10 Random YouTube Videos To Watch On Repeat

If you have hopes of being productive today, then you better go somewhere else. Seriously, get out of here.

But if, on the other hand, you woke up this morning with a curious urge to burn a boatload of time on YouTube, then welcome. Please come in. You are among friends here.

What follows are 10 videos that I have spent days upon days watching, listening to, and LOLing at. A lot of them are musical, but some are not. Hence, they are random. So without further ado, here are 10 random YouTube videos to watch on repeat.

T-Pain Unplugs at Tiny Desk

The Tiny Desk Concert series features musicians performing at a desk inside the NPR music office. The sets are small and intimate and absolutely fantastic. But the most surprising performance is seeing auto-tune guru T-Pain unplug and go au naturel.

Prince Rips A 3 Minute Guitar Solo

Here is Prince absolutely shredding the solo to While My Guitar Gently Weeps. He comes in at the 3:28 mark and then just plays through the conclusion of the performance, whether he was supposed to or not, before tossing his guitar into the stratosphere and strutting off stage. Goddamn, Prince was the coolest.

God Dammit Donald Brown

Here we have the premier sports lowlight. Listen closely before the snap and you can hear future HOF quarterback and raging perfectionist Peyton Manning scream LEFT, presumably signaling for running back Donald Brown to head that direction and help with the weak side blitz.

So what does Donald do? He immediately goes right. The protection crumbles and a notoriously immobile Manning is forced to flee and slide. But before going down, he takes a moment to curse Donald’s name. A mic picks up the audio and carries it into the homes of half the country. Classic. (You’ll have to click through to YouTube to watch the video).

Mike Tyson KOs Some Guys

Sometimes after a long day at the office or when I’m generally just sick and tired, it really lifts my spirits to watch Mike Tyson beat the living shit out of some guys. Listen closely to the smack at 2:20. Brutal.

Chance The Rapper Rocks The White House

Here we have your standard, run-of-the-mill rap performance. You know, just a rapper, choir, and trumpeter performing for the President and First Family on the front lawn of the White House.

Amy Winehouse – Valerie

A few years ago, my cousin sent me this video. I have listened to it 1,000 times since. Amy Winehouse was 5’2” 110 pounds. Here now is proof that soul comes in very small packages.

SonReal – Try

Apparently, soul also comes wrapped in a floral pattern with knee socks and a dangly earring. Finder’s fee here goes to my brother.

Volcano Choir – Comrade

Justin Vernon is the best musician of this generation and if you disagree, then come fight me, because I am willing to go to war over this proclamation. Anyway, here is an absolute gem.

Pinegrove Live From Some Forest

There are better live versions of this song, but this one is the most intriguing. For example, what are they doing on this rock? What exactly is the bearded kid doing with that Casio? And where did the blonde kid get those pants? I want to know. Anyway, good tune.

Leon Bridges Live At Tiny Desk

A lot of great soul singers have been compared to Sam Cooke. Few are worthy of the comparison. Leon Bridges is one of the few.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

Am I Legally Required To Show My Receipt To A Walmart Greeter?

I was in a hurry, and I swear crap like this only happens when I’m in a hurry. It was Friday afternoon and I was headed to a buddy’s cabin for the weekend. Unsure of the bed situation and knowing that two nights on the floor and a weekend of drinking would likely kill me, I decided to pick up an air mattress.

To save time, I bought the mattress online and opted for in-store pickup. According to Walmart’s website, in-store pickup was quick and hassle free! In reality, in-store pickup was a goddamn nightmare.

I entered the store and followed the signs to the pickup area. Easy enough. However, when I approached the counter, nobody was there. I waited a few minutes. Still, no one. I walked to one of the cashiers standing in front of her lane.

Me: “Would you mind helping me out in in-store pickup?”

Darla: “Only the in-store pickup cashier can do that.”

Me: “Well she seems to be missing. Any idea as to her whereabouts?”

Darla: “She might be finishing her cigarette.”

Me: “Okay.”

I returned to the pickup counter and there was the missing cashier.

“How can I help you?” she asked (she had indeed been finishing her cigarette).

She handed me the mattress, and I threw it in a cart. I put the receipt in my pocket and headed into the store for some snacks.

I went through the self checkout, bagged my snacks and, ready to start the weekend, headed for the door — I made it 3 steps before being stopped by a greeter.

“Sir, I’ll need your receipt.”

Annoyed but compliant, I handed it over. The greeter rummaged through my snack bag marking the receipt as she went.

Anticipating the inevitable question as to why this giant, unbagged air mattress wasn’t on the receipt, I began to pull my in-store pickup receipt from my pocket before she interrupted me.

“Alright, sir, have a good night.”

And it is here where I transitioned from being slightly annoyed to very angry. Because while the greeter successfully inventoried $8 worth of trail mix and Red Vines, she missed the giant $70 mattress sitting unbagged in the front of the cart. And if she missed the mattress, then she wasn’t doing her job. And if she’s not doing her job, then why in the hell are we standing here?

I began to think long and hard about the situation:

Is this even legal? On one hand, she’s an employee. But on the other hand, doesn’t the transfer of goods occur upon purchase? Like aren’t these my items now? Isn’t she technically just stopping me to rummage through my personal belongings? What are her rights? What are Walmart’s rights? Most importantly, what are my rights?

Answers to those important questions and more right now:

The Rights Of A Retailer: Shopkeeper’s Privilege

Shopkeeper’s Privilege is a common law designed to protect retailers from theft. It allows retailers to detain suspected shoplifters. The detainment must occur on store property and the merchant can only hold the suspect for a reasonable amount of time, i.e., until the police arrive.

Can A Retailer Use Shopkeeper’s Privilege To Stop Anyone?

No. The key here is Shopkeeper’s Privilege only applies to suspected shoplifters, so the merchant must have probable cause that the customer has shoplifted. What does probable cause look like?

Although shoplifting laws vary by state, merchants can look for the following steps to establish probable cause:

  1. You must see the shoplifter approach your merchandise.
  2. You must see the shoplifter select your merchandise.
  3. You must see the shoplifter conceal your merchandise.
  4. You must maintain continuous observation of the shoplifter.
  5. You must see the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise.
  6. You must approach the shoplifter outside of the store but on store grounds.

The Rights Of The Consumer

Shopkeeper’s Privilege is designed to protect retailers from shoplifting. But what if you’re not a shoplifter?

In the event of a receipt check, Walmart has not seen you conceal and fail to pay for merchandise, because you have not stolen anything. You are innocent of everything other than being randomly selected for a receipt check. So what does this mean for you, the paying customer, when a friendly face in a yellow vest asks for your receipt?

Well, you can do what most of us do and comply, thereby subjecting yourself to a voluntary search. But you can also say “no.” You can say “no thanks.” Hell, you can even say “hell no.”

Receipt checks are voluntary and if you’re not in the mood for one, it’s within your rights to be on your merry way.

What If You’re Prevented From Leaving?: False Imprisonment

If you decline the receipt check and the employee detains you or in any way prevents you from leaving the store, the retailer can be held liable for false imprisonment. False imprisonment is the illegal confinement of an individual against his or her will and is both a civil violation and a crime.

Is This The Case At All Retail Stores?

Some club stores like Costco list receipt checks as a condition of membership within its membership agreement. Refusing to show your receipt at a club store could be terms for membership termination.

Conclusion: Should You Show Your Receipt?

Probably. Listen, is it worth shitting all over a 75 year old retiree making minimum wage just so you can exercise your rights as an American? And even when you’re in a hurry, it’s not like it takes more than 5 seconds, especially when the greeter’s doing a half-assed job.

Additionally, in many cases, employees — who obviously are short on proper training — have attempted to detain customers for refusing to show their receipts. Getting confrontational with a Walmart greeter is not a good look, regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong. And if you are unlawfully detained, then what are you gonna do? Start a legal battle with one of the biggest corporations on the planet?

If you really want to take a stand, then pay a few extra dollars to shop somewhere other than Walmart. I hear Target’s in-store pickup is top notch.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!


Robbins, Ira P., Vilifying the Vigilante: A Narrowed Scope of Citizen’s Arrest (June 16, 2016). Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2016; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2016-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2796715

Victoria S. Salzmann, Big-Box Bullies Bust Benign Buyer Behavior: Wal-Mart, Get Your Hands Off My Receipt!, 4 Fla. A&M U. L. Rev. (2009).
Available at: http://commons.law.famu.edu/famulawreview/vol4/iss1/2



The Diary Of A Man On Thanksgiving

I have tremendous news for you, dear reader. I know the holidays are here. I know we’re on the brink of a 4 day weekend. I know there are many things to be excited about right now, but here’s one more:

You’re about to get an exclusive look inside the mind of a man on Thanksgiving.

I know, I know, try to contain yourself. You’ll need your composure as you follow along with this real-life tale about meat sweats, Black Friday Doorbusters, and long naps on the couch in front of out-of-town relatives.

Are you ready? Then let’s do it. Here now is a diary of a man on Thanksgiving.

7:00 AM, Thanksgiving, 2016

I wake up without an alarm. My wife and the girl are still asleep. The house is quiet. I make coffee and christen the holiday cookie creamer I’ve been saving. It does not disappoint. The sun is rising. I am feeling quite festive. I decide to go full Hallmark Movie on the situation. I wrap up in my robe and turn on the fireplace. This is the best I’ll feel all day.

7:30 AM

I grab the laptop and check my fantasy lineups. I love how football has infiltrated the holiday. Nothing brings a family together on the couch in silence like the NFL on Thanksgiving. So traditional. So American.

7:45 AM

The Vikings play at 11:30. I give myself a little pep talk: don’t let the outcome of the game ruin Thanksgiving.

8:30 AM

I decide to forgo breakfast, saving every inch of stomach space for meat, treats, and beer later on.

9:30 AM

I hop in the shower. I get out and am faced with a big decision: sweats or jeans? On one hand, I’ll see a lot of extended family today. I’m an adult now and am probably expected to look presentable.

But on the other hand, I don’t really give a shit. I’d rather be comfortable. I know! I’ll wear my dress sweats! My dress sweats are made of modern, dry-fit material. These are sleek and stylish, very presentable sweats. Nothing like the giant Champion sweats all the dads wore in the 80s. Dress sweats have all the comfort of the 80s dad, but none of the look. The perfect combo.

10:00 AM

I walk downstairs.

Wife: You’re wearing your dress sweats?

Me: I am.

Wife: Your brother wore jeans last year. I think you should wear jeans.

Me: Listen, I’m going to spend the next 6 hours eating and drinking like a medieval lord. Squeezing my big fat ass into a pair of fancy blue jeans won’t disguise that fact.

My wife doesn’t press the issue any further.

11:00 AM

We arrive at my parents. Our daughter falls asleep on the way. I transfer her from the car seat to the Pack ‘n Play. She stays asleep. It’s a holiday miracle.

11:05 AM

I need to catch a buzz before kickoff. I mix a Bloody Mary.

11:30 AM

I’m drunk. This happened earlier than expected. I should have eaten breakfast. Maybe if I sit here and don’t say anything, no one will notice.

12:00 PM

I page through the Black Friday ads. Doors open at 6 tonight? Disgusting. Capitalism has gone too far. This is a holiday. People should be with their families. Thanksgiving day doorbusters are everything that’s wrong with this country, and I for one refuse to…

12:01 PM

Jesus Christ! Look at the price on that iPad! Why, they’re practically giving them away. But do I need one? I do. Until this moment, I had no idea this need existed but am now enlightened. I must have an iPad.

12:30 PM

Dinner time and I am starving. I stack 3,000 calories worth of food on my plate and inhale it in 6 minutes. Then I down a beer.

12:45 PM

I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ve eaten too much too quickly. Great Aunt Margaret, still going on about some bluejay that was in her bird feeder, has yet to start her main course. How much longer am I going to have to sit here? And why is it so damn hot around this table?

12:49 PM

I start to meat sweat. My discomfort level is now critical.

12:50 PM

I get up and walk to the bathroom. The cool air outside of the dining room is a welcome relief. I don’t actually have to use the bathroom, so I shut the door and check the score of the Vikings game. It’s tied.

12:55 PM

I return to the table and am too full for beer. I switch to wine.

1:00 PM

The potatoes and bread expand in my gut. I feel my stomach lining stretching around the carbs. I’ll never eat again…

Mom: Who wants pie?

1:01 PM

…unless it’s pie. There’s always room for pie. It’s like my stomach reserves space exclusively for dessert. No matter how much main course I eat, the dessert section remains vacant.

Mom: Pumpkin or french silk?

Me: I’ll have both, mom.

Mom: A little of both, hun?

Me: Nope. Just both.

1:20 PM

I need to lie down.

1:30 PM

I head downstairs because I need to be horizontal and don’t want to occupy a whole couch in the primary sitting area. Also, I prefer to digest alone.

2:00 PM

The girl wakes up from her nap. I’ve feasted far too aggressively to honor any paternal obligations right now. I must pawn her off. I scan the room for the nearest grandparent or great aunt. Someone must bear the burden of my child. They must nurture her and love her while Daddy concentrates on forcing food through his intestinal tract.

2:30 PM

The Vikings lose.

3:00 PM

I’m so damn tired. However, I’m self-conscious about falling asleep in front of my entire family, so I make a valiant effort to demonstrate I’m awake and alert. I continually adjust positions and comment randomly at the TV, “Dumb commercial.”

3:30 PM

My weariness grows too strong to bear. I know I’m about to hard sleep, to ugly sleep — an open-mouthed, heavy breathing sleep that all my family will experience and laugh about for Thanksgivings to come. But I don’t care. In a room full of relatives, I might as well be alone on this earth. Nothing exists besides me and this couch. Nothing at all.

3:35 PM

As I drift off, I hear my aunt from the other room, “Oh look! Target has a doorbuster on the iPad.”

Shit. The word is out. The increase in iPad demand makes me want one even more.

5:00 PM

I wake up in a daze, but one thing is perfectly clear: I must have that iPad. However, eating, drinking, and sleeping all day has left me in a bad place. The thought of hunting down doorbusters in a crowd of deranged soccer moms makes me physically ill. I don’t think I can do it. But I know someone who will.

5:05 PM

I approach my wife. I learn that while I was asleep she compiled a list of “things” she “needs” from Target. My wife worships Target, to the point where over half of our family income exits through her Red Card. This is the first time in our marriage where I see this as a positive. I add the iPad to her shopping list and retreat to the couch for more football.

6:30 PM

My wife returns with the loot. We pack up the girl and head for home, but I can’t wait. I open the iPad on the way.

7:00 PM

I put the iPad on the charger and get the girl ready for bed.

8:00 PM

The girl is down but I’m tired from rocking in a dark room for 40 minutes. I bring the iPad to my nightstand and fall into bed. I fall asleep.

11:00 PM

Fire! Oh, how it burns. My chest rages with the heat of 1,000 infernos. I sit up and realize it’s heartburn. I walk to the sink and spit. Then promptly swallow a handful of TUMS.

11:30 PM

My heartburn subsides. I feel good. I’ve slept most the day so I’m not tired. I look over at my wife, then down at the dog on the foot of the bed. I check the monitor. The girl is sound asleep. I’m at peace with the holiday. I am thankful.

I grab my shiny new iPad from the nightstand. I open a Google Doc and title it Diary. My fingers dance across the keys as if the on-screen keyboard is the only one I’ve ever known. I begin to write:

“I have tremendous news for you, dear reader…


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

7 Surprising Lessons From Guys’ Weekend in Canada

This fall was our 4th annual Guys’ Weekend in Canada. We ditched our wives, kids, and jobs for five GLORIOUS days of fishing, drinking, cursing, and many other manly-man activities. We had zero responsibility and only one rule: NO GIRLZ ALLOWED!

Anyway, the vacation gave me a chance to reflect on friends, fishing, getting old, and life in general. Here now are 7 surprising lessons from the weekend.

Fishing Is Hard

Fishing Is Hard

On the second day of the trip, the sun shone, the bite was hot, and four of us ventured out for what became the most pathetic attempt at bass fishing in the history of mankind.

For those who don’t know, bass fishing requires an extra dose of skill and precision. You have to maneuver the boat close to rocks, cast accurately, and retrieve skillfully. For a professional angler, it’s an art. For four schmucks from the suburbs, it is fuckin chaos.

I wish I could share more about this almighty excursion, but our “crew” swore an oath of silence in fear that if details ever emerged, we’d be exiled from our social circle for time eternal.

Day Drinking Gets Better With Age

Day Drinking

I enjoyed day drinking in my twenties. But since turning 30, I realized to fully appreciate the activity, you have to earn it. To really enjoy being drunk on a random Monday in August, you need to spend the 30 Mondays prior sitting in a cubicle. Then 1PM rolls around and your equilibrium flips upside down when you realize you’re not halfway through a day at the office, you’re on the lake, with the sun on your back and a beer in your hand.

In your thirties, life is packed with obligations: errands, work, housework, parental tasks, etc. You have to be sober to handle this responsibility, because responsibility when you’re drinking is a nightmare. An afternoon buzz really means the rest of your day is free from all the humdrum horseshit. And that freedom is the only buzz I need.

It’s Nice To Express Myself


I rarely get to say what I mean. Take being a parent for example: you can’t tell a toddler how you really feel, no matter how accurate it may be. You can’t just get down, look her square in the eye and be like, “You know what, Norah? Your behavior right now, it’s fuckin bullshit. Okay? Get it together.”

Or at work? How many times a week do you say, “Sounds good, Janet?” When really there are a thousand other things Janet deserves to hear.

This is why whenever I’m free to use my potty mouth, I do, and also why any time you get 10 guys together in a cabin, there’s more profanity than a trucker’s convention.

There Is A Deep Satisfaction In Eating What You Catch

Eating What You Catch

Hunt or die. That was reality for our early ancestors. There weren’t drive-throughs or supermarkets. Your survival and the survival of everyone you loved hinged on your ability to down a buffalo, and I imagine it was deeply satisfying when you did. So satisfying, in fact, that the thrill of eating your catch still exists today, even after thousand of years of evolution and despite the fact that we’ve all gone soft.

Don’t get me wrong, modern-day food distribution is a godsend — if my family’s survival depended on my hunting prowess, it’d be 2 days before we had to harvest the dog for meat. But once in awhile it’s good to exercise that primal instinct and put your own food on the table.

Dinner Is For Gentlemen


Conversation during Guys’ Weekend isn’t always friendly. There’s a lot of trash talk around who’s caught the most fish, who sucked the most at high school sports, who sucks the most at sports currently, etc.

But breaking bread together seems to bring out the manners. And it’s nice to know that for at least 15 minutes everyday we can stop with the dick jokes and the would-you-rathers and act like proper humans.

I Need To Unplug More Often


My cell service extends only 10 miles into Canada, and thank God for that. Apparently, the one thing that can stop me from mindlessly refreshing Twitter every 6 seconds is AT&T’s outrageous data roaming rates. And let me tell you, strolling through the great outdoors and being able to leave my phone at the cabin was downright liberating. On the big list of all the things I needed a break from, my iPhone was number 1.

Time Flies

It’s been 6 years since the inaugural Guys’ Weekend in Canada — we missed a few years because of out-of-state jobs, having kids, and the Summer of 10,000 Weddings — and, man, have things changed.

It’s frightening how fast you go from a spry twenty-something to full blown adult, so be sure to make time for the good stuff. Because while change is inevitable, some things should stay the same.

Editor’s note: If you’re in the Upper Midwest and looking for an awesome summer vacation, you should absolutely check out True North Outposts. It’s a beautiful resort and the fishing is so good that even we can catch our limit.

True North


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Football

Football is here and if history is any indication, I am to spend the next 20 Sundays crushing beer and greasy food, rooting for underachieving fantasy players, and watching the Vikings offense systematically go three-and-out.

Does it matter that watching football, an indoor activity, conflicts with the nicest weather of the year? It does not. Even when my wife drags me from the couch and out to some apple orchard, my mind is still on the game…and my eyes are on my phone, refreshing box scores like my life depends on it.

Now, if this sounds like ridiculous behavior, it’s because it is. I know that. What started as a passionate hobby has mutated into an unhealthy obsession. And as a 31 year old father, I know there are other, more fulfilling things I should be doing.

The problem is I still like football. There are too many good things about it: long touchdowns, last-second comebacks from my fantasy team, and the undying hope that one day the Vikings will be World Champs and my time invested in this miserable franchise will pay off with unimaginable happiness that endures forever and ever, amen.

So, with that in mind, here are some quick tips to consuming football in healthy doses, so not only can you enjoy the game, but the rest of your life as well.

Get up early on Sundays. A great way to spend proportionately less time watching football is to extend the part of the day when football isn’t on. If you’re up at 6:30, you’ll have 5 glorious hours before you need to start setting fantasy lineups.

Be productive. Use the morning to do the things you should probably be doing instead of watching football: exercising, preparing for the work week, spending time with family, getting outdoors, etc. If you can squeeze an entire day of obligations and quality-time into a single morning, then there’s no problem spending the next 10 hours watching football. You deserve it.

Eat a healthy breakfast. I have eaten things on Sundays that would make Andy Reid blush. I’m not proud of it. However, I’ve found that a veggie omelet and a banana in the morning can help me cope with the shame that typically follows that fourth bowl of chili.

Prioritize and plan. A typical NFL week has 5 slates of games (6 if you throw in some shitty London game between the Browns and Jags). That’s 20 hours of televised football per week!

Now, you and I both know not all of that football is good football. So don’t watch it all. Take a look at the schedule and prioritize games based on fantasy relevance or when your hometown squad is playing.

Then make other plans for the games you don’t care to watch. Take your wife out to eat during Thursday night’s Bengals/Texans punt-fest. Take your kid to the park during the 3PM games. Sometimes less football is more football.

Limit drinking to one drink per hour. I have a breaking point, a point of alcohol consumption and when I reach it, I can do absolutely nothing productive for the rest of the day. When this happens in the evening, it’s fine. I just watch TV and go to bed. But when I reach this point at 1PM, it’s miserable.

But this year my strategy is to teeter right along that line. I’ll catch a nice buzz but won’t overdo it. The key is to find that limit. What is that limit? Well, if you read our post on how to get hammered without a hangover, you know that the body can metabolize 1 drink per hour. And since your average football game runs right around 3 hours, you can safely enjoy 3 drinks per game and not end up in beer purgatory for the rest of the day. Not bad!

Don’t buy RedZone channel. RedZone Channel is awesome, and that’s the problem. It makes all football exciting, even football that’s not exciting. Like I don’t give a shit about any Jaguars game. But bring me live to Blake Bortles overthrowing receivers in the end zone 3 times in a row, I could watch that all day. And I do, given the opportunity.

Last week was the first week in 10 years that I didn’t have RedZone Channel, and you know what? It was fine. I didn’t die. I didn’t withdrawal and convulse on the floor in front of my family. I survived. And you can too.

Streamline your fantasy preparation. There is so much fantasy content out there that reading analysis and fidgeting with your lineups can quickly become a full time job. Personally, I spend 90% of every football season refreshing Twitter, waiting for someone to release Jordan Reed’s latest injury report.

But this year I’m following a healthier strategy: streamlining all fantasy preparation into two 30 minute sessions. As a manager, you have two primary responsibilities: 1) submitting waiver claims and 2) setting lineups. These activities require homework on Tuesday evening and Sunday morning (with possibly a quick glance at your roster before Thursday night kickoff). That’s it.

So you can spend all week doing hardcore analysis or you can bookmark your favorite waiver wire and rankings articles — which, if you pick the right ones, will have already incorporated the hardcore analysis — and cram for an hour per week.

Remember fantasy is a game. I’ve won fantasy championships. And I have celebrated those championships like I was out there catching touchdowns myself. But I know those victories have less to do with my football genius and more to do with blind luck — injuries, the team I’m matched up against takes a shit, a play call at the goal line, etc. Fantasy is a game of highs and lows. But a simple understanding that a lot most of it is luck can help keep you grounded.

Realize your season will likely end in disappointment. If you’re in a standard 12-team fantasy league, there is a 92% chance your season ends in disappointment. Your favorite NFL squad? Everything else being equal, they have a mere 3% chance of winning the Super Bowl — and if your franchise is cursed like the Vikings, knock that number down even further.

Of course, anything can happen, no matter how unlikely. This is why we watch and why the relationship with football is worth having. But just know that, statistically speaking, your season will likely end in misery, which is why that relationship needs to be healthy. Enjoy the season, everyone!

Recommended Reading: It’s Tailgating Season!

Tailgating Season

11 Things Scientifically Proven to Make You Happier

If there is one thing we all have in common, it’s the desire to be happy. We can disagree on politics, fashion, and whether or not pineapple is an appropriate pizza topping, but when it comes to our emotional well-being we all want the same thing: happiness.

Now, what’s surprising is that for something so universally sought after, we know very little about what makes us happy. But today we’re going to change that.

If you’re a frequent reader here (thank you), you know that happiness has been a featured theme. This will be the final post on the topic, at least for now, and is the culmination of quite literally months of research spanning subjects from mindfulness to psychology to neuroscience.

A few months back, I began to incorporate this research into my daily routine. What follows are the 11 things that have made the biggest difference.


Studies show we’re happiest when we’re focused, engaged and living in the moment. But as we learned in our previous post, our minds like to wander, and usually to dark places — either stressing over the past or worrying about the future.

But meditation can prevent needless worry because it improves mental focus. Better yet, you can see benefits in as little as 2 weeks.

Starting a mindfulness practice is easy. Headspace and Calm are two apps that I’ve used, and both have free introductory courses that guide you through the basics of meditation.

Schedule Something To Look Forward To

Not even a Zen master can stop a wandering mind all of the time. So the next best thing is to give the mind a happy place to wander to. Having something on the calendar — a trip, concert, weekend with the guys, etc — can distract your brain from its habitual negative thinking.

How can an event weeks or even months away make you happier today? Because of the anticipation. In fact, in some cases, the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness during the actual event — known as “rosy prospection.”

It’s even better to schedule some fun at the end of a particularly difficult period. An all-inclusive trip to Cancun in March, for example, can ease the pain of a long, cold winter.

Spend Money (But Not On Stuff)

It turns out that money can buy happiness…if you spend it on doing rather than having. It’s not that buying fancy new things doesn’t bring happiness (it does), but the happiness it brings is short lived — your new shoes get dirty, you get used to watching games on a 60 inch screen, and your new car has all the bells and whistles until next year’s model comes out and then it doesn’t.

Spending money on activities and experiences, however, provides long lasting happiness. How can a one-off event like a concert or a vacation provide longer lasting happiness than a possession you could arguably have forever? First, the anticipation is greater — we look forward more to events than we do purchasing an item. Then, once the event is over, we have the memory, which we tend to remember fondly, as well as a social connection to the people we shared it with.

Get A Dog, Or Just Go Pet One

People who own pets are healthier, happier and more outgoing than those who don’t. Dogs especially make us happy and have mastered human companionship to the point where they can treat mental disorders like depression and PTSD. Even petting a dog is enough to reduce stress. So if you see a dog and are having a crummy day, go scratch his belly. It’ll make you both feel good.

Choose Hobbies Over TV

It’s always easiest to do what it easy. That’s why, after a long day at the office, most of us take the path of least resistance: comfies, couch, and TV. But what’s easiest isn’t what makes us happy, and although channel surfing provides some instant gratification, it does little for long term happiness.

Active leisure, on the other hand, is engaging and challenging and far more rewarding to our sense of self and happiness. So skip the TV and get a hobby — play guitar, cook, brew some beer. You’ll be better for it.

Cut Your Commute

It’s probably no surprise to hear commuting makes us unhappy. But it might be a little surprising to hear just how unhappy:

According to one study, if you cut an hour long commute each way, it’s the happiness equivalent of making an extra $40,000 per year.

This is due, in large part, to adaption. We get used to the things we’re willing to commute for — higher salary, bigger house, etc. — and as a result need more and more (about $40k worth) to maintain that level of happiness.

However, we never adapt to our commute. It’s not just bad traffic that makes commuting so terrible, but the uncertainty of how terrible today’s commute will be. Or as Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert puts it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to happiness. When you don’t get enough

  • Your brain loses its ability to regulate emotion
  • You’re 20x more likely to develop anxiety and 5x more likely to develop depression
  • Your brain can actually deteriorate, causing a loss of brain tissue

Another study shows that getting one extra hour of sleep per night does more for your daily happiness than an additional $60,000 per year in income.

So how much sleep do you need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night but notes that for some people it might be as much as 10. The chart below summarizes the results of the foundation’s most recent study.

Sleep Happiness

Hit Your Exercise Quota

Not only is exercise great for physical health but mental health, too. In fact, regular exercise has been shown to treat depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins — ‘feel good’ chemicals that produce effects similar to those in a shot of morphine. In addition, exercise…

  • Reduces levels of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol
  • Improves confidence and self-esteem
  • Increases relaxation and improves quality of sleep

So how much exercise do you need? The magic formula seems to be 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. And it doesn’t have to be super intense either. A jog, brisk walk, or cutting the grass are all enough to increase blood circulation and deliver benefits to the brain.

Hug Someone For 20 Seconds

Is 20 seconds a long time for a hug? Probably. But researchers found that when you hug someone for 20 seconds, your body releases oxytocin, the love hormone that induces feelings of calm and attachment. So there. Now you have an excuse to linger.

Be Nice

Giving really is better than receiving, at least when it comes to happiness. Altruism — giving to others — is as important to our overall happiness as our self esteem and the strength of our social relationships.

A recent study shows people are happier buying things for others than they are for themselves, and another discovered that volunteers see greater benefits than the people they’re helping. So go out and give. It can literally make you happier all week long.

Practice Every Day

If you take 2 things away from this post, I hope it’s these:

  1. Happiness is attainable. It isn’t reserved for the rich or ultra-successful or for those with perfect, loving families.
  2. Happiness is found in the moment. It’s not in a daydream and it’s not waiting for you at the end of some major accomplishment.

Being happy requires a daily conscious effort to build a healthy mind, and building a healthy mind is a lot like building a healthy body: you have to work at it.

To read more on our series on happiness, follow the links below.

Has Evolution Hardwired Us to be Unhappy?

Has Evolution Hardwired Us to be Unhappy?

How to Build A Happy Brain

How To Build A Happy brain


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

10 Isolated Vocals That Will Make Your Spine Tingle

At midnight on November 2, 1969, soul singer Merry Clayton was lying in bed when the phone rang. There was a band in town from England, and they needed a woman to sing backup for a recording at a nearby LA studio.

A limo arrived, and a pregnant Clayton threw a mink coat over her silk pajamas and with rollers still in her hair, walked outside. When she got to the studio she learned the band was The Rolling Stones. The track? Gimme Shelter. And in just 2 takes, she gave them this:

Wow! If you’re allergic to goosebumps, I hope you had an EpiPen handy. Here now are 10 isolated vocal tracks that have the same spine-tingling effect.

Track Listing

1. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
2. Queen (Mercury’s vocals) – Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Jackson 5 – ABC
4. Adele – Someone Like You
5. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
6. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
7. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
8. Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure
9. The Doors – Break on Through
10. Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart

*Navigate tracks using the playlist icon in the upper left corner or listen on YouTube.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

40% of Happiness is Attitude: How to Build a Happy Brain

If you could have anything in the world as long as it made you happy, what would it be? Fame? Fortune? Stunning good looks?

Now, any of these things might make you happier. But not nearly as much as you think they would. Because as it turns out, life circumstances have little effect on happiness.

Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses this ‘happiness set-point’ in her book The How of Happiness. Her research suggests that only 10% of happiness comes from life circumstances, while 50% is genetically predetermined and the remaining 40% is the result of your personal outlook.

So, two major takeaways here:

  1. The things we often believe will make us happy — money, success, good looks — likely won’t.
  2. 40% of our happiness is determined by our own actions and attitude.

Here are 7 simple tips to help you maximize that 40% and build a happy brain.

Redefine What You Control

One of the biggest drivers of success and happiness is the belief that we control our future — that our actions matter. But as we discussed in our first post on happiness, our brains have evolved to overestimate threats and therefore focus on them even when they’re out of our control. As a result, we end up feeling powerless and hopeless.

But deconstructing a threat or worry and focusing exclusively on what you can control, eliminates needless worry and allows you to take action toward a goal. For example, instead of worrying about the results of an upcoming sales meeting, realize that ultimately you don’t control the decision of this potential client. If they don’t like your product or price, that’s not up to you. But the decision to practice your pitch and get feedback from your boss? That is.

Change Your Counterfacts, Change Your Attitude

A counterfact is an alternative scenario your brain creates to help make sense of a past experience. When you think ‘what if’ or ‘if only I had…’ that’s counterfactual thinking.

New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor, in his book The Happiness Advantage, illustrates counterfacts with this example:

Imagine you walk into a bank. There are 50 other people in the bank. A robber walks in and fires his weapon once. You are shot in the right arm.

Are you lucky or unlucky? Well, it depends.

On one hand, a gun was fired into a crowd of people, many of them children, yet no one was killed. Yes, you were shot. But it’s only a flesh wound. You could have died.

Now, on the other hand, you just got shot in the goddamn arm. This kind of thing never happens, and there were 50 other bodies in the room. Why couldn’t one of them have absorbed the bullet?

How you feel about this situation depends on which set of counterfacts you use as a comparison. But, here’s the thing: counterfacts are hypothetical. They’re invented. They can never affect reality because they pertain to events that have already happened. So why not choose the one that makes you feel better?

Like, instead of losing your shit over rush hour traffic, sit back in your padded seat, stream your favorite high school hip-hop playlist, and remember that people once had to travel on horseback and in covered wagons.

I recently stumbled on a quote from Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius that’s relevant here:

Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.

Don’t Use Facebook as a Benchmark for Happiness

Heavy Facebook usage is now being linked to increased rates of depression. The problem is that social media broadcasts a distorted reality, one that inflates your peers’ happiness and, by comparison, undercuts yours.

For example, if you’re in your early thirties, then your News Feed is littered with smiling young families. You’ll see first steps, first birthdays, and trips to the zoo. Now, if you’re single, seeing 500 #mywholeworld hashtags everyday might make your life seem empty. But you don’t see the whole picture.

As a new parent, I’ll tell you that anything on Facebook is the best 5% of fatherhood. I won’t post a selfie of me changing a blowout at 4AM. And I’m not going to ‘go live’ to stream some petty argument I had with my wife because we’re both on 3 hours of sleep.

Facebook isn’t a timeline; it’s a highlight reel. It’s a place to post accomplishments, vacations, and fancy dinners with fancy friends. It’s the top 5%, 100% of the time. You can’t measure your life against your newsfeed.

Cancel the Noise

External noise from social and other media isn’t all we have to worry about. There’s that voice inside our head, too. Internal noise is anything negative that distorts reality — a bias, expectation, or preconception.

Noise prevents us from chasing our goals and being happy. It tells the male nursing student that nursing is for women. It’s one bad public speaking experience that reminds you to never speak in public ever again. Or it’s that Justin Bieber song that you kinda dig but force yourself to hate because you’d rather be spiteful than express any positive emotion for the Biebs.

Our brains receive up to 11 million pieces of information every second but can process only 40. So when we fixate on noise, it comes at the expense of positive information. You won’t realize that you can, of course, improve your public speaking with practice or that the rate of male Registered Nurses has increased every year since 1970. And you won’t realize that someone’s persona shouldn’t impact how you feel about his music, no matter how big the shithead.

Stay in the Present

People spend 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than the present. We contemplate the past and worry about what might (or might not) happen in the future. And because our negativity bias makes our brains magnets for negative stimuli, 70% of this ‘mental chatter’ is negative. So not only do we miss out on the moment right in front of us, but we do so often in favor of worrying and self-criticism.

Take in the Good

In his book Hardwiring Happiness, author Rick Hanson stresses the importance of savoring positive experiences, a process he refers to as ‘taking in the good’.

He writes that because positive emotion triggers the release of your brain’s feel good chemical dopamine, staying with a happy moment, and giving it your undivided attention, prolongs dopamine inputs to your brain, which can make it react more intensely to good experiences in the future. So you’re basically training your brain to attain increased levels of happiness, much like building muscle at that gym.

Opportunities to take in the good are everywhere. Take 30 seconds to watch a sunset or sunrise. Smell the fresh bread while you stand in line at Jimmy John’s, and once you get your sandwich, savor every bite because eating activates your brain’s reward center. But make sure you really focus. If you eat while scrolling through Facebook reading some political rant from your old roommate, you’ve missed an opportunity.

Schedule Activities to Undo The Effects of Stress

Another topic discussed in our first post on happiness was that stress once was the key to survival. When our ancestors encountered a threat, like that of a man-eating predator, stress activated the fight-or-flight response preparing them to act quickly and either fight or flee.

In small doses, stress is fine and even beneficial. But in today’s fast-paced work environments, where stressors can pile up by the minute, our bodies overload on the stress hormone cortisol and we experience chronic stress — that feeling of overwhelming anxiety now shown to be linked to the 6 leading causes of death. Fortunately, there are activities that are scientifically proven to undo stress and make you happier, and we’ll cover them in detail in our next post…

11 Things Scientifically Proven to Make You Happier




Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive pipin’ hot content delivered directly to your inbox. Upcoming posts include The 10 Commandments of Driving Etiquette and 9 Things Every Guy Should Know About the Female Brain. Join today!

Sources and Recommended Reading

Before Happiness

Before Happiness

The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage

Hardwiring Happiness

Hardwiring Happiness

The How of Happiness

How Of Happiness