Online Newsletters That’ll Brighten Up Your Day

Most online newsletters deserve a swift and decisive transition to your trash.

These, however, do not. Subscribing to the right newsletter can actually lead you down some pretty interesting paths, and ones that don’t end with the shopping cart of an online store. If you’re looking for things to read, watch, listen and do, here are seven great mailing lists that won’t clog your inbox with crap.

David Walsh: COVID-19 DIARY 

Eccentric visionary and MONA co-founder, David Walsh, is a bloody brilliant writer, in case you didn’t know. We were reminded of that in his letter to the public addressing the cancellation of the museum’s winter festival Dark Mofo (which you can read here), and now we’re being blessed his writing on the semi-regular thanks to our friend coronavirus. Trapped in isolation all the way down in Tasmania, David is putting talents to use with his ‘COVID-19 Diary’, a series of blog posts that so far have covered lily pads, paper bow ties, exponential growth, and more.

Sign up here, and check out his COVID-19 Diary here.

The New Yorker 

Obviously this is great, it’s the New Yorker for Christ’s sake. But the reason this gets an inclusion is for their Sunday Reading newsletter (Monday for Australia, but do days of the week even count anymore?) that curates long-form features from their very, very impressive archives. Some newsletters will see editor-in-chief David Remnick collating articles from one of their regular writers (Malcolm Gladwell and Jia Tolentino are two of my favourites) or a theme; on Sunday it was articles that touch on grief, another week it was the simple pleasures of summer travel… RIP.

Sign up here.

The Best Damn Newsletter on Planet Earth (Monster Children)

You didn’t think we were going to do this whole list and not plug our own newsletter, did you? The Monster Children email materialises about three times a week, and it’s a beauty. If you’re looking for doom and gloom you’ll have to go elsewhere, because this little newsy vomits sunshine and rainbows and good news and movies, films, podcasts, interviews and cardboard-pinball machine tutorials straight from us, to you. The added bonus is it starts with twisted anecdotes from our editor-in-chief who covers everything from teenagers spitting in his McDonald’s to vomiting on a nurse after chugging OJ. It’s so good that readers even respond to our generic email address to tell us how good it is, which is some Boomer behaviour that we thoroughly support (we read all your responses, by the way).

Sign up here (little envelope in the top right-hand corner).


Remember our 2017 guest editor, Stanley Donwood? He used to have a newsletter of musings and updates called Taglibro, and in light of recent happenings, he’s started it up again. ‘I feel a bit bad about having had such a bleak outlook for such a long time, when I could have been focusing on the bright side,’ he writes in the return of Taglibro. ‘I could have been skipping down the street humming cheerful tunes. I could have been drawing fluffy bunnies and uplifting scenes. But no. I’m sorry about that; I just couldn’t help it with the bleak dystopian stuff. And now there’s a global pandemic of viral pneumonia to put things into perspective. If ever there was a time for fluffy bunnies it’s now.’ Stanley Donwood fans, get onto this immediately.

Sign up here.

Breakfast with ARTnews

Art nerds, this one is for you. This daily newsletter is exactly what it sounds like: a breakfast time round-up straight to your inbox, curating the most interesting headlines across the art world that day. Highly recommended reads from a super reputable source—sounds like a win.

Sign up here.

Smarter Living

Productivity is kind of a dirty word these days. There’s so many apps, websites, articles, and podcasts about ‘being your best self’, it makes you feel like throwing the towel in and being your worst self. Don’t even get me started on LinkedIn. However, The New York Times‘ Smarter Living newsletter is actually highly enjoyable, and not guilt-inducing at all. They’ve got articles about overcoming coronavirus anxiety, tips to help you properly disconnect from technology, and my all-time favourite, ‘The Cause for Doing Nothing’, which argues for the benefits of doing absolutely zilch. Never feel guilty about staring out the window for hours on end again.

Sign up here.

My Favourite Things

James Pillion is a bit of a creative jack-of-all-trades, of which also includes this newsletter. Every now and then, Pillion will send out a list of the things that are floating his boat at the moment—podcasts, film recommendations, music, interviews, articles—reminding us all that a bit of good taste and sound advice never go astray, particularly when you’ve got endless hours of the day looking to be filled.

Sign up here.

Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter