Steve Sarowitz, and Andrew Calof are all serving as executive producers, while Alex Saks, Christy Hall, and Jamey Heath are producing. Hall is also penning the script for the film.

Follow us on TikTok and Twitter for the latest entertainment updates, and check back here for new info on It Ends With Us!

Featured image from A Simple Favor via Lionsgate/IMDb.