There are, quite literally, hundreds of thousands of brilliant YouTube videos uploaded to the internet every single day. That’s right, every day.

This means it can be really hard to find what you’re looking for. After all, it’s not always the YouTube stars who are famous and trending that produce the best videos. Sometimes the top life advice or most easy-to-follow tutorials come from up-and-coming YouTubers who don’t have millions of subscribers and an Instagram modelling contract under their belts.

But don’t worry, we’ve trawled through the videos of YouTube’s brightest stars, both big and small, old and new, to bring you some of the best advice out there – from facts you didn’t know about your vagina to mindfulness and makeup tutorials that (fingers crossed) won’t get you told off at school, to tips for dealing with stress and those dreaded exams.

If you’ve got a favourite YouTuber we’ve missed off the list, let us know in the comments below!

Laci Green: 10 secret vagina facts

US-based YouTuber Laci Green knows everything there is to know about sex education. She’s the complete opposite of your boring, stuffy teacher telling you about periods and how your body changes during puberty as everyone in class blushes uncontrollably.

Instead, she’s a no-nonsense expert and in this video she explains some of the secret vagina facts you’ve probably not been told at school. For example, did you know that the word ‘vagina’ is Latin for ‘sheath’ or ‘sword holder’? Thought not.

AwesomenessTV: 20 ways to survive puberty

Be warned: This isn’t genuine advice. Well, a little bit. But YouTube comedy duo Alexis G. Zall and Ayydubs created this video (and many others like it) to poke fun at some of the standard stuff we all go through when we hit puberty.

If you’re sick of all the heavy, boring lessons about what happens to your body during puberty and want to kick back with some lighthearted jokes about popping zits instead, then this video is for you. We like their equally ridiculous yet totally LOL-worthy videos 20 ways to befriend your lady bits and 20 ways to talk to your crush too.

Lucy Moon: Things I wish I’d known as a teenager

Lucy Moon is one of our favourite YouTube stars because she’s just so bloody honest, and a lot of her advice is pure gold.

In this video she shares some advice about what she wishes she’d known during her awkward teenage years. We particularly love her story about just how hard she tried to fit in – and how it never really worked because she stood out a lot anyway. She also imparts wisdom about friendships and how she wishes she had stood up for herself more, as well as the dangers of comparison and how she wishes she’d spent less time looking at what everyone else is up to.

Some of our other favourite YouTubers like Zoella and Ashley Nicole have also made similar videos with messages to their teenage selves. There’s something pretty special about getting to learn from such inspiring girls and not making the same mistakes they felt like they made.

Zoella: Winding down and mindful minutes

Obviously, Zoella is known for being one of the most famous YouTube stars on the planet and keeps fans hooked with regular vlogs about her life, as well as brilliant (and not to mention easy to follow) make-up tutorials. But we love her so much because she also talks about her feelings, anxiety and mental health from time to time.

We’d like to draw your attention to her mindful minutes video, which is jam-packed full of her favourite ways to give herself some ‘me’ time and chill out. From keeping your room tidy to getting fairy lights and taking a walk, it’s a great, realistic checklist for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. And if you like Zoella’s take on mental health, it’s also worth checking out her Anxiety Q&A.

Marissa Rachel: Period struggles only girls will understand

In this video, YouTuber Marissa Rachel shares some of those period woes that everyone can relate to, from worrying about leaks and spots to those ‘flood’ moments, tampon maths and, er, the endless pooing.

If you like Marissa and her happy, honest style then also check out Awkward moments that happen on your period, Swimming on your period… and basically her whole period playlist. She’s experienced when it comes to menses-related advice, as well as really, really funny.

Ask Kimberley: 5 Genius opening links to talk to your crush

Kimberly is a funny and friendly YouTuber who makes videos packed full of great advice. Some of her videos are aimed at adults, but she has loads specially aimed at teens – so have a good hunt through to find the ones that are right for you. We really like this one about how to start a conversation with your crush, which proves it doesn’t have to be sickeningly scary to talk to someone you fancy.

If you like Kimberly’s advice and the confidence she oozes, we also recommend checking out 20 teen flirting hacks you need to try.

Kaushal Beauty: Realistic back to school makeup tutorial

You don’t have to wear makeup to school – or ever if you don’t fancy it. But if you do like trying out new looks, concealing your spots and getting new products with your pocket money, then you may already know there are so, so many makeup videos on YouTube. We’re talking MILLIONS.

Some are beautiful, amazing and theatrical, but far too OTT for school with products that are far too expensive. This is why we like this simple makeup tutorial from Kaushal Beauty, which features realistic makeup that looks natural, as well as products you’ll find at your local Boots. Score.

Millie T: How to revise for exams – weird tips that actually work

There are lots of great revision videos on YouTube, but this one from Millie T is a firm favourite of ours because she’s just like us! Her advice feels real, achievable and she even ropes her mum (who’s a teacher) in for her tips too – even though she gets a bit nervous on camera. She recommends revising like you’re learning how to teach the subject, getting plenty of sleep and using a flashcards app, as well as plenty of other handy tips.

If you like Millie, she’s also got a great everyday makeup tutorial and 10 New Snapchat hacks you need to know.

Hannah Witton: 25 Things I’ve learnt in 25 years

One of our all-time favourite YouTube stars, Hannah Witton has made a list of things she’s learnt throughout her life. Some are silly and fun, like learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but other lessons are really helpful – like getting to the dentist more, flirting and listening to what your body wants. You could probably take some nuggets of wisdom from Hannah’s video, but more than anything else she’s just so entertaining to watch – like our imaginary cool older sister.

We bet that if you haven’t seen any of Hannah’s videos before you’ll be hooked after this one, so check out our interview with Hannah about her brand new book, Doing It. She covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sex, like contraception, STDs, periods and all the other funny and messy bits. She also has some great videos about navigating life, crushes and stress too, we really like tips for stress and on dealing with life.

Shannon Beveridge: A letter to you

We’ve written about this video from YouTuber Shannon Beveridge before, but wanted to share it again because it really is powerful and beautiful. It’s a letter Shannon has written to her younger self about her sexuality. You’ve been warned, it’s a tear-jerker – but it’s also great to watch if you’ve been feeling a bit sad and lost recently. Whether it’s to do with your sexuality, or anything else in life.

@BeccaCaddy

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Watching a BFF go through heartbreak is almost as hard as being the one with the broken heart. It sucks, big time. Whether the love she has for a crush turns out to be oh-so-unrequited, or a childhood sweetheart has cruelly cut the cord – she’s going to need you.

Of course, the obligatory two or three days of self-pity are allowed. A tub of Ben & Jerry’s, a Twilight film marathon and a jumbo packet of heavy-duty tissues should do the trick. But then it’s time to spread some positive vibes and help her to see that your friendship is the real romance here.

1. Shout out to my ex playlist

Create a playlist for your pal and get ready to sing, shout or scream out the lyrics together while dancing like electricity is running through you. Leave the soppy ballads out of this and stick to upbeat hits with a strong, independent girl message.

Beyoncé’s greatest hits are a broken-hearted girl’s arsenal. I play them on repeat after every breakup and strut down the street/corridor/supermarket aisle with my headphones plugged in, knowing that Bey’s 100% on my side.

2. Squad, assemble!

It’s time to call in a favour from your mum and organise that sleepover she’s been promising for the last few months. Gather the girls together and ask them to bring along your BFF’s favourite snacks, or all chip in for an obscenely indulgent takeaway.

My personal film recommendation is Legally Blonde. I consider enrolling into law school for at least five minutes after every viewing of this film. Sure, the wardrobe is so dated that each outfit probably causes long-term damage to your eyes. But the story is so great, the positive message is powerful and Reese Witherspoon is peak Reese Witherspoon. Oh, and it’s hilarious!

3. Headline Glastonbury (well, kinda…)

Fact: there is nothing cooler, more liberating and as empowering than being in a band. With heartache comes top material for angsty pop hits, we have Taylor Swift as proof of this. So, dust off your dad’s guitar, tell your friend to put those piano lessons to good use, rope in a drummer and get writing.

There are loads of YouTube tutorials that you can use to learn chords, if you’re finding it tricky. You might just be the next Haim, but even if you’re not, it’s still MEGA FUN.

4. New hobbies, new friends

Meeting new people and trying new things are always a good idea. You and your best pal could enrol for after-school activities such as a sports club, drama school, dance lessons or local volunteering. Most places will offer a taster session so you can give a few activities a try before committing to something together.

Earlier this year I attended a script writing course and a community band class. I was apprehensive before turning up but they turned out to be some the most rewarding and fun evenings of my year. They were nearly as fun as watching 3 GoT episodes back-to-back on a Monday night.

5. Sign out of social media for a while

We’ve all been there, scrolling through an ex’s Instagram feed, holding our breath, hoping our shaky finger doesn’t accidentally hit the like button on the photo he’s just uploaded of a pretty girl. WHO IS SHE? WHERE ARE THEY? HOW DARE HE! Etc.

 

Social media is such a huge part of our lives, and generally it’s fun, positive and even necessary for communication. But after a breakup, we know it’s best left alone for a week or so – yet every single one of us totally ignores this rule despite knowing how much hurt a photo or status can cause us.

If you think you can handle it, tell your friend you’ll support her by going on a digital detox with her for a few days. Or, at least distract her from her phone by doing super cool things together instead.

6. Listen, chat, hug, LOVE

Sometimes, all you can do is be there for your friend, shower them with love, listen at the other end of the phone on a late Tuesday night and keep reminding them how awesome they are. Now is the time to do this, and your pal won’t forget it if your own heart takes a battering in the future.

If she’s really down in the dumps about things, encourage her to talk to one of her family members or the school counsellor. Just be the BFF that you’d want in your time of need, the one that you no doubt already are.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Except, it probably feels like the absolute worst if you’re about to spend Christmas without one of your parents for the first time.

If a parent has died, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by feelings of loss when everyone else seems to be having a jolly old time with their picture-perfect family.

Life’s hard enough, with school work, peer pressure and weird body changes – so losing a parent in the home isn’t something you’d ever put on your letter to Santa. It can be a very turbulent time for the whole family, leading to anxiety and worry about your family structure, unity, security, living arrangements, schooling, finances and changes with general day-to-day living.

It’s usual to feel angry, numb, guilty or in denial. And it’s not uncommon to develop habits (comfort eating, fidgeting), imagine seeing your parent still there in the home, or regress back to how you acted when you were younger. Basically, we all handle and express our emotions in individual ways under stressful circumstances.

And that’s the most important thing to remember: everyone deals with loss and grief differently.

You might put on a brave face, determined to stick with your family traditions. Or maybe you address the loss by lighting a candle or putting a special family photo up on the mantelpiece. And sometimes, you might just want to snuggle up with your siblings on the sofa and have a good cry.

Whatever way you go about it, Christmas can actually be a good time to process grief. It’s just important to make sure that you’re surrounded by the love and support that’s still there for you, and to feel confident about seeking professional help available to you if needed.

I spoke with Nicola Dass, a Community Therapist at The Children’s Society who advises young people in need of help every day. Nicola shared the advice she’d give to anyone going through loss this Christmas:

“I would encourage you to talk to someone you feel comfortable with and trust with your feelings. This may be a family member, school teacher, friend, doctor, specialist services, professional counsellor – either face to face or via an appropriate helpline service.

“Talking to others who have gone through similar experiences may be helpful as it helps you see that you are not alone. If talking about emotions is too difficult, it may be helpful to write in a journal or do something creative, such as using photos to create a collage or a memory board to keep those memories alive.

“It’s important to maintain contact with friends and continue the activities you have always enjoyed, like community youth clubs, places of worship, school and other places of gathering. And going out with friends or attending social events is a helpful strategy to escape highly charged emotions and atmosphere at home.

“Everyone encounters loss at some point in their lives, no one is exempt as loss comes in many forms and it is intrinsically linked with change. When there is change, we lose what ‘once was’ whether it was something meaningful or not, and this then results in processing emotions, adjusting, experiencing something new and hopefully recovery with the right support.

“In the case of loss through a traumatic event, recovery may take much longer, perhaps years with appropriate professional support. So it’s important that you talk to an adult who you trust and seek the right help. “

There’s no right or wrong way to get through Christmas during such emotional times. Look after yourself and surround yourself with love – including your own.

Here are some useful organisations recommended by Nicola:

. Child Bereavement UK

Relate

. Childline

. Book an appointment with your GP

If you’re worried about your mental health, visit this page.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

@hlouiser89

 

Break ups suck. But after you’ve spent a few weeks cry-singing Taylor Swift songs and eating ice cream straight out of the container, you’re usually ready to move on. Hang on though, what happens if you can’t get over it? Is that a sign you should get back with your ex? Maybe. Before you do, answer these questions – truthfully! – first.

Can you forgive and forget?

This is the biggie. It doesn’t matter what you make of the rest of these questions – if you can’t get over whatever it is that went wrong the first time around, it’s not going to work. You’ll always have nagging doubts and fears in the back of your mind, or you’ll end up bringing it all up in arguments about other things, which isn’t fair on either of you. If you genuinely feel like you’re over it – or maybe recognise that you broke up over something totally stupid in the first place – then there’s definitely a chance for you both.

Can you accept responsibility for things going wrong?

Okay, so if the reason you broke up was because your ex treated you like garbage, this question isn’t for you (and why are you even reading this? Find someone who treats you like a queen). But break ups can be complicated and sometimes neither of you is completely blameless for things turning sour. If you’re able to accept some of the responsibility for the break up, it means you’re in a good place to try again without making the same mistakes.

Will things be different this time?

Unless things change are you just doomed to make the same mistakes again? Can things change? It’s all well and good your ex blowing up your phone with grand promises but unless you really believe things will be different (however big or small that difference needs to be) then chances are you’ll end up back where you are right now.

What do your friends think?

Your friends probably know you better than anyone else – what’s their opinion? After all, they know what you’re like when you’re with your ex. Are you happier? Or constantly stressed and worried? Do they think your ex is good enough for you? If you’ve got mutuals, what’s their opinion? If people think the break-up is for the best, it might well be.

Do you defend your ex when people trash-talk them?

Even if your ex was entirely to blame for your relationship ending, if your instinctive reaction is to stick up for them when people badmouth them, it’s a sign that you’ve made peace with their behaviour and still care about them and respect them. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should get back together, but it’s a better place to start again from than jumping on the b*tch train every time their name is mentioned!

How does the thought of being with someone else make you feel?

No-one wants to think about their ex finding love with someone else (urgh), so don’t let that thought cloud your judgement. Instead, imagine how you’d feel about going out with someone new. If that thought makes you feel sad or even just meh, it means your heart is still hung up on your ex. If it makes you feel excited, giddy and optimistic, then it might be time to move on completely and find someone that makes your stomach do somersaults.

Are you jealous?

Like we said, the thought of your ex starting a new relationship with someone else can be a real punch in the gut, whether you actually want to get back with them or not. Don’t confuse jealousy for love – getting back with your ex just so they don’t go out with anyone else is unfair on them and a total waste of time for you. Knowing they’re dating someone else will hurt for a while, but it does mean you’re free to find a brill new bae yourself.

Are you just lonely?

Another big and important question, this one. If all your friends are coupled up, or you’re feeling bored, or you just want someone to stroke your ego/hair, it can be really tempting to get back with your ex, because it’s easy and familiar. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. If you start getting attention from someone new and your ex drops out of your head, that’s a good sign that it’s not them you want, but the affection of a relationship. Feeling lonely is rubbish, but it’s much better to be alone than with the wrong person!

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Image: Riverdale

Reason #482 why life should be more like American teen movies: the bus would pick us up from our house. None of this walking to the bus stop shiz. We could have ten minutes longer in bed then just roll to the end of the drive like everyone’s favourite schoolgirl, Lisa Simpson.

That’s probably not going to happen, what with the government having their hands full with Brexit and all that. So we’re stuck with the everyday mare of buses as they are, whether you get on a school one or a regular public service.

If you’re lucky then you get to share at least part of the journey with your mates, so whatever other chaos is going on around you, you at least have friends there. Not that this protects you from spit balls coming from the boys at the back.

But if you find you’re on your own, here are eight ways to make the whole experience a bit more bearable aside from silently singing ‘The wheels on the bus’ to yourself. Unless you want to do that, obvs.

1. Make a bus friend

Chances are that pretty much the same people get the same bus as you day in, day out. Could you make friends with one of them? They don’t have to be your new BFF – but you never know, they might actually turn out to be a really cool person who you want to be IRL friends with too.

2. Read betty

So long as reading while travelling doesn’t make you vom, bus journeys are a great time to do some reading. Think of it as your catching-up-with-the-latest-on-betty-time.

3. Download Gojimo

Gojimo is an app containing quizzes related to the exams that you’re studying for. Use the dead time on the bus for doing some cheeky extra swotting up, then arrive at school feeling super smug. Just don’t overdo it and need a disco nap by period three!

4. Get addicted to podcasts

Literally everyone is addicted to podcasts now. Okay, so not everyone, but lots of people are obsessed with them. Get hooked on a series and soon you’ll even be looking forward to time on the bus to listen to the latest episode. Try Eliza Starting At Sixteen for a New York take on being a teenager.

5. Meditate

If the idiots on board really do your head in, how about meditating to block them out? You don’t need a special cushion or bells or windpipes. In fact, you don’t need anything but it can be helpful to use an app like Insight Timer, which has 4,000 free meditations to try. Stick your headphones on and remember that you’ll thank the muppets around you when you’re a chilled out zen master.

6. Get off sooner

This is totes obvs but if you hate the bus, how about getting off a few stops earlier? You’ll get a bit of extra exercise and you might even get to pocket the spare fare – save it towards your first car instead!

7. The actually properly serious tip

Bullying on buses is a serious issue that has even led to suicides. If this is affecting you, Bullying UK advise that ‘On the school bus, try to sit near the driver, or if it’s an ordinary bus, by other adults. If you have to walk part of the way, and you’re afraid of being ambushed, then vary your route, try to leave home and school a bit later or a bit earlier, or see if you can walk with other people who live near you, even if they’re older or younger’.

They also say that your parents or carer should complain to your school because even though this is happening off the premises, they do have the power to punish bullies if it’s taking place on the way to or from school. For more about this, see Bullying UK’s website.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: The Simpsons

As if you weren’t busy and stressed enough with the prospect of, you know, *actual* exams – enter: mock exams. Isn’t it funny how the same teachers who tell you how important the real exams are then decide that what you reeeeeally need to do is a load more exams?

Teachers think that to get you used to exam conditions, you need to practice doing exams. Between SATs, end of year exams, end of term exams, weekly tests, end of module tests and practice papers, you spend plenty of time in exam conditions, thank you very much.

Tbf though, mock exams are actually really useful. Not necessarily because we need exam practice or because they make us panic and work harder when we’re shocked at how badly we do in them. The real reason that mock exams are useful, especially for GCSEs, is revision.

I know what you’re thinking: surely revising for mocks is more work on top of everything else? But do the right revision for your mocks and it will ease the burden when your actual exams come round.

Think of it as the first round of revision. Starting the process ahead of your mocks means all the stuff you need to know in the summer is fresher in your brain. Facts, ideas and formulas that you learnt at the start of Year Ten won’t seem such distant memories if you go over them before round two of revision next year.

Not only that, you can reuse revision materials that you create now. Don’t stick them in the recycling only to begin all over again in a few months! Here are five revision tactics that will totally help tackle life RN…

The Pomodoro Technique

This is one of those things that people interviewed in ‘How I manage my business empire in just an hour a week’ type articles swear by. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato (a bonus tip if you happen to be revising for GCSE Italian) and the guy who invented this technique was using one of those timers shaped like a tomato, hence its name.

Basically you set a timer for 25 minutes and get to work. When the timer sounds, you get a five minute break. Repeat three to four times then take a half hour break. I’ve written 3,000 word essays doing this. It is amazing how much you can get done in those blocks of time!

 

Chunking

This may sound like a plan to build up your thighs by eating enormous quantities of Yorkie chocolate but it actually means breaking subjects down into manageable chunks.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by trying to tackle an entire subject in one go (let’s revise everything about Physics in a single evening, starting NOW), you divide it up into different areas and then even smaller blocks within that.

Try pairing a chunk with a Pomodoro unit.

Interleaving

As well as breaking subjects down into manageable chunks, it’s a good idea to mix different subjects up. This is called interleaving – another fancy pants terms to drop out when your form tutor next asks how the revision’s going.

This really helps if there’s a subject that you’re dreading revising. Rather the prospect of hours and hours on that alone, you can tackle it in smaller pieces: one Pomodoro for a chunk of maths, another for a chunk of History, then English, then Biology – then a break!

Quizzing

Once you’ve been busy with Pomodoro, chunking and interleaving for a while, try testing out your knowledge. There are loads of ways to do this other than just past papers, including apps designed especially for this purpose.

Gojimo contains quizzes related to exams that you’re studying for, and the best part is that it also has explanations so you can figure where you’re going wrong. Always useful!

Timetable

To manage all this Pomodoro-ing, chunking, interleaving and quizzing, you need a timetable to plan out when you’re going to do what. You don’t need vast swathes of time; as all these tactics show, even twenty minutes can be enough time to achieve something.

When making a timetable, don’t fill every waking hour with revision and school work. A teacher who I asked for revision advice said that it’s very important to timetable fun and socialising too, so make sure to do that. It’s a revision technique that we can all get behind!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Maybe your parents have told you that you should see a counsellor. Or maybe a teacher has suggested counselling to you. Or maybe you’ve been doing some Googling and you think it’ll be right for you, but you’re not sure. Well, whether you’re about to head into your first counselling session or you have no idea what it really is, here’s some advice about what you should know before you begin, based on my own experiences.

I’ve found that counselling is a great way to understand your feelings a bit better. It gives you some useful tools you can use everyday, whether you’re dealing with a problem (like bullying) or you just feel sad or angry or anything else. But although that’s the general definition, all sessions are very different…

All counselling is different… REALLY different

It might be called counselling, it might be called therapy. You might attend on your own with just another person or in a group. You might talk lots and lots or your counsellor might be the one who talks lots and lots. In other words, all counselling is very different. I’ve had counselling sessions in which my counsellor asks lots of questions, now I have a therapist who gets me to do a lot of talking – both are good, both are normal, so whatever happens in your counselling session, it’s okay.

If it doesn’t look or feel quite like you imagined, that’s totally normal too. The same goes for how long it might last. Some people find they feel good after just one or two sessions, other people have counselling every week for a few months, or even years.

Be yourself and be brave

In your first few counselling sessions it can feel strange to talk so much about so many personal things. I remember my first counselling session was really quiet. I didn’t want to say too much, so my counsellor ended up talking and I think I said about ten words! But it only took a few sessions for me to become more comfortable. That’s because I realised that my counsellor had spoken to hundreds of people just like me in the past, they knew it was normal to be shy.

The thing to remember is that the more you talk and the more you talk about, the more you’ll get out of it. It can be tempting to put on a bit of a front, fake a smile and pretend things are okay. But the counsellor or therapist you’re talking to is there to listen and help you and not judge. So take a deep breath and try and be as honest and open and uniquely, amazingly YOU as possible!

It’s normal to see a counsellor… Just ask the celebs!

It can feel weird that you’re having counselling. I remember when I first went to see a counsellor I was worried something was wrong with me. But the truth is, lots of people go to counselling. Over the years many of my friends have spoken to me about their experiences with counselling and therapy – even some of my most confident friends!

You only have to look at the news recently to see loads of celebrities of all ages talking about their experiences with therapy and counselling, like Kesha, Emma Thompson and J.K. Rowling. In fact, one of the biggest things people say is that they wish they’d started going to counselling earlier.

There is no right way to do counselling

Not only is all counselling different, but there’s no ‘right’ way to do it. There’s also no right way to be, or to feel. Some people have lots of sessions and feel better after. I remember it took me a few months to start to overcome my difficult feelings, and even then I still felt them sometimes. This doesn’t mean that my therapy or counselling hasn’t worked, it just means that the process can take some time. Remember, however you feel, that’s okay.

If you really don’t feel good after a few sessions, ask your therapist about it. They’re used to dealing with people who feel all kinds of feelings. Even if you don’t think therapy is working, you’re allowed to say.

Be proud of yourself

But more than anything feel proud that you’re taking a step to make yourself feel happier. Even if it doesn’t feel that way right now, you’re really brave for thinking about counselling or for going to counselling. Well done!

To find out more about counselling and mental health services for teens, visit the Young Minds website. If you’re feeling very low or you need urgent help, then get in touch with Childline – someone there will be able to help you straight away.

@BeccaCaddy

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Erm, doesn’t it seem like only yesterday when you were happily whizzing around on your scooter in the park or playing hopscotch with your pals and your deepest thoughts consisted mainly of what Santa was going to bring you for crimbo? Sorry to break it to you, but those were the glory days. Now? Well, everything feels kinda different doesn’t it? Suddenly there’s big-deal stuff going on and you’re feeling all the emotions on the regular.

Mood swings are a legit part of going through puberty, starting your period, and dealing with the hefty package of hormones that come your way. There are changes going on in your body rn that are beyond your control, so if you’re questioning “AM I EVEN NORMAL?” as you slam your bedroom door so hard it almost comes off the hinges, cut yourself some slack. This is normal behaviour. And it won’t last forever.

Tbf, it’s pretty inconvenient to be permanently on the edge of a tantrum or teary moment though. So before you contemplate hibernating from the world and emerging when you’re 25, here are some of the major moods you might be feeling at the mo, and what you can do to help handle them.

You’re angry

Oh. The. Rage. We’ve all felt the anger-monster a million times over – when your blood is literally boiling and you feel like you’ve got a fire-breathing dragon living inside of you.

And here’s the kicker. Such dramatic feelings are probably the result of some teeny-weeny, innocent crime such as your bro nicking the TV remote or your mate blanking you on Whatsapp. Irrational? Yep. Controllable? Nope.

What to do?

Breathe. That’s all. You just need to breathe through your anger until you’ve calmed down. This can prevent an outburst that you might regret later when the trigger moment has passed. Close your eyes and inhale slowly for five seconds and exhale slowly for five seconds – with each breath you should feel the red mist start to lift. Another way you can deal is to harness those fierce emotions and direct them into exercise, or channel them into a creative project – some of the greatest artists, musicians and writers have made their best work when being in an angry place.

You’re reckless

If you’re often impulsive or have a habit of blurting stuff out without thinking, there’s actually a reason for it. Here’s a nugget to quote to your parents when you’ve been grounded (again) for doing something stupid. Studies have shown that the front part of the brain, called the prefrontal cortex, isn’t fully developed until around the age of 20.

Because this area of the brain is responsible for sensible stuff like planning, anticipation, controlling and understanding emotions, it explains why teenagers are likely to do crazy, careless stuff sometimes.

What to do?

You’ve probably realised that just saying soz after doing something silly or potentially dangerous unfortunately doesn’t cut it as you’re getting older, so being able to asses a situ for its risk factor is an essential skill to learn. Take five seconds to ask yourself these simple questions before saying or doing something bonkers; “Is this *really* a good idea?”, “is it worth getting into trouble for?” and “will I look back on this as a major fail moment?”. Getting into this habit will help you to make better life decisions. The bonus is that the more you can show your ‘rents you’re considering your actions and can be responsible, the more they’ll trust you and not treat you like a kid. And the more you won’t get angry (see above).

You’re sad

Sometimes everything seems a bit bleak doesn’t it? And that’s ok. It would be weird if we were super-happy and smiley 24/7, that’s just not real life.

Feeling totes emosh – whether it’s experiencing hurt, disappointment, grief, overwhelm, or just a general low mood – is totally normal, even more so around the time when your period is due. Yep, there’s those pesky hormones at play again.

What to do?

There’s no need to deny your feelings or be ashamed of your sadness. Meaning, if you want to bawl your eyes out while you torture your soul watching sad movie after sad movie, do it. Having a big ugly cry is a natural, healthy way to relieve pent up, heavy emotions and it’s likely you’ll feel soooo much better for it afterwards. Here’s an idea though, why not try challenging your grey mood with a change of scenery and belly-laughter – being cooped up alone in your bedroom sure doesn’t help when you’re low. Hanging out and having mega-lolz with your mates, especially when you least feel like it, can be the best medicine for blasting sadness.

You’re anxious

So it’s standard to get stressed when you run into your crush and your hair is a disaster, or feel worried before taking an exam, but sometimes anxious feelings can strike when you’re doing totally normal, everyday stuff. And that sucks.

The right kind of anxiety can be a useful way of telling you that things are not quite what they should be, or that you need to get out of a situation you’re clearly not comfortable with, but if you regularly find yourself suffering with major stress, you’re massively worrying about the future and your jangly feelings are stopping you enjoying life and having fun, it might be time to go ninja on this sneaky emotion.

What to do?

Anxiety is often fuelled by a bunch of negative thoughts, so the key is to recognise your internal neggy voice and shut it down before it can run rampage – resulting in you feeling stressed, on edge, and all kinds of urgh. By over-analysing situations or worrying about the potential outcomes of something before it has *even* happened (we hear ya), it’s easy to feed the untruths going on in your brain ­– but they are just that, untruths. Working out the reality of a situ vs what your head is telling you is tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it you can push those negative thoughts to one side and not let them side-track your life.

One final thought. If you’re really struggling with your moods, or the lows don’t seem to lift, you should chat to someone about how you’re feeling – having a healthy mind is equally as important as having a healthy body and your parents, teachers and GP are there to help you navigate these difficult emotions.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

The end of school is nigh, and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve got 100 decisions to make. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to go to college, or uni, or do I want to get stuck straight into work? It’s easy to feel lost when you don’t know what you want to do, or how to get there.

But while you have literally your whole life to make up your mind, a little bit of good advice can go a long way. So with that in mind, in a series of interviews, we’re speaking to women who’ve ‘made it’, and asking their advice on how to follow in their footsteps.

This month, we speak to Ashwini Gawde, a physiotherapist…

What actually *is* your job?

The fancy word for it is a ‘neuromusculoskeletal’ physiotherapist, which means I specialise in problems with muscles and bones, which are related to the brain. My job is to find out what’s wrong with a patient, provide a diagnosis and then come up with a plan to treat them. It could be as simple as lower back pain, or headaches related to pain in the arm, or it could be more serious. These sorts of problems are becoming really common—it’s because of our modern lifestyles, being in offices and not forgetting the mobile phones we all look down at!

How did you get into that type of physiotherapy?

I always wanted to be a neurosurgeon—I found it really fascinating and it seemed challenging. My specialism is a similar field. But it was by destiny, really! I always wanted to help people, so to be a doctor or something, and by chance my dad suggested I apply to do it as a backup, just in case I didn’t get into others. But it made my career. I believe you will always end up where your heart wants you to go.

Do you have to know all about the brain to do what you do?!

You don’t need specific training to go into any one field—but I did have to have some experience. You can do that in hospitals, sports clubs, or in private clinics. It means you know what to expect and will help give you a better idea what your interests are. There are loads of different fields—respiratory (breathing), cardiovascular, sports. If you would love to be a sports physio, it’s a good idea to get some experience with a football or rugby team, for example.

The big question: uni or no uni?

You do need a degree to be a physio—a BSc in physiotherapy, which is three years at university. You could also do a masters in a specialism for one or two years, which would help. It depends on the uni you want to go to, but usually you have to have A levels in biology or human biology to do physiotherapy at university.

What’s a typical day like?

I don’t start at the clinic until 1:30pm, which is nice. I work shifts. I’ll see patients with all sorts of problems—spine injuries, people who’ve had strokes, people with cerebral palsy. It’s hands-on work: I do a type of massage, teach them stretching exercises. The most important thing is patient education—explaining to them why it’s happened, what it means and how what I am doing is going to help them.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to help people get back to their daily lives, from a state of sometimes being in bed and unable to move on their own. When you see them smile and becoming independent, moving on with their lives, I must say it is so rewarding. Nothing gives you more of that special feeling about yourself! I also get to meet so many new people, so my job is never boring. Educating people about their health is fascinating.

Are there any bad parts?

All the documentation, and using a computer! I love my job, but I hate spending time in front of a computer, I would much rather do reports by hand. Saying that, I understand how important it is and although I dread doing it, I have to get it done as it’s important keep records up to date.

Is physiotherapy a male-dominated field?

I personally always felt it was rather female-dominated. I have never felt limited—rather, I always felt empowered by my job choice.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 14-year-old self, what would it be?

If you really want to do something for mankind, help people and see lives changing, then physiotherapy is the field for you!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

We’re calling it: while having a super tight, exclusive group of friends means your social life is sorted, branching out and finding buddies that you have one to one connections with can serve you well when it comes to becoming more confident, learning about yourself, and discovering skills that will come in handy for future adult friendships.

Your gang of besties will share the same in joke over and over again, until it’s as familiar and comforting as your favourite cosy hoodie. But new friends will share different stories and ideas, broadening your horizons and showing you the world in a different way. Here’s what new friends can do for you – and what you can do for your friends!

Sporty friends

You might already be part of the sporty crowd, but if you’re a sweat dodger, you might think that you will never have anything in common with anyone who plays hockey at lunch for fun. Think again! People who are enthusiastic about a sport tend to be passionate about life in general, and more often than not, they’re desperate to show people why PE is so brilliant. They won’t mind if you’re lacking in coordination, and have a tendency to run away when you see a ball coming towards you. They will be able to show you a life-enhancing, energy-boosting side to sport that will inspire you, and you’ll be able to allow them to share their big love, which is even more fun than triple Games.

Geeky friends

It seems like 100 years and 100 high school movies since geeks were considered uncool. The geeks have inherited the earth, and smart people appreciate smart people. Nerdiness and a love of learning is what makes the world progress.

However, if you’re not a self-describing geek, you might find geeks slightly intimidating and scarily clever. But geeky friends are great friends because they are some of the wisest, most interesting people on the planet – and importantly, while they might get seemingly endless A-grades, they’re usually more interested in the process than the result. Befriend a geek, become a geek, and realise that the smartest people in the room are the ones who are excited about what they don’t know, and prepared to ask lots of questions to find out.

The ‘quiet’ one

This comes with the caveat that you can’t make anyone be friends with you, and if someone is genuinely so shy that they’d rather eat lunch in the loo than sit with you, it’s not fair to force them out of their shell and comfort zone. But: quiet people are the ones most likely to get overlooked, when they could secretly be the funniest person you’ve ever met, or have a really fascinating hobby, or a super exciting musical talent. If you find yourself drawn to the noisiest people, see if you can get that quiet person talking, and learn how to shut up and listen.

The popular pal

According to ancient pop culture rules, being popular makes you really mean; the sort of person who likes to steal boyfriends and ruin proms. The law of averages says that in the history of time, there must be one or two popular prom-wreckers – but consider this. People are popular because they are liked, and they’re liked because they’re usually really nice. If you’ve decided to avoid the most popular girl at school because you’ve seen Mean Girls many times and you know what Regina George is capable of, it might be time to open up and be friendly. Hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

That super cool sixth former

Don’t be frightened! You might think your style/life crush is far too busy with A levels / UCAS applications / the general excitement of being 18 to appreciate an approach from a fan who wants to become a friend. However, they will be flattered if you say hello, and if you follow it up with a question about a shared passion – you’ve heard they’re taking Economics and you’re curious about it, or you’d love to know where they got their bag from – you have an ice breaker that might get a friendship started. Sometimes you have to find your own mentors. Approaching someone older and wiser is initially scary, but the benefits are massive.

The sweet but terrifyingly enthusiastic first year

You don’t remember being so confident when you were their age. Or so loud. Or… brazen. The younger person who wants to be your buddy might not seem like your cup of tea, but it’s definitely worth giving them a chance. Marissa Mayer of Yahoo recommends surrounding yourself with friends of all ages, because younger people can teach you as much as older people. This person is reaching out because they want to learn from you. Why not see what you can learn from them too? If nothing else, what they know about Snapchat hacks will make your head spin.

@NotRollergirl

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: St Trinian’s 

I’ll be honest, guys – I was a little bit embarrassed about writing this. Despite the fact I’m an actual grown woman who is supposed to have proper things to worry about (like… um, mortgages? Recycling? I still don’t know), I was reluctant to actually put the words down on paper (ok, screen) in case everyone laughed and pointed and the villagers turned up at my door with pitchforks and fire.

But yes, it’s true. I was a teenage snogging celibate.

I had what could *generously* be called my ‘first kiss’ when I was 11 – from my middle school boyfriend, on the cheek, barely a moist residue left – and smugly assumed that it would be the first of many kisses. Longer, wetter ones. I thought I was firmly on the saliva highway; the long road to Snogsville, tongue population: two. Little did I know it would be a full seven years before I actually achieved mouth-on-mouth contact, and then it would be when I was old enough to drink and vote.

There are many reasons it never happened, in theory. The main one: I went to an all-girls high school, and barely knew any boys. Our bin-sack uniforms felt fugly enough to send any potential bus stop snog partners running for the hills, and all my extra-curricular hobbies – ballet, amateur dramatics, hanging round in Accessorize trying on big hats – weren’t exactly spilling over with viable straight boys. Who was I going to snog? The caretaker’s son? The boy who worked in Co-op?

Also, I was fussy. While my mates went to parties and cheerfully got off with whatever friend’s brother’s cousin they could find as long as he was adolescent and doused in enough Lynx Africa, I shied away and quietly waited for The Dream Snog Situation to present itself. If I was only patient enough, I thought, a cross between Mr Darcy and Oliver Wood from Harry Potter would turn up on my doorstep with a pot of Carmex and a string quartet.

But they didn’t. The years rolled by, and I stayed un-snogged. It started to feel as though other people’s lives were one long tongueathon, only coming up for air every so often to tell me about it during assembly.

Everything else arrived that puberty had promised – periods, boobs, pubes, chin acne – but still no kissing opportunities, except boyband posters and the back of my own hand. At this point I became less fussy. I’d settle for a spin-the-bottle kiss; a dare; a guy accidentally falling on my mouth as he walked past in a corridor. Maybe CPR, at a push. I worried that everyone could tell, which would make me even less kissable. I felt like an old sandwich, marked down with a bright yellow sticker because it was past its snog-by date.

Then at sixth-form college, finally surrounded by boys after four years of basically being a nun in a navy jumper, I got so excited I immediately fell in love with about 10 at once – but because the only type of flirting I knew how to do was gazing seductively (read: staring creepily) at them across rooms, no snogging happened then either. Boys were more likely, it turned out, to snog the girl who actually had a conversation with them than the one who appeared to be trying to put a hex on them with her scary saucer-eyes from the other side of the canteen (important life lesson, write that down).

So that’s how I ended up 18, losing my kissing virginity as a university fresher. I would never know what it’s like to have that awkward teenage first kiss – the lingering snog goodnight on your parents’ doorstep, the hour-long, messy make-out sesh in the corner of a school disco, or the kind where your mates gather outside the cupboard door, giggling.

And you know what? It turns out that’s fine. Better than fine: nobody even gives a s**t! People are generally far too obsessed with their own hang-ups to really pay attention to yours (write that down too). There may not have been a string quartet, but there wasn’t any laughing or pointing either. The guy in question didn’t pull away in horror, yelling “what are you DOING?! THAT’S NOT HOW THE TONGUE BIT GOES.” And once it was done it was done; just like that, the issue dissolved into thin air. Not once in all the years since has anyone ever even asked about it. And FYI guys – not trying to sound like a snogging superhero or anything, but I’ve more than made up for lost time.

More importantly, I’ve never regretted not snogging anyone sooner. Honest. I’m glad I didn’t leap on the caretaker’s son, or the boy who worked in Co-op, or try to instigate spin-the-bottle in the sixth-form common room. Although I also have no doubt that if I had got off with every juicy pair of lips that crossed my path, that would have been fine and fun and hilarious too; just different.

Because here’s the real secret: it all evens out, eventually. Whether you have your first kiss at 13, 18 or 33, lovely though it will eventually be, practice never really makes perfect. Just spit. All you actually need to have achieved by the end of your teen years is to have a few good people around you, and a few funny stories to tell – and you can tell yours just as well (better, even) without someone else’s tongue in your mouth.

@laurenbravo

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

The end of school is nigh, and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve got 100 decisions to make. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to go to college, or uni, or do I want to get stuck straight into work? It’s easy to feel lost when you don’t know what you want to do, or how to get there.

But while you have literally your whole life to make up your mind, a little bit of good advice can go a long way. So with that in mind, in a series of interviews, we’re speaking to women who’ve ‘made it’, and asking their advice on how to follow in their footsteps.

This month, we speak to Lydia Cherry, an interior designer.

What actually *is* your job?

I am an interior designer and mainly work on people’s homes. I meet people and chat about how they would like their rooms designed, which colour schemes would best suit the space and how best to create the perfect room for them.

Was this always what you wanted to do?

When I was younger I played The Sims, and downloaded loads of files of new furniture and designs so that I could create lots of different styles. I didn’t ever actually play the game, I just designed the houses. I would also help my mum with colour and materials when we were decorating our house. I guess I have always had a passion for it.

Describe your typical day

Researching new ideas, taking aspects of different designs and incorporating them into my own. It also involves drawing plans of the space, creating layouts, working on mood boards and then drawing 3D images of the design to create visuals for the client, so they can see how their space will look.

What’s the best part of your job?

For me, I like creating a space within a home that is relaxing, cosy and a nice environment for the people who live there. I love working with colour and texture too. Creating mood boards is something I am passionate about, as you can play around with different styles and create a feel for the space before going ahead with the design.

Are there any bad parts?

There aren’t many bad parts to the job really, but finding the right suppliers and trade companies can be stressful, especially when working to a budget.

The Big Question: uni or no uni?

I have a degree within interiors, although I think it is possible to get into it without one. Personally I would recommend doing it through university. If you ever wanted to work abroad, they generally ask for degrees.

What about A levels?

My A levels were in art textiles, photography and ICT. Choosing related A levels is always a good idea, and working hard in those to then gain the best grades you can will set you up well for university or college, depending on which way you want to go. Work experience is key, I didn’t gain enough early on, so I would recommend writing to as many interior design places as possible to try and get into somewhere to gain that experience.

Describe your dream house…

I still dream of my ‘dream’ house even now. A country-style, stone-built house with open fires and cosy interiors. Somewhere I could constantly work on and improve and create entirely myself.

What advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?

Gain more experience within interior design firms and concentrate harder on my school work. It sounds clichéd, but it sets you up for the next stage. I would also recommend learning 3D packages, for example 3Ds Max, Photoshop and Autocad as early as possible.

@EllieCostigan

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.