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The Atlantic: Health

Intimate Love Letters, Read Aloud

“Dear Noortje: Why, I sometimes wonder, do so many love letters start with ‘I meant to write sooner,’ or ‘I should write to you more often,’ or a more fanciful variation of the same?” reads a young
The Doctors Who Invented a New Way to Help People Die

The Doctors Who Invented a New Way to Help People Die

In 2016, a small group of doctors gathered in a Seattle conference room to find a better way to help people die. They included physicians at the forefront of medical aid in dying—the practice of
Who Really Gets Hurt by Violent Fantasies?

Who Really Gets Hurt by Violent Fantasies?

Have you ever thought about killing someone? Not plotted it out, necessarily, but fantasized about offing a bully or boss or boyfriend in a desperate search for catharsis?I wouldn’t encourage you to
The Tricky Ethics of Transplants for Addicts

The Tricky Ethics of Transplants for Addicts

“How many of you think we should do liver transplants for alcoholics?”About half the hands were slowly raised, while the other members of the class looked around nervously. These were third-year
What Life Is Like When Corn Is off the Table

What Life Is Like When Corn Is off the Table

When Christine Robinson was first diagnosed with a corn allergy 17 years ago, she remembers thinking, “No more popcorn, no more tacos. I can do this.”Then she tried to put salt on her tomatoes. (Table
What It’s Like to Visit an Existential Therapist

What It’s Like to Visit an Existential Therapist

If you ever find yourself sinking into the plush blue couch of Dr. Jane Prelinger, you should know that she doesn’t want you to call her Dr. Prelinger. In her office, even when you’re on the couch and
Millennials Stare Into the Void, and Gillette Stares Back

Millennials Stare Into the Void, and Gillette Stares Back

On Monday, the men’s shaving brand Gillette released a new commercial and social-responsibility initiative, and the internet had some feedback. The ad, which shifts Gillette’s longtime tagline from
What People Actually Say Before They Die

What People Actually Say Before They Die

Mort Felix liked to say that his name, when read as two Latin words, meant “happy death.” When he was sick with the flu, he used to jokingly remind his wife, Susan, that he wanted Beethoven’s “Ode to
How a Stroke Turned a 63-Year-Old Into a Rap Legend

How a Stroke Turned a 63-Year-Old Into a Rap Legend

Dr. Sherman Hershfield woke up one morning and was surprised to find himself behind the wheel of his car. Somewhere between his Beverly Hills apartment and his practice in the San Fernando Valley, the

The Skeletons in Abusers’ Closets

“I got in a fight with my wife and I slapped her,” says an unidentified male. After a pause, he adds: “I held her and punched the wall.” The man, whose face is blurred to protect his identity, is
The Sad News About CBD Cupcakes

The Sad News About CBD Cupcakes

As I stood at the window of a Weed World Candies truck on Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue last week, a gray-haired man I didn’t know tapped me on my shoulder. “It doesn’t work,” he said, motioning at the
Young Trans Children Know Who They Are

Young Trans Children Know Who They Are

Since 2013, Kristina Olson, a psychologist at the University of Washington, has been running a large, long-term study to track the health and well-being of transgender children—those who identify as a
If Legal Marijuana Leads to Murder, What’s Up in the Netherlands?

If Legal Marijuana Leads to Murder, What’s Up in the Netherlands?

In 1971’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a mescaline-infused Hunter S. Thompson and his Benzedrine-addicted attorney infiltrate a police conference, where they are amused and appalled by the naïveté
Psychology Has a New Approach to Building Healthier Men

Psychology Has a New Approach to Building Healthier Men

This week, the American Psychological Association, the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists, did something for men that it’s done for many other demographic groups in the past:

Health Misinformation Is Rampant on Instagram

When it comes to health advice, don’t take Instagram’s word for it. The platform is rampant with misinformation about wellness, argues the Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull. Behind many fads are
Your Flaws Are Probably More Attractive Than You Think They Are

Your Flaws Are Probably More Attractive Than You Think They Are

Over the past year, visitors to the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City have been revealing their deepest fears and wishes. As part of a special exhibit, museum-goers were invited to write down their
The Instant Pot Will Not Solve All of Life’s Problems

The Instant Pot Will Not Solve All of Life’s Problems

There are a lot of fundamental problems with existence, but among the most pressing is that you need to feed yourself three times a day, basically every day, for, like, 80 years. If you’re an American
The Personality Trait That Makes People Feel Comfortable Around You

The Personality Trait That Makes People Feel Comfortable Around You

Some people can walk into a room and instantly put everyone at ease. Others seem to make teeth clench and eyes roll no matter what they do. A small body of psychology research supports the idea that
The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich

The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich

As a longtime resident of New York City, I’ve developed a little game I play when I’m alone in one of Manhattan’s especially ritzy neighborhoods: “Famous or Just Rich?”To play, all you have to do is
Scientists Have Been Studying Cancers in a Very Strange Way for Decades

Scientists Have Been Studying Cancers in a Very Strange Way for Decades

In 1959, an American physician named Harry Eagle mixed up one of the most pivotal cocktails in medical history—a red blend of sugar, salts, vitamins, and amino acids that allowed scientists to