34 Things That’ll Help You Start 2020 On A High Note

34 Things That’ll Help You Start 2020 On A High Note

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Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “I have a lot of hair. A LOT. Like, wow, who-is-that-Wookiee-over-there LOTS. I have looked into having a third arm surgically implanted (Is this a thing? Who would do it? Vascular surgery? Orthopedic surgery? These are the questions that keep me up at night. 🤔) because my shoulders are so tired holding up a dryer and a round brush for eternity. I briefly considered making a workout video (Toned Arms: the Hairdryer Workout) but was informed by fitness people that there isn’t a market for a 75-minute focus on the anterior deltoids. I almost have to wake up BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP in order to have enough time to dry my hair before work.

This thing took me eight minutes. I naturally assumed, upon finishing, that I had entered some sort of Amazon-created beauty time warp. I checked with my husband, in the next room, and in fact, I did not go through a blowout wormhole. The silkier-than-silk style was accomplished by this miracle of a brush in eight minutes (several more minutes were lost to running my hands through my hair and flicking it over my shoulder while smiling coquettishly in the mirror).

If you struggle with an overabundance of hair like I do, seriously consider giving this amazing contraption a try.” —Chris

Get it from Amazon for $37.06+ (available in four colors).


A pretty planner for writing down important dates and daily to-do lists so you’re always on top of everything.


This planner runs from January to December 2020. In addition to monthly, weekly, and daily sections, it includes a personal mission statement prompt, yearly goal setting page, weekly scheduling templates, goal setting and tracking pages, 2020 vision board, major holidays list, notes pages, contacts/address book pages, inspirational quotes, monthly reflection questions, and more.

Promising review: “I don’t normally bother with reviews, but I just have to review this planner. I bought this back in November and have been using it since late December. I carry it in my purse all the time. I run a small direct-sales business and this is what I use to keep track of everything with that and personal stuff as well. I have spend up to $60 in the past on planners and I have to tell you, this one does everything they do AND is small enough to carry with me, which I love. Don’t look at the price and think you’re not getting quality. This is a quality product and it has quite a few extra features and pages in it that I love! I WILL be getting another one of these for next year, and it will probably be my new planner from here on out.” —new mommy ’16

Get it from Amazon for $16.95.


Care/Of — a personalized vitamins subscription you won’t mind taking every day. It might actually become a joyful part of your routine.


Glossier Futuredew for an instantaneous glow-up. It’s a long-wearing, non-greasy oil serum hybrid that’ll help your skin look fresh and dewy all day long.


Promising review: “When Futuredew was released, I picked up a bottle at the flagship in NYC. When I got back to the hotel to do my makeup for a ballet, I was shocked at how easily the rest of my makeup (skin tint, concealer, eyeshadow) went on. I don’t have incredibly dry skin or anything, but everything glided on and blended in like it never has before. Even under all the makeup I added on top of it, the pure GLOW of this product was unchanged. It feels a tad oily when you first put it on, but it sinks in super quick. Must have. Especially for dry/lifeless/dull skin. But also for everyone who wants to shine bright like a diamond.” —Addie B.

Get it from Glossier for $24.


A low-maintenance countertop garden so you can make your own pesto from scratch and have an endless supply of fresh herbs for all kinds of recipes. Delish!


The kit includes the countertop garden, Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, mint, thyme, Thai basil, and Miracle-Gro plant food. It’ll alert you when the plants need more food or water, so you don’t need a green thumb for it to work! Check out our full review on the Goodful Aerogarden.

Get it from BuzzFeed’s Goodful line, exclusively at Macy’s for $89.99 (available in two colors).


A shimmery sequin dress so you’ll steal the spotlight on New Year’s Eve.


A pack of acne-zapping pimple patches, because zits have no right to ruin your day!


Promising review: “These little patches are outstanding. They work just as advertised. This is the first acne product that worked just as I hoped. Put the patch on an annoying blemish at night and in the morning, there will be white gunk on that tiny little patch. Brilliant!! No downside to this product. Does not cause drying or flaking.” —Robin V.

Get a 36-pack from Amazon for $12.50.


A gratitude journal so you can reflect on all the wonderful people and moments in your life on a daily basis.


Promising review: “Just started using this journal after being in a bit of a funk at the start of this year. I researched many different journals but this was the only one that I felt was simple, that didn’t make too many ‘demands’ on my time, that was straightforward — in short, exactly what I was looking for. It’s a simple concept, and I’ve only been doing it for a week, but I find myself looking for things to be thankful for and adding lines below the three provided and writing in the margins, all because I want to.” —silkeymilkey

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.


A compact Echo Show 5 for catching up on the news before work or catching up with family via video chat — and that’s just two of the many, many things this lil’ gadget can do.


You can use the Echo Show 5 to watch movies, news, and TV shows, listen to songs (it’ll even display lyrics), radio stations, and audiobooks, get weather and traffic updates, build to-do and shopping lists, and more — all via voice command. You can also ask Alexa to turn on smart home devices, make calls, or order an Uber. Bonus: you can personalize your device by choosing a favorite clock face or album from Amazon Photos.

Promising review: “So you should probably know ahead of time, I am an Alexa addict. ADDICT!!! I am a flight attendant and the first thing I think when I walk into a hotel room is ‘Alexa, lights on.’ Then I realize there is no Alexa and I sigh. I wish I could figure out a way to easily take Alexa with me while I travel. (And yes, I travel with the Fire Stick, but it’s just not the same Alexa experience.)

Having said that, I love this Echo Show. It is just the right size. When I’m on a trip, I can pop in on it and call out to my kids to come to the Alexa so I can talk to them face to face from my Alexa phone app. The picture takes a minute to clear up on my phone, but the calls work out well. It also only shows the ceiling when you pop in on it, so you don’t have to worry that anyone who video calls you will be able to see anything (or that government can see all of your moves). There is also a little button that allows you to physically cover the camera with flap so no one can see on the camera if you don’t want it.

We also use it for recipes, lights, the thermostat, to control our TV, and to learn words to songs. I love that it shows the current weather outside all day and will flash to the week’s weather forecast as well since we live in Chicago and the weather changes hourly.

I highly recommend getting one.” —ET Barton

Get it from Amazon for $59.99 (available in two colors).


Fluffy bath towels to make drying off after a shower a five-star experience.


Promising review: “I first went to a Target store, bought three different brands of towels and tried them all out at home. I found these Spa by Fieldcrest to be the best by far and ordered a whole set online. So far I’m completely satisfied with them. They’re luxuriously soft and way more absorbent than any towel I have ever owned.” —Gary

Get it from Target for $13.99+ (available in 15 colors).


The Goodful Cookbook by BuzzFeed to help you on your journey to cooking more and eating better. You’ll find tons of delicious and nourishing recipes that won’t require a lot of time, effort, or money.


It also has helpful sections including a “what’s in season?” chart, foods for your mood, and a food storage guide. Plus, all of the recipes indicate if they are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free.

Promising review: “OMG! This cookbook is a dream! I haven’t even finished looking through all of the recipes! I’m considering buying everyone this as an Christmas gift this year! So helpful, with healthy, non-restrictive ways to eat and fuel your body! Most recipes are relatively quick and simple and I love the occasional healthy/motivational tip in between the recipes and beautiful pictures! Total 10/10! Can’t wait to try out some recipes!” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $19.32.


Or, a cookbook that’ll encourage you to branch out into delicious new territory. And don’t worry, the recipes are designed to be manageable and not overly complicated.


Promising review: “I’ve been cooking from this at least twice a week. So far all the recipes have been BIG hits with the whole family. I even got sworn cauliflower-haters to admit to enjoying the roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese. Nobu’s asparagus recipe is a real winner. As is Suzanne Goin’s pork burger. None of the recipes have been difficult or too time-consuming so far.” —Kijang

Get it from Amazon for $21.60.


An Instant Pot so you can stop asking yourself, “Is this the year I finally buy the Instant Pot?” The answer is yes — treat yourself!


This handy kitchen gadget has seven functions: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer. Check out our review of the Instant Pot.

Promising review: “This is quite possibly the coolest, most versatile kitchen gadget I’ve ever owned. I love it so much that I’ve purchased two more for friends and relatives. What can it do? I think the real question is ‘What can’t it do?’ I truly believe you could replace every cooking appliance (including your oven and stove top) and do EVERYTHING in the Instant Pot. I purchased two sizes for my own use: the three-quart (which is my almost-every-day workhorse for two person dishes) and the eight-quart (which I bring out to handle my dinner party dishes). Everything I’ve tried has been fabulous. In the realm of kitchen appliances, there is no better investment than the Instant Pot. Highly recommended!!!” —Stereoman

Get it from Amazon for $59.26+ (available in three sizes).


An electric toothbrush that’ll leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. It’s the perfect way to start and end your day.


Promising review: “Like many, my dentist recommended I start using an electric toothbrush. After researching many brushes, I took a chance on this highly rated one. It is amazing. Gets my teeth squeaky clean, and they stay that way all day. It is also reducing decades of beverage stains on my front teeth. It takes about 12 hours to fully charge but a charge lasts me 60 days of cleaning two times daily. Excellent product.” —A. Clark

Get it from Amazon for $25.99+ (available in three colors).


An audio-based personal training app for taking your at-home workout routine to the next level. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring an actual personal trainer.

You get access to thousands of audio-guided workouts and programs lead by certified trainers. You can customize the type of workout, difficulty level, length of workout, and the background music. Read our review of Aaptiv (#7 on the list).

Get a monthly subscription for $14.99/month (30-day free trial).


A gorgeous striped faux fur coat to be the cherry on top of every winter outfit.


Promising review: “When I saw this online, I thought that I just had to have it! Then when it arrived and I opened the box, I was even happier as it is such a beautifully made coat. It looks like a much higher-priced coat, and the comfort level is a total 10. The look is modern and fun. I cannot think of any reason you would not love this coat! Just perfection!” —Skinnyft1

Get it from Nordstrom for $149.40 (available in sizes XS–XL).


An adjustable standing desk that’ll literally bring your productivity to new heights.


Promising review: “This is by far the best investment I have ever made. I sit most of the day and I was so uncomfortable and my energy was sinking. I was so nervous when I made this purchase. I set it up myself, although it was a little heavy. It was so easy and within five minutes, I was using it. I can not explain how much of a difference it has made. My leg isn’t hurting anymore, my butt is not going numb! I am standing probably 80% of my day. I have had this a little over a month and I know without a doubt, I will always use this no matter where I go or what I do. The feeling of just standing has changed everything, even my energy, and I don’t even realize when I have been standing a couple of hours! There is no pain anymore, I am still energized at the end of my day and ready to go. This is well worth the price!” —Lura

Get it from Amazon for $119.99+ (available in three colors).


Vault — a budgeting app that’ll track your income and expenses and give you an estimated balance forecast for any date in the future. This is perfect for saving up for a vacation, a big purchase, or retirement because you can see your progress.

iTunes Store

Promising review: “Tried a million budget apps but they all want me to set an allotted amount for everything instead of just letting me record how much things are. This calendar interface is my favorite since we get one paycheck weekly and one bi-weekly and one payment monthly. This lets me input all that and all my reoccurring bills and gives me an idea what my balance will be every week! This is exactly the budget app I needed.” —Krystald14

Get it from the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store for free (in-app purchases available).


A limited edition BuzzFeed x Birchbox Splurge-Worthy Beauty Box packed with some truly wonderful products to pamper yourself with. Heck, we would all use some “me time” after the holidays are over!


Here’s what you get in the box (worth over $200):

– Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer

– First Aid Beauty Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask

– Saturday Skin Pretty Pop Probiotic Power Whipped Cream

– Glamsquad The Untamed Texturizing Finishing Spray

– Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Liquid Liner

– Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer

– Glamglow Bubblesheet Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask

– Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

– ColourPop Cosmetics Lippie Stix (Love Life)

You can read more about the box and the products inside here!

Get it from Birchbox from $62.


Lace undies as a luxurious treat just for you. New year, new underwear!


Get it from Aerie for $12.50 (or get 10 For $30; available in sizes XXS–XXL and six colors).

The Grommet

Promising review: “I suffer from a recurring sore spot just below my shoulder blade caused by an old muscle injury. It is impossible to reach by hand but the Wallball allows me to hit the exact spot. It hurts so good and in less than a minute releases the knot. Perfect for those hard to reach places.” —Kim

Get it from The Grommet for $19.95.


A motivational bottle that’ll get you pumped about drinking eight glasses of water a day.


Promising review: “I have this on my desk at work, and it’s been a great reminder to drink more water throughout the day. I also love the simple design and that there’s no plastic.” —Maggie

Get it from UncommonGoods for $19.99.


A necklace to remind you to let go of the all stuff weighing you down (toxic relationships, grudges, and bad memories) and embrace a fresh start.

ExquisiteStampDesign / Etsy


A super soft pajama set, because nothing says “I’ve got my life together” like presentable loungewear.


Promising review: “I will never buy another pair of warm weather PJs again other than these. I am a thirty-something post-baby lady, and with my crazy hormones paired with living in Arizona, I needed PJs that are cool and comfortable. These silky soft PJs have been going strong for months now through countless hot flashes and heat waves when it would get into the 80s in our bedroom. If you are a hot-blooded person and need to cool down, I can’t recommend these PJs enough. My only criticism is that they are not magic transforming PJs, and I will still have to hold on to a few pairs of fleece jammies for the few chilly months we do get in Arizona.” —Margery

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes S–3X and 13 colors).


A helpful book on the art of small talk so meeting and bonding with new people won’t feel daunting.


Promising review: “What a helpful book. I check the lists of opening lines before I go out socially and try one or two each time. Like magic they work. Where was this help when I needed it in years past? Well, I got it now, and it is a keeper!” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $12.88.


A gorgeous fiddle-leaf fig plant that’ll grow with you this year (and many years after).


Your plant buddy will come in a plastic grower’s pot housed inside a natural jute basket.

Get it from Terrain for $74.


Plane tickets to a dream destination so you’ll have a trip to look forward to even after the holidays are over.

tarasov_vl / Getty Images


An intention bracelet for a pretty way to keep your wishes and goals with you at all times.


Simply write your wish on a tiny bit of paper (a set of just-the-right-sized sheets is included), roll it up, and tuck it into the opening. Wear it as a daily reminder to keep at it and stay focused on your goal.

Promising review: “I believe in writing down my goals. I love the idea of writing my goals and keeping them on me at all times. This bracelet comes with several little sheets to put into your bracelet, so once you achieve your goal, you can put the next one in. I love that you can wear it all day/night; a constant reminder of your goal. There is also an app you can download that reminds you for 21 days little things you can do to help keep you motivated for your goal.” —Danielle

Get it from UncommonGoods for $58 (available in five stones).


A teeth-whitening pen so your pearly whites will shine as bright as your future.


This vegan product is formulated without parabens or phthalates. It protects tooth enamel (instead of damaging it like a lot of whitening products) and breaks up dark spots and stains. A natural mint flavor makes it extra refreshing.

Promising review: “Literally two uses and I can see a difference in my teeth. They look so much whiter than what I’m used to looking at! I’m a heavy coffee drinker, and I have super sensitive teeth, and this doesn’t bother my teeth, gums, or mouth after using it. It tastes like the fluoride from the dentist, so you feel super clean and shiny! Highly recommend, and I will be buying this product forever!” —TiaMichelle

Get it from Tarte or Sephora for $22.

It’s our cheap pick for the best teeth whitener on BuzzFeed Reviews!


Headspace — a meditation and mindfulness app that’ll help you wind down when you’re feeling stressed. There are cute animations to guide you through, too.

iTunes Store

The premium version includes hundreds of guided meditations on subjects like focus, exercise, and sleep.

Promising review: “Headspace surpassed my expectations; it’s easy to use, easier to navigate, and very effective in teaching the inexperienced to meditate. I especially enjoy the variety in session times, so I can pick between meditating for around 10 minutes or taking a shorter time. Also worth noting is that the app is just as helpful even if you don’t purchase the extended packages; the 10 free sessions can be repeated without losing their impact. I have recommended this to friends in need of relaxation in the past and would do so again. Definitely worth the download!” —Maura Gibson

Get the basic course from the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store for free or get full access for $12.99/month.


A self-care subscription box filled with mood-boosting goodies you’ll look forward to receiving every month.


Each box contains five to seven full-size products up to $85 value.

Promising review: “Out of all the boxes I ever subscribed to, this one is by far my favorite. Love the attention to self-care and taking time for yourself. Especially love mindfulness activities, such as a mood tracker from the November box. Very nicely done!” —Chloe

Get it from Cratejoy for $27.67/month.


An informative book with practical tips on how to organize and declutter your home.


Promising review: “I love this book. It is a fast read. The author is funny, and it has lots of pictures. I read it in three days. I don’t usually finish reading books either. I could have read it in one day but I have three kids and a job. I was so inspired to declutter that I started decluttering after only reading half the book at work when I got home the same evening. It’s changed my life. No exaggeration. I have several books on decluttering and organizing, including Marie Kondo and Peter Walsh, and this is the best one. I feel in control. The author gives detailed advice on where to start and what kind of ‘clutterbug’ you are. I wanted to suggest my favorite chapter but the whole book is great advice.” —lanie

Get it from Amazon for $10.19.


A cross-back tank top so pretty, you’ll actually feel excited about going for a run.

Free People

Promising review: “I wear this to workout as well as a night out. It’s so cute and so versatile! It’s good quality and a great fit! I’d like to own it in multiple colors! I’d definitely recommend this top.” —akunkel1

Get it from Free People for $38 (available in sizes XS–L and 13 colors).


An inspirational book that might even get a die-hard pessimist to think positively for a change.


Promising review: “I began reading Cyndie’s book at 5:30 a.m. one Saturday when I could not get myself to sleep in. I have a lot of anxiety, and sometimes that leaves me unable to really relax and sleep for more than a few hours a night. I decided to dive into Cyndie’s book, and by the end of the intro, I was already misty-eyed. WOW. It was like Cyndie was speaking to me, identifying exactly what I needed to hear about positive psychology and serving it up with a realness that I couldn’t plug my ears to. I know I’m supposed to read this book day by day, but I am pouring through March as I pause to write this review. There are a lot of journals and giftable books out there that promote positively thinking and daily wisdom, but Cyndie’s book is SO. MUCH. BETTER. Even I, an anxiety-ridden pessimist who is skeptical of most advice, have been enthralled with ‘A Year of Positive Thinking’ since page one.” —Taylor Lee

Get it from Amazon for $11.79.

New year, new decade, new beginnings!


Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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