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Hey, <<First Name>>!

When I'm sad, I want to isolate myself.

I have this story that people will only like me if I'm happy, upbeat, and helpful. If I'm not in that headspace, I worry that people will see me as a burden. "I barely want to be around myself," I think. "Why would anyone else?"

Yet when I'm in my "I want to hide under the covers all day" mood, that's exactly when being around trusted friends will help me the most. 

In scientific terms, “our higher social brain,” AKA the ventral vagal complex, is activated when we hear a soothing voice, see a smiling or relaxed face, and notice calm gestures. Being around empathetic people calms us down.

I was introduced to this concept by Josh Korda of Dharmapunx. As he says in an interview with New Life Foundation:

"You can practice all the self-acceptance, compassion, kindness and self-love you want in the world, but if you are still withholding yourself from other people you are not healing. Human beings are social beings. We are meant to regulate our emotions by expressing them, having them be witnessed and mirrored by other people."

Whenever you want to want to hide away your pain, <<First Name>>, remember that we need connection to survive. Maybe one of the smaller events on The Joy List feels like a safe space for you to be with others this week. Or maybe, like me, you just want to be around a few close friends. Either is okay. 

You might be struggling to form close friendships right now. Know that you're not alone in this. The average American has one confidante.

My hope is that The Joy List will introduce you to trustworthy people in group spaces, and that those relationships will deepen.

Even though I love events, they're not always the place to get quality one-on-one time. In my mind, they're the first step to finding a community of people who you deeply trust.

This week, I hope that you meet one of those magical humans. 

With that, let's move onto the GIF and the connection! Take it away, puppy:
Okay okay, two more things!

What are you doing on February 9?

Check out Xo: A Celebration of Love, Lust and Each Other. "Celebrate yourself and those around you at a love, intimacy and connection-themed private party, with an invitation for all Joy List subscribers and their loved ones and friends. Across three DJ sets and moments ranging from feminist burlesque and shibari to a love-focused tarot reading and nude figure sketching, we’ll gently melt away the barriers between each other in pursuit of deeper connection. Like if Sleep No More and House of Yes had a DIY lovechild. Beverages provided. For singles and couples alike. Radically inclusive."

$45. 80 Vernon Ave. February 9, 10PM-3AM. Eventbrite Password: Xo2019. Info here.

Send The Joy List to a friend

This newsletter spreads entirely through word of mouth. So please, forward this to a friend who you think could use some more connection in NYC. A bigger audience for The Joy List means that small event producers can easily fill seats, and more people can make new friends!

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe here. Welcome :)

Monday, February 4

Aquarius New Moon Sisterhood Circle

This is the most intergenerational women's circle that I've found. There are some women in this group who have been circling together for 30 years. That's no joke. Come for ritual, sharing, and play.

$25. 6:30 to 9 PM. Fourth Universalist Society, 160 Central Park W. Info here.

Show Upp: A Talent Show

Have a song that you want to sing in front of people for the first time? A story that you want to share? A dance you want to dance? This is your space!

$8-$15. 7 to 11 PM. X Marks the Loft, 405 Johnson Ave. Info here.

Tuesday, February 5

The Event Preview

I've featured a screening of The Work, a documentary about a men's group inside Folsom Prison, on The Joy List multiple times. A bunch of you have attended, and were so inspired that you wanted to know how to get involved in similar therapies. Well, here's your answer! Head over to Thoughtworks to get a peak into "The Event," a co-ed breakthrough training which also has roots in the basement of a prison.

Free. 7 to 9 PM. Thoughtworks, 99 Madison Ave. Info here.


This show is smile-making as hell. If you're into wordplay and general nerdery, check it out. People are genuinely there to bond over puns. It's glorious.

$10. 8 to 11 PM. Littlefield, 635 Sackett St. Info here.

Wednesday, February 6

The Get Down does Chelsea Hall

The Get Down is my favorite dance party in NYC, and it's our first time in a new venue! Come dance your face off, let your weird out, and get lots of sweaty hugs. Show this venue that Get Down-ers know how to party!

$25. $5 off with code newyorkfuckincity. 6 to 10 PM. 407 West 15th St. Info here.

Lady Bits League

I've had some of the realest conversations of my life at Lady Bits League. I've listened to women's stories, cried with them, and laughed my face off. Being in a room of women who are really getting vulnerable is magic. This month, the group will be playing a game that helps women talk about the questions they have around sex.

$5-$15. 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Address given at RSVP. Info here.

Thursday, February 7

Intentional Communities Panel: Sharing Resources

"Join us in Bushwick for a panelist discussion of the rewards and challenges of shared resources in intentional communities. Founders, community members, and researchers will discuss their history and experiences on questions about sharing. What do communities share universally? What resources aren’t shared? And how do they do it? Come with questions, enter the raffle, and stick around for a BYOB post-panel social hour."

$18 suggested donation, all proceeds go to Coalition for the Homeless. 7:30 to 11 PM. Register to receive address. Info here

Shine Foundation volunteer info session

Shine Foundation is a volunteer-led nonprofit on a mission to provide homeless survivors of domestic violence with the financial tools and knowledge to live financially healthy lives. They are looking for facilitators who are engaging, energetic and can make financial content exciting and fun! 

Free. 7 to 8:30 PM. LMHQ, 150 Broadway. Info here.

Friday, February 8

Dance Lab: MusicCollage

Group improvised song, followed by ecstatic dance? Yes please.

$20. 7:30 to 11 PM. X Marks the Loft, 405 Johnson Ave. Info here.

Open Stage + Swab for Liyana

Open Stage is an open mic where anyone can perform anything for 5 minutes. Whatever your craft, this is your time to shine!

What touched me about this edition is that people will be swabbing their cheeks to join the stem cell registration, in order to help a member of their community who was recently diagnosed with aggressive leukemia. No one in the registry has matched with her, so they're putting out the call for people to join the registry themselves!

$10, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 7 to 10 PM. BKLYN Commons, 495 Flatbush Ave. Info here.

Saturday, February 9

Heart-On Tantric Touch

With the garbage fire trash mess that's going on in the world right now, you're probably a little tense. Soothe that stress with some good ol' snuggles and massage! (Side note: While this might feel out of your comfort zone, I can promise that Rachel is a great facilitator.)

$35. 3 to 6 PM. X Marks the Loft, 405 Johnson Ave. Info here.

Math + Music

I kinda can't believe that an event series has succeeded in making math cool-- but this crew did it! Math + Music has dancing, a presentation about the history of rhythm, beautiful nerds, and an after party. The Museum of Math has never looked better.

$20. 8 to 11 PM. Museum of Math, 11 East 26th St. Info here.

Sunday, February 10

Nuns and Nones

If I was in town, I would loooove to be at this event. Nuns and Nones is an organization that I write about in my book, and is co-created by my friend Katie Gordon. In this edition, millennials and nuns will get together to eat brunch, watch the film Radical Grace, and have a conversation.

Free. 12:30 to 3:30 PM. St. Joseph High School, 80 Willoughby St. Info here

Skip the Small Talk

This Joy List favorite is back! Come dive into meaningful conversations and, you know, skip the small talk.

$15. 6 to 8:30 PM. Threes Brewing, 333 Douglas St. Info here.


The Dharmapunx podcast: Specifically these recent episodes which explain what happens to our brain when we go through seasonal depression, and what happens to our body when we're "triggered."

Encore: An organization that encourages intergenerational activism

The Body Keeps The Score: An amazing book about how the body stores trauma, and different ways to recover. Some of my therapist friends call it their Bible, which is saying something.

Want to partner with The Joy List?

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Follow Us On The Interwebs

That's it for for this week, <<First Name>>!  Tell a friend who's new to NYC to subscribe, like the Facebook page for even more events, and follow us on Instagram.

Hug and a high five,

Jillian and The Joy List team
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*From time to time, I will be sharing products, courses, and books that I love that have made a real impact on my life or others in our community. In some cases, I may be an affiliate and may earn a referral fee if you choose to purchase these products. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for people to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites

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