New Year, Who Dis? Your 2020 Glow-Up Guide

Hey, sis. We see you out here shining. Not only did you stick to your resolution for more than three days, but you made a vision board and manifested most of what’s on it. Like Hot Girl Meg’s rapid-fire rise, nothing could stop you this year. Now, how do you keep that same energy throughout the new year?
To help you manifest your best 2020 glow-up, the Refinery29 Unbothered team got together to discuss what Black women need to live their best lives in the new decade. Perhaps this is the year you secure the bag. Or maybe you’ve been feeling the urge to recalibrate the energy in your sister circle. You might even be thinking about exploring your spiritual side and tapping into your inner divine feminine.
Whatever it is you’re going for in this next decade, we’ve got a few ideas to help you get started. Out with the old and in with the new. What a time to be aligned.
Money & Finance
According to the 2019 Black Women’s Roundtable Report, the double economic barrier that Black women face is still preventing them from earning higher wages, achieving economic stability, and accumulating wealth overall. But that doesn’t have to put a hold on your bag in 2020. 
What better time than a new decade to start finding ways to get paid what you’re owed? Cue Rihanna. Securing the bag also means securing what’s in the bank. How’s your savings looking, boo? Whether you’re just trying to breathe life into your savings account or looking into buying a house on some #RealGrownWomanShit, we’ve rounded up some resources to help you get started:
On the Journey To Launch podcast, host Jamila Souffrant talks all things financial freedom. On this show, expect a weekly special guest to drop gems about everything from ascending from brokehood and traveling the world, to retiring in your early 30s. Yes, girl. It’s possible.
Bola Sokunbi started Clever Girl Finance with a desire to empower women on their wealth-building journeys. The women-focused financial education platform also has a podcast called Clever Girls Know, where Sokunbi makes the CBG community accessible via the touch of a play button. The show was called “one of the top 10 favorite financial literacy podcasts hosted by people of color” by Black millennial financial site Black Wallet.
When you hear the word “wealth,” what do you think of? The Redefining Wealth podcast, hosted by Patrice Washington, wants listeners to chase purpose and not money — which probably goes against the definition most of us think of when we hear the word, right? But in Washington’s world, wealth relies as much on your financial literacy as it does what and who you surround yourself with (i.e. align your personal life, align your wallet!). It’s this holistic approach that sets Washington aside from the pack.
Finance Apps
When Team Unbothered began discussing our favorite finance apps, Mint was undeniably our top contender amongst the group. Arguably one of the better known finance apps, Mint is basically a one-stop shop for all your finance tracking needs. With it, you can monitor your spending, credit score, investments, and more.
If saving money is a challenge for you, Digit may be your app. We really like this one because, once you sync your bank accounts, you pretty much just leave it alone. It works by analyzing your spending habits and saving money for you based on what’s available in your wallet. You can set up savings for different things (i.e “rainy day,” travel, shopping, etc.), and if you’re like us, you’ll forget you even have the app and log into it one day to a nice amount of pocket change.
Ellevest is the “For Us, By Us” of finance apps, but in the made-for-women-by-women way. As Ellevest points out, 86% of investment advisors are men aged 50+, meaning that “the ‘gender-neutral’ investment industry defaults to men’s salaries, career paths, preferences and lifespans.” Ellevest wants to flip the script, so they’ve created their app to help women jump into the investment game based on their needs and goals and the money that they make.
Money Gurus
FrugalChicLife’s Nicole is a money coach, YouTuber, and personal finance blogger whose desire to document her debt free journey (including how she paid off $100K in student loans) flourished into an online community where she promotes financial literacy. Through her YouTube channel, which has 32.3K subscribers as of this writing, she’s showing people how to earn more money while spending less and ultimately achieving financial freedom.
Tiffany Aliche isn’t new to this; she’s true to this. A former preschool New Jersey preschool teacher, Aliche used her teaching chops to educate and provide resources for people wanting to get better with their money. Her efforts have led her to become an award-winning financial educator who, according to her website, has helped over 800, 000 women across the world save over $100 million and pay off over $75 million in debt.
Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance really wants to help you live your best life. “I’m passionate as hell about what I do at My Fab Finance,” she says on her website. And not only was she  named the “New Face of Wealth Building” by Black Enterprise magazine, but she was also named a modern History Maker by TV One. Her mission was born out of a need to get her own finances together (and she did). So if you’re looking for someone to help you fix your financial life, Tonya is your girl.
Friendship & Sisterhood
As you probably know from listening to our Go Off Sis podcast, we here at Unbothered really value Black sisterhood. 
“There is so much levity and there's just so much beauty that comes with Black women and our friendships,” Unbothered Managing Editor Danielle Cadet stated on Episode 3. “Black women have an inherent sisterhood no matter what we do.” 
Science also says that having other Black women as friends is actually pretty vital. In a clinical psychology study, researchers found that sister circles and the sense of community they bring can be beneficial to our mental well-being — especially those of us who experience anxiety.
That said, there are times when friendships can get a little complicated. Sometimes, it may even come to a point where you have to reconsider who you’re calling “sis,” especially when certain ties are no longer serving your betterment. When that happens, how do you go about establishing healthier bonds? Making new friends as an adult can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. 
These days, finding your sister circle can be as simple as logging into social media or getting involved in community groups around you. If you’re looking to revamp your sister circle this year, we have a few ideas for you below:
In May 2015, then-University of South Carolina junior Shydeia Caldwell made it her mission to create a safe space for Black women to share their experiences. That space, now known as Black Girl Magik (BGM), has gone on to cultivate a community both online and off, bringing together Black girls in sisterhood as they journey through self-transformation and self-identity.
If you’re a bibliophile like we are, then you’re well-acquainted with Glory Edim, the powerhouse behind the Oprah co-signed book club for Black women. Though it’s based in Brooklyn, New York, Edim has done a great job cultivating a community that’s completely accessible no matter where you live. If you can’t attend the meetups in person, you can still stay abreast of what the ladies are reading via newsletter and engage with the community via social media. And don’t forget to save your coins for the annual festival in the fall!
We love Therapy For Black Girls not only because it's helped us find bomb-ass therapists, but because of the safe space it has created for Black women seeking support online. Therapy For Black Girls, founded by Atlanta’s Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, is more than just a therapist directory. She has a podcast, too, and if you follow her on social media, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to engage in her live stream conversations while connecting with Black women from all over.
Additional note: What’s going on right in your neighborhood? Don’t forget to see what’s going on around you! From book clubs to fitness class and everything in between, there are so many ways to get out and expand your tribe.
Sex & Relationships
One thing we’ve noticed here at Unbothered is the abundance of information out there for women regarding how to cultivate healthy relationships. But what about those of us who are alright being bad all by ourselves? 
In 2020, we’re really into the idea of embracing your single season while getting to know yourself better. That’s why we rounded up a list of sexperts and relationship gurus to help you along the way — whether you’re trying to manifest interpersonal love or your best self-love relationship yet.
Shannon Boodram, better known as Shan Boody, is a Los Angeles-based certified sex educator, dating coach and relationship expert who’s been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Forbes. With over 40 million YouTube views, one could say she’s one of the most well-known sex and relationship gurus. Her latest book, The Game of Desire, was published in July 2019 and has since become a dating Bible of sorts. In Boody’s world, “love and self-discovery go hand-in-hand,” which is definitely the type of energy we’re walking into 2020 with. 
Ev’Yan Whitney, founder of The Sexually Liberated Woman, is a sexuality doula and educator dedicated to helping women and femme-identifying individuals find sexual liberation through workshops, online courses and more.
“I created The Sexually Liberated Woman to continue the conversations I was having with my clients about their courageous sexual liberation journeys and to have those conversations be witnessed by others,” Whitney shares on her site. “TSLW has since turned into a safe haven for budding sexually free people can go to learn, evolve, and reclaim themselves.”
Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower is all about celebrating your solitude — which is why she wrote a whole book about it in 2018. In What a Time to Be Alone, Eggerue makes it her mission to bring a new perspective to spending time with ourselves. 
“I want to encourage people to give themselves a chance and understand that there is so much value in your own company,” she told the Topshop blog in 2018. “If you manage to build it yourself, you’ll find that you’ll have much more fruitful and healthy relationships with other people.”
This year, she brings another healthy dose of relationship wisdom via her new book How to Get Over a Boy. It’s safe to say that Eggerue is not new to this; she’s true to this.
Wellness & Spirituality
We can’t speak for you, but we can’t think of a better time than now to get your chakras aligned. We know the New Year is known for bringing in big “New Year, New Me” energy, but there’s something about the start of a new decade that calls for something deeper. 
Over the last few years, there’s been a surge of Black millennial women practicing Yoruba-based traditions as well as others like Santería, Voodoo, and Brujeria. Many have cited a desire to distance themselves from the church.
“I never felt the spirit of Jesus. I wasn’t moved at all and to some capacity, it felt like more of a spectacle than anything,” Taylor Cordova, owner of online spiritual shop The Flower Child Bruja, told Shondaland in September. “It just didn’t feel like my truth.”
There’s also been an uptick of Black women taking up space in the wellness world — which is fantastic, because studies show that spirituality among Black and Hispanic women has been linked to positive health. As you clean up your bank accounts, social circles and relationships, why not raise your vibrations, too? Whether you want to explore some new rituals, start a meditation routine, or try out some yoga, the following ladies know a thing or two.
In the summer of 2018, Los Angeles’ Imani Cohen, known by the spiritual community as The Hood Healer, made a trip to NYC just to visit… and then never went back home. A psychic clairvoyant and favorite within New York City’s spiritual community, Cohen says that since making that spontaneous decision, her business “has soared astronomically.” Her Instagram community is one of a kind, and her Instagram Live readings are phone reminder-worthy. But her presence is truly one that needs to be experienced to fully appreciated. Get to know her a little better here.
Lalah Delia is basically the queen of raising your vibration. The founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, the spiritual writer, certified spiritual practitioner, and wellness educator created her online community in order to mentor others through their spiritual awakening process. She just published her first book, Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power, which is an excellent starting point for getting acquainted with all Delia has to offer.
There really aren’t enough visible Black women yoga instructors, which is why we appreciate Koya Webb so much. But Webb is more than a yoga instructor. A “holistic health mentor,” Webb’s mission is all about helping you to raise your vibration through caring for your mental, physical and spiritual health. We’re huge fans of her podcast, Get Loved Up, where she talks to guests about self-love and their wellness journeys. She’s also got a Get Loved Up yoga teacher training retreat, which you can sign up for here.

More from Living

R29 Original Series