It's been a loooong 365 days, and there's no denying 2018 was one Big Mood. Political chaos aside, this past year was filled with so many feelings, prompted by so many *Very Important Events.* I'm biased, but what better way is there to recap those than a journey through some of Elite Daily's best stories about them? Ready for some year-end reflection? Let's do it.
Those Very Important Events ranged from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May to a second royal wedding months later to the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex upstaging said second royal wedding with their pregnancy announcement. Then there was BTS taking over the world with their music; Ariana and Pete's whirlwind romance, which included dating, an engagement, and a breakup all in the amount of time it took us to learn the lyrics to "thank u, next"; and not even Kim knowing whether or not Kylie and Travis secretly are married. Like I said, 2018 was exhausting. But stay with me.
Along the way, Elite Daily's writers and editors were there, covering the stories above and also the most clever questions to ask on a first date; how to meditate in your cramped apartment; colorful travel destinations to hit up; the must-have shoe collabs you need to cop ASAP; and where to donate to support families separated at the border, trans rights, reproductive rights, gun control, #MeToo, and #TimesUp. We also published four digital issues — with When I Grow Up, Out Of Here, Back At It, and Like Magic — and rounded up all the essential products and travel goodies you could ever need with our Add To Cart and Wander Or Bust guides.
We know you're ready for a new year and all that it's going to bring for you, but while you wait for your New Year's Eve getting ready Seamless order to arrive, check out 50 of our favorite stories from 2018. We think you'll be glad you did.
'Talking To My Childhood Crush For The First Time In 16 Years Was So Fulfilling,' by Veronica Lopez
"At the end of our conversation, I felt really excited about basically having made a new/old friend, but mostly, I just felt really grateful. I was grateful to this person for being humble and real and nice when he could’ve pretended not to care, or worse, not to remember me."
'Jaz Sinclair Doesn’t Need To Predict The Future, Because She’s Creating It,' by Noelle Devoe
"'I just think our lives are our story that we tell, and we have more say in what that story looks like than we think,' she tells me. 'And, for me, a big part of self-care is telling a story that I like and watching my life reflect that.' That’s not some fluffy quote from the latest self-help bestseller. I actually don't get the sense that Sinclair reads all that many self-help books. She's too busy helping herself."
'These Beauty Looks Will Help You Channel Your Most Extra Holiday Party Mood,' by Theresa Massony
"Now, as you mentally plan your makeup for the year, allow me to take your proverbial temperature and point you toward the over-the-top look that best matches your holiday beauty mood, whether that's queen of the dramatics, the life of the party, or the fiery femme not afraid to make a scene. Trust me, this guide will read you better than any mood ring ever will."
'Women Are Running Campaigns To Get Women Elected In 2018 & It's Fantastic — EXCLUSIVE,' by Hannah Golden
"So while 2018 is already shaping up to be a record year for women in politics, there's reason to believe this trend will only continue, and at all levels of involvement."
'28-Year-Old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Pushing For Millennials' Future Through Politics,' by Hannah Golden
"'I started my campaign out of a Trader Joe's bag with a bunch of printed palm cards and an idea.'"
'I Baked Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's Wedding Cake & It Was Only Kind Of A Disaster,' by Alexandra Svokos
"Given that after all this work I felt like my entire self-worth depended on the stupid cake, my boyfriend looked at me like a rabid animal as he took his first bite. He gave an exaggerated 'mmmm!' to satisfy my royal-raddled ego, and I thought about the things we do for love."
'There’s A Reason Kelsea Ballerini Shares SO Much On Instagram,' by Tina Kolokathis
"'I promised myself that I would be the same person on stage as I was out to dinner with my friends, as I was on Instagram. I never wanted anyone to see me anywhere and be disappointed, if that makes sense. So I share everything.'"
'How Does It Feel To Be "Out"? Here's Why Coming Out Is More Complicated Than You Think,' by Willa Bennett
"I am now 24 years old, and still haven’t experienced that singular 'coming out' moment that updates everyone about my sexuality. Maybe this is it. As I rewatch the YouTube videos that once meant so much to me, I finally accept that 'coming out' is much more than one moment."
'Getting Over Workout Class Anxiety Isn't Easy, But Here's How One Weekend Changed My Perspective,' by Allie Strickler
"It makes you feel powerful and graceful, and personally, it showed me I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for."
'Should My Boyfriend Ask My Dad For My Hand In Marriage? No, Thank You & Here's Why,' by Alana Peden
"If my suitor chose to seek my dad's 'yes' before mine, I'd feel undermined, like I'd spent the last decade cobbling a rough-and-tumble life together in a city 1,200 miles from my parents, learning what works for me in a relationship and what doesn't through heart-wrenching experience, and honing my own beliefs for naught."
'I'm Not "Asking For It," No Matter What My Body Language Looks Like,' by Mika Doyle
"I've reclaimed my body and the language it speaks, and every day, I'm growing more and more fluent in the dialect of self-love."
'I Introduced My Partner To My Parents On The Second Date & I Have 0 Regrets,' by Theresa Holland
"If you want me, you get the real me from the very start — and yes, that includes my 'rents."
'I Thought Going Platinum Blonde Would Change How People Saw Me, But It Mostly Changed How I Saw Myself,' by Iman Hariri-kia
"For my whole life, my long black locks had presented a sort of catch 22: While I felt they grounded me within the Persian community, they alienated me within the predominantly white Manhattan society I lived in."
'Janel Parrish Is Back In The 'Pretty Little Liars' World, But This Isn't Rosewood Anymore,' by Stephanie Ironson
"In the middle of a July heat wave, Janel Parrish and I slide into the air-conditioned backseat of a Lincoln Town Car. She’s just finished a four-hour photoshoot for Elite Daily at the City College Of New York, an hour of which involved standing in full 88-degree sunlight in a fur coat, and yet she seems almost refreshed. She touches up her makeup in a small compact mirror, gives me a knowing smile, and tells the driver taking us downtown to get ready to learn a lot about her. 'I’m almost 30 years old, and I feel like I know exactly who I am, and I don’t make apologies for it,' Parrish says. I believe her."
'What It's Really Like Flying In A Hot Air Balloon Is Something I Never Expected,' by Alexa Mellardo
"Locals clad in warm blankets and sweatshirts cuddled up with their hot chocolate to witness one of the most extraordinary traditions unfold before their very eyes: the Great Reno Balloon Race (GRBR)."
'Jonathan Van Ness' Advice For The 2018 Midterms Is Focused On One Big Thing — EXCLUSIVE,' by Lilli Petersen
"But the time for discussion and changing hearts and minds is coming down to the wire. And while he says he's 'so proud' of young and first-time voters who are making it to the polls, his biggest advice is for those who aren't able to vote, whether they're ineligible for whatever reason, or just plain forgot to register. 'Just because you're not eligible to vote in this country, or not registered in this country, does not mean you cannot effect change.'"
'What Is Exercise Bulimia? Here's How I Recovered From This Lesser Known Eating Disorder,' by Georgina Berbari
"But now, I'm in awe of my body's ability to shelter me from my own chaotic actions, and the fascinating lines left behind on my breasts, hips, thighs, and lower back to remind me of my infinite capacity to accomplish what once seemed impossible."
'These Women Writing Cards Against Humanity Just Want To Make You Laugh,' by Amanda Fama
“'I think one of the biggest misconceptions that really bugs us out is that the goal of the game is somehow to be hurtful or offensive,' Weiss says, 'when really, our goal is to make people laugh; to empower people to construct these jokes with their friends and make each other laugh. Finding ways that we can play with some of the darkness that exists in our world, and find laughter there.'”
'How This March For Our Lives LA Organizer Is Stepping Up On Gun Reform,' by Shelby Black
"'This is just the first step. This is where we go and show how serious we are and get the politicians to see we’re not going to [stop] fighting until we see the change we want.'"
'I Got My Crystals Read With My Partner Before We Were Dating & Here's What Happened,' by Theresa Massony
"Considering I had just paid a fake psychic to tell me I would die alone, I was crushed. And when she told me she could reverse the curse by opening up my heart chakras with three chakra healing sessions for $75 each, I was infuriated! I mean, how dare this fake psychic sucker me into paying her $20 for a made-up reading! How dare she tell me I'm cursed, and then do what all fake psychics do by trying to weasel more money out of me! But most importantly, how dare she not tell me my future involved Katie and I falling in love."
'Fayrouz Saad's Candidacy Is About More Than Being The First Muslim Congresswoman,' by Hannah Golden
"'[I] really believe that I'm the product of the American Dream and want to do everything I can to protect it, because my entire life has been shaped by it.'"
'I Copied Rihanna's New Fenty Beauty Makeup Tutorial & I'll Never Use My Match Stix The Same,' by Bella Gerard
"My teeth? Straight. My wig? Snatched. My rent? Paid. My life? Saved — all thanks to learning this iconic tip from the Fenty mastermind herself. Attention, people who actually edit Wikipedia pages, please update Rihanna's to reflect her new position as 'most genius and creative woman on the planet,' thanks."
'‘Queer Eye’s Tan & Antoni Reveal A Netflix Crossover Is Officially Happening – EXCLUSIVE,' by Stephanie Ironson
"While it seems doubtful that Jonathan will show up in Hawkins to give Eleven a hair-makeover or that Bobby will give Litchfield Penitentiary a facelift, the feel-good crossover possibilities are infinite."
'Glow Back To School,' by Theresa Massony
"Can I get a show of hands for who feels like summer lasted exactly 0.08 seconds? One day, I’m lying outside on a towel, not a worry in the world, and the next, I’m lying in bed and dreading the return of colder weather. But the major beacon of light carrying me through summer’s end is the return of everyone’s favorite pre-fall season: back to school."
'Kelly Rowland Reveals The Important Lesson Beyoncé's Mom Taught Her About Beauty — EXCLUSIVE,' by Kayla Greaves
"The ugliness of colorism affected the singer in her personal life as well. Sharing a story of when she was on a trip to Jamaica, Rowland remembers that, before going into the sun, she tried covering her face to avoid getting a tan. But Beyoncé's mom, Tina Knowles, quickly stepped in to teach her an important lesson about beauty and self-love that she will likely never forget."
'I Asked My Grandma About Her Dating History & This Is What I Learned About Love,' by Veronica Lopez
"I always say the blessing in return for such a big sacrifice is our family. It’s all of you. Our legacy. It was worth it.”
'I Made A Burn Book Of All My Exes & Finally Found The Courage To Say “Thank U, Next,”' by Iman Hariri-kia
"It's not that that I'm still angry at my exes or harbor any type of actual resentment, but I've never really hyper-analyzed my relationships from a distance, and I've never gained any real perspective or closure. So, I decided to take a cue from Grande and craft a burn book of my very own in the hopes that I would gain further insight into the way that I communicate with others, and why those relationships had to come to an end. And also, perhaps purchase a ponytail extension."
'Destination: Slay,' by Alana Peden
"You spend three (maybe even six) months planning your itinerary, anticipating the moment work becomes a distant memory and your sweet, sweet summer trip begins. With every scroll through your destination's Location feed on Instagram, you picture yourself already installed in your exotic locale, reveling in your absolute freedom. But below your toothy grin, the mental rendering becomes hazy: You know you're wearing something fabulous that screams I'M ON A BOAT, but you're not sure exactly what that entails."
'I Wanted To Read A Love Story Where Two Characters Met On Tinder — So I Wrote One,' by Hannah Orenstein
"There's magic in finding your person (or your person of the week) from the comfort of your couch, just by scrolling through your phone. It's about time we had a book that represented how we date today. I'd swipe right to that. Wouldn't you?"
'You Can Stay At This #RemoteAF Hotel In Greenland For Almost Nothing This March,' by Collette Reitz
"You'll first fly to Reykjavik and Akureyri in Iceland and then to Constable Point (the airport in Greenland) before taking the Air Greenland helicopter to Itto — and there are plenty of exciting ways to keep your attention during your visit. First of all, once night falls on a clear sky during the months of September through April, your chances for seeing a brilliant Northern Lights show are very good.
'The Queen Of England Visits The ‘Downton Abbey’ Filming Location For The Coolest Reason,' by Ani Bundel
"Highclere Castle was, and still is, a working farm, one one of the things they raise are horses. Queen Elizabeth is a huge fan of horses and racing, and Porchester found himself a job as her racing manager."
'Red Gerard Would Like You To Know He Didn't Oversleep That Much At The Olympics,' by Alexandra Svokos
"He did, however, actually lose his jacket and had to borrow one. 'But it was pretty typical — everyone loses their jackets!' (And as for the shotgunned beers? 'My family’s pretty known to, uh, have a good time.'")
'Meet The Best Friends Who Run The @CommentsByCelebs Instagram Account,' by Rachel Murphy
"I always knew that it was going to be big, just because I think that naturally everybody enjoys celebrity commentary and loves the idea that it’s so relatable and that it’s making [the celebrities] so real."
'Here's How Yoga Can Help Sexual Trauma Survivors & Ease The Healing Process, According To Experts,' by Georgina Berbari
"Meditation and yoga can help survivors find balance, Forero Puerta explains, because these practices help teach both the body and the brain that it is no longer in danger, by relaxing the muscles that are on reflex to protect you."
'Why Rejecting The Idea Of "The One" Is An Act Of Self-Care,' by Brittany Leitner
"I told my therapist all about my first few dates, how shocked I was that they were going well, and how I felt totally lost and sure that something was wrong with me (or him!) because even after three whole dates, I still didn't know if he was "the one." I just didn't have that feeling everyone said I should have that I had just met my husband."
'I Thought Coming Out To My Parents Would Surprise Them — Instead, They Surprised Me,' by Frances Molina
"To be labeled a 'dyke' was to undo all of my hiding — from myself, from my friends, my parents, the school, and the church."
'I Asked To Define The Relationship & Got Turned Down,' by Iman Hariri-kia
"I used to call myself 'Mrs. Not Right Now' because I truly felt that I was married to the repetitive and inescapable experience of falling for people who felt that the timing just wasn't right."
'Vans Sneakers Are The Only Shoe I've Worn In 2018 & I Don't Miss Heels At All,' by Ariana Marsh
""I am serious when I say that I have worn the same pair of shoes for 68 of the 70 days that have passed in 2018 thus far. I’ve traveled to three different countries since Jan. 1, and my Vans Old Skool sneakers have literally been with me every step of the way. Except when I exercise, which is so infrequently that I really don’t even count it, but I digress."
'I Got Past Life Regression Hypnosis & Visited Past Lives I Never Knew Existed,' by Valerie Mesa
"It turns out, through the hypnosis I discovered I have lived not just one — but many, many lives throughout my journey as a spiritual being. I am being sincere when I say that this experience was both incredibly powerful and life-changing. So much so, that I'm about to reveal every bit of this magical moment with you all, from start to finish."
'Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Body Language At Their Wedding Is All About Love,' by Chelsea Stewart
"The look on Harry’s face as he takes the veil off shows just a little bit of nervousness. He doesn’t have the ring yet … He’s thinking, ‘OMG, I hope I’m doing this right!’"
'I Hooked Up With My College Roommate & It Was Surreal,' by Dayna Troisi
"I didn't care that she tasted like Four Loko and Doritos, or that the shower curtain was covered in mold, or that my spray tan was leaking all over my favorite Hollister jeans."
'After Coming Out As Non-Binary, I'm Starting To Feel More Comfortable In My Hometown,' by Griffin Wynne
"To live without gender is to make space for the old yous, and current yous, and new yous to come — which often feel so overwhelming and so at odds with each other, no matter where you are."
'Sarah Drew May Be Done With ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ But The Best Is Just Beginning – EXCLUSIVE,' by Esme Mazzeo
"When you face it dead-on, you figure out what you’re made of, you learn about your own resilience, you learn how to open your heart and ask other people for help. You build community that way, you build vulnerability and human connection that way… there’s so much good that comes in the midst of pain."
'Is My Love Life Normal? These 9 Dating Experiences Are Nothing To Be Ashamed Of At All,' by Laura Moses
"Sometimes it feels like we live in an age of constant comparison: How big is your apartment? How much money do you make? How many people viewed your last Insta Story? While a degree of comparison can be healthy and motivating, it can also provoke anxiety. If you're looking to your friends and peers to sort of gauge your general progress in life, you'll likely find yourself comparing your dating exploits and romantic adventures against theirs, and you might wonder if your love life is normal."
'I Tried Lili Reinhart's Halloween Makeup Looks & TBH, I Did Not Nail It,' by Jamie Leelo
"The lightning bolt should have started with very straight blue and black lines. However, I ended up creating wobbly gray streaks. Also, what should have been a bright orange, sharp bolt was more of a red, blotchy mess. It was... not awesome."
'I Didn't Report My Sexual Assault. That Doesn't Mean It Never Happened,' by Catherine Kelly
"I immediately chose to classify the events as a “weird situation” — a euphemism that had grown immensely popular amongst my female peers, and now I understand why. It became the phrase I used to describe my assault because I'd been taught to believe that what happened to me was not "serious enough" to be considered sexual assault. He put his hand inside me, but he did not force his penis inside of me. He put his hands on my arm, hard enough to bruise, but did not hit me. He did not rape me.He eventually let me leave. Already, I doubted my own truths. Maybe he didn't hurt me enough. Maybe I was not the victim of assault."
'How A 7-Day Sailing Trip In Croatia Actually Changed My Life,' by Kristin Corpuz
"Something about sitting on the deck of a boat — with no sounds but the deep blue water beneath the boat and the wind rushing through my ears — felt really meditative. It was so refreshing to take a break from my busy hectic life in New York City and just allow myself to zone out on the open sea. I felt calm, joyful, and peaceful all at once."
'The 'Jersey Shore Family Vacation' Cast Is Making "Reality TV Great Again" – EXCLUSIVE,' by Stephanie Ironson
"While 'your Uber is now arriving' has replaced 'cabs are here,' all-natural, organic self-tanner is used in lieu of tanning beds, and people are flossing instead of frolicking on the dance floor, the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore is still as close as they were 10 years ago."
'I Tried GlamGlow's Good In Bed Night Cream & It Was The Best One-Night Stand Ever,' by Stephanie Montes
"If this was what I saw after a one-night stand with this product, what would I see on the second night? How about after a week of going to bed with it? And just like that, GlamGlow's brand new Good in Bed Cream earned a permanent spot on my nightstand."
'Here's How The 'I Feel Pretty' Writers Captured Your Insecure 20s So Perfectly – EXCLUSIVE,' by Kristen Perrone
"Everybody but me seems to have their lives together, my romantic prospects are a bust, and no matter how carefully I follow that Pinterest tutorial, my DIY romper is a total disaster. While there's so much pressure to view your 20s as a perfect time, there is very little out there that strongly captures the insecurity of this age range and says, 'Hey, you're not alone.'"