Working long hours can take a toll on your creativity. Take a break and get inspired with these blogs.  

By Alexandra Ross (Senior Counsel, Paragon Legal)

“Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant, there is fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.”  – Johann Gottfried Von Herder , German Philosopher 

We all need a bit of inspiration – a catalyst – that keeps us going or motivates us in an entirely new direction. We can nourish ourselves with experiences, the people we spend time with, or with meaningful thoughts and ideas in written form. While the point of activation is external, true inspiration comes from making a new connection between the external world and previous knowledge from within.

These inspirational websites are guaranteed to challenge your intellect and inspire your emotions.

Brain Pickings

Who’s it for? Intellectual and creative types. 

Maria Popova, a young Bulgarian writer, blogger and critic based in Brooklyn, NY, describes herself as “an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large.” Her blog, Brain Pickings, is a “…a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.” For the intellectual and creative type, this site posts eclectic, thought-provoking articles on a wide range of subjects including art, design, culture, science, technology, philosophy and politics. Expect book reviews, profiles on innovators like IDEO co-founder Bill Moggridge, and pieces tackling the psychology of happiness (“Helen Keller on Optimism”). And if you need a break from reading, there are podcasts available on Sound Cloud under the title “Brainpicker.”

Rebelle Society

Who’s it for? Those who are bold and free spirited. 

Co-created and co-edited by Andréa Balt and Tanya Lee Markul, Rebelle Society is “an online hub reporting ideas and acts of creative rebellion and celebrating the Art of Being Alive.” The site is read by an international audience and is geared toward the “creatively maladjusted,” bold, free-spirited and unconventional reader. It is founded on the principle that “creativity is the greatest form of rebellion,” as quoted by Osho. The site’s soulful and iconoclastic creative manifesto is inspiration in and of itself. Topics on the site include art, happiness, love, community and health & wellness. Of particular interest to Women 2.0 readers will be the articles filed under the category, “Troublemakers” which covers entrepreneurship, non-conformists and creative revolution.

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Who’s it for? Action-oriented/pragmatic types. 

This blog offers “practical tips for productive living.” The husband and wife team, Mark and Angel Chernoff, share their thoughts on a broad range of topics pertaining to life, productivity, aspirations, health, work, tech and general self-improvement. “Life hacks,” a term familiar to Marc, a former techie, commonly refer to productivity techniques used by programmers. In the context of this inspirational blog, the term refers to simple and serviceable techniques to solve everyday life problems. The site offers these hacks as a set of lists that illuminate a particular theme such as “7 Unconventional Ways to Build Your Confidence” or “30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself.” Action-oriented and pragmatic types will enjoy these tips. Articles stem from the real-life experiences of the couple, and are written with a down-to-earth tone. Marc and Angel recently published a book, 1,000+ Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently, which compiles many of the life hacks from their blog.

Tiny Buddha

Who’s it for? Those who are community-oriented. 

Founded by Lori Deschene, Tiny Buddha offers “simple wisdom for complex lives.” What started as an anonymous Twitter feed of daily quotes has become a leading resource for articles related to peace and happiness. Tiny Buddha’s focus is on community and making authentic connections in a networked world. Featuring tips and stories from Lori herself, as well as readers of all ages from around the globe, the site is intended to be instructive and inclusive. While many of the posts have roots in Buddhism, the site is not focused on religion or spirituality. A recent post, 50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities, offers suggestions on how to get out of your head, out in the open, and into your work. The site recently launched a forum section where members can connect, help and inspire others in the community.

Sounds True

Whose it for? The insatiably curious.

Founded in 1985 by Tami Simon with the intent to “disseminate spiritual wisdom,” Sounds True is a multimedia publishing company based in Boulder, Colorado. Sounds True offers spoken word audio, books and instructional DVDs via its website, newsletter, blog and radio. The insatiably curious will appreciate the breadth of topics such as meditation, psychology, creativity, health and healing, and self-discovery. Sounds True promises diverse in-depth and life changing wisdom based upon a non-denominational foundation – their tag line is “Many Voices, One Journey.” A weekly podcast presents interviews with spiritual teachers and writers such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield and Brené Brown. In 2012, Sounds True launched the Wake Up Festival: A 5-Day Experience of Transformation in Estes, Colorado to gather more than 25 authors, teachers, and artists in a celebration of the limitless possibilities of the spiritual journey. Although promoted as “your trusted partner on the spiritual journey,” Sounds True doesn’t take itself too seriously – see the recommendations offered by its employees’ dogs.


About the guest blogger: rossAlexandra Ross is senior counsel at Paragon Legal, working onsite at Autodesk, Inc. Previously, she managed privacy law and compliance as Associate General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores.  She is a certified information privacy professional and practices ecommerce and privacy law.