If you wanted to live your live as a recluse, perhaps channeling your inner Emily Brontë, but still with access to the endless entertainment and resources of the 21st century, there really has never been a better time. Thanks to subscription services—everything from coffee to clothes to meal boxes packed with every ingredient you need to whip up a gourmet dinner—you never have to leave your house. But these weekly and monthly deliveries are more than just excuses to stay on the couch—they make decisions for you, freeing up time to do whatever else you truly please. Think of them as a switch, putting your life on autopilot.
And for someone like me—a person who struggles with trying to control everything, even the portions of her life that you unquestionably cannot control and do not have a say over—this is appealing. So, I took the challenge of adding in a few subscription services to my daily life for a few months to see if autopilot would make an impact in a beneficial way. Would I have more time to do what I really wanted to do? Would the daily stress of trying to eat healthy and live peacefully evaporate? I know, I know... That's a contradiction...
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I started with meals. Blue Apron is probably the first company that comes to your mind, but I went all in, opting for Sakara, a weekly meal delivery service that offers completely prepared 100% plant-based, organic meals and drinks. Each meal has a description of what the ingredients do for your health and where they are found, so you actually end up learning a lot about your body and how food is meant to fuel it. And if you've ever seen the company's founders and their glowing skin, you know they're on to something. It doesn’t come cheap, though. Five days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner will set you back a little over $400, but you also don’t have to purchase all three meals. The customization is key—you can choose what day and time frame it’s dropped off at your door, and you can also note any allergies, so your meals are adjusted accordingly. With all that being said, it’s also delicious and you finish every meal full and satisfied. I road-tested a three-day trial, and not having to worry about running down to the cafeteria at lunch time while battling my cravings for fried anything was a relief. Getting home late from work and knowing I already had a pre-made Buckwheat and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad in the fridge stopped me from ordering something purely carb and cheese based, namely quesadillas. One of my self-inflicted stresses of eating healthy regularly was solved.
And with healthy eating came a modification in exercise. I love the gym, but there are days when I’m slammed at work, maybe a little hungover, or just plain too tired, and I can’t get there. That’s where at-home subscription-based workout programs came in. YogaGlo is a monthly subscription service that provides users unlimited yoga classes and meditation sessions they can take part in from the comfort of their own bedroom, living room, hell, even their kitchen floor for—wait for it—only $18 a month. That’s insanely affordable. Classes range in experience levels and in time frames, so there really is a perfect fit for everyone. I also utilized Lauren Kleban’s online platform of LEKfit, an amazing cardio and toning-based class that celebrities like Busy Phillips regularly attend. As you might have been able to tell by now, I’m not what many would call “zen,” so these helped take the stress out of those days where I couldn’t possibly fit everything in.
But it doesn’t stop there. Among the hundreds more, there’s Ritual, a vitamin company that offers subscription services for women, and quip, a toothbrush company that will send you replacements every three months.
I even tried SweatStyle, a subscription service that curates workout clothes and sends them to your door. You keep and pay for what you like, and send back what you don’t. But there were also some voids I needed to fill. I finally gave into Amazon Prime and instantly wondered how I could have lived this long without 2-day shipping for books, household items, and Christmas presents! I even followed along with Amazon’s suggestions on what I needed to buy next, which led me to one of my new favorite books, Grayson.
As for dating? I re-downloaded The League and reopened Hinge and let their electronic Cupid components bring matches to my phone screen. I’m not sure this was necessarily a stress relief, but it did stick with the overall theme. And even in music, I followed along with Spotify’s weekly playlist suggestions based on what I already liked and lived religiously by the “mood” genre within the app.
This doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of services that are out there. If you have the cash readily available—because, let’s be honest, you’re paying for the convenience—you could cover all aspects of your life.
While I see the benefit of allowing the Internet to become your personal assistant, or definitely your chef, I don't think I'm ready to give up all aspects of manually driving through life and all its responsibilities. I'm a control freak, okay? But if there's one that pays all your bills and budgets away cash for student loans and upcoming vacations, let a girl know. I'm down for cruise control on that.