How Lewis Capaldi Made Me Feel Less Alone in My Mental Health Journey

By Erin Gabriel

My sister has the biggest crush on Lewis Capaldi, the Scottish singer-songwriter who first gained attention in 2017 with his debut single and viral hit Bruises. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who he is (I am speaking to my 30-something millennial cousins who had no idea who he was) here is a photo for reference:

Sex icon, amiright? At this point, my sister would quote the viral TikTok sound, “That’s mine. I’ma stick beside him.” Anywho, I regress…

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Screaming your way to a spiritual awakening

By Erin Gabriel

Candice Wells screams for a living.

No, we’re not talking about screamo music. We’re talking about breathwork. As the owner and facilitator of Screamwerk in Denver, Colo., Candice is a breathwork facilitator, energy worker, yoga teacher, and entrepreneur who guides individuals to scream their way to a spiritual awakening.

When most people think of breathwork, yoga breathing patterns to calm the nervous system or active breathing techniques like what you see on apps like Calm or HeadSpace may come to mind. But Screamwerk utilizes a form of psychedelic or somatic breathwork, which is more focused on the body. 

“As I taught breathwork classes, I recognized that a primal scream timed at an integral moment of the practice helped to fully release pent-up feelings,” Candice says.

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When it’s Time to Say Buh-Bye to a Toxic Workplace

By Erin Gabriel
Art by Sarah Forgey

We spend at least 40 hours a week at work. And if that environment isn’t healthy or supportive, the negative impacts of a toxic workplace bleed into our everyday lives. 

But how do you gain the courage to leave a work environment that isn’t working for you? 

That’s the question that got our gears turning when an anonymous Catcall reader reached out to ask for advice on their toxic workplace story. In this reader’s case, their managers weren’t following COVID protocols set in place—putting them and their coworkers at risk. And while that’s a very clearly toxic and unsafe environment—and a loud reason to walk away from a job—not every toxic workplace looks so obvious. So how do you leave?

See, the problem isn’t that there’s not enough guidance out there, but that there’s way too much—which can be overwhelming. According to research conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management, around 30 million US workers—or one in nine—experience their workplace as toxic. 

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What I Keep in My On-the-Go Anxiety Kit 

By Emily Laptad

Picture this: You’re out and about, maybe you’re grabbing coffee with a group of pals or maybe you’re at the office getting ready for a meeting. Then out of nowhere, your heart rate goes up. You start to get a wee bit fidgety. Impending doom is suddenly all you can think about. 

There’s a name for that, it’s anxiety, and it loves to creep up at the most inconvenient moments—especially if you’re neurodivergent like I am (hi, I’m Emily!). That’s why I created an on-the-go anxiety kit that I carry with me everywhere. 

So, the minute I feel that little anxiety monster sneaking up on me, I know I’m covered. I just have to pull out the kit and use any of the sensory-based tools I’ve stocked to both prevent anxiety and panic attacks and to move me out of one after it’s started. 

I decided to make my anxiety kit after seeing a TikToker who did the same, and now I never leave the house without it. (Also proud to report that my therapist was 100% on board when I told her about it the following week).

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Trauma Bonded: How writing a show about my assault helped me heal.

By Chloe Burns

“You need to address this now,” my therapist told me at a regular appointment in December of 2019, her tone more stern than I’d heard her before. “The longer you wait, the harder it will be to correct.” 

She was referring to my laundry list of trauma symptoms—a collection of hyper-vigilance, chronic insomnia, disorganization, nightmares, panic attacks, and dissociation—I had been dismissing for years until I experienced an assault at work in October of 2019  and those symptoms came crashing back. I was then unemployed, living off of my dwindling savings, and spending my days alternating between crying and watching TV with my eyes unfocused. I hadn’t been in Los Angeles for a full year, and already, I was at an impasse.

In June of 2019, I moved to LA to pursue acting and filmmaking, and the business of my life had helped me manage my existing trauma symptoms so far. Running between background acting jobs on television sets and acting classes to my various jobs left me happily exhausted at the end of the day, my mind distracted from the anxieties and hyper-vigilance that tormented me in the quiet. 

But when I was violated at work that fall, my systems shut down completely, and I could no longer lean on my lifestyle for distraction. My ability to sleep was destroyed. My body felt so numb that I frequently mistook my own heartbeat for the earthquake tremors I had experienced since moving to the coast. Anxiety flooded my veins so ferociously that I was exhausted before my day even began. Yet, rest was out of the question. Unexpected noises caused me to lurch out of my seat,  but my limbs felt so heavy I doubted my ability to defend myself against even the slightest threat. I was somehow moving one hundred miles an hour while stuck completely still. Every day that passed meant more of my savings vanished, and by the time COVID sent the nation into their homes, I knew something needed to give.

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