Feel Good Diaries logo

I’m 27, Unemployed & Spent $846 On Self-Care This Week

Welcome to Refinery29’s Feel Good Diaries, where we chronicle the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good.
Have your own Feel Good Diary to submit? You can do so here!
Today: A woman in New York City spends her week heading to the gym, spending time with her partner, and treating herself to a new pair of jeans.
Age: 27
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Unemployed
Salary: N/A

Day One

9:30 a.m. — I’ve been in therapy for the past two years but have been seeing [my current] therapist for the past year. I had a bit of a rough time at the end of 2022, and talk therapy was making it worse so I sought out a therapist that specialized in OCD and it changed everything. I’m no longer just talking through the session to fill the time. My therapist practices exposure and response prevention and acceptance-based therapy. I waited until the end of the session to bring up a conversation I’ve been wanting to have with my partner about our future, and oftentimes the thoughts about the conversation are actually worse than the conversation and outcome itself. Therapy stopped becoming a chore as soon as I started seeing a therapist who specializes in OCD. I go biweekly now — it’s $153 per session and probably the best thing I do for myself. $153
4:30 p.m. — After therapy, I spend my afternoon doom-scrolling on LinkedIn which is not good for my overall wellness, but it’s a necessary evil of job hunting in the month of January. When I’ve had enough, I head to the gym and take a hot yoga class. I love hot yoga. I’m not good at it, I can’t do a headstand or hold a pose, BUT I love sweating and moving and stretching for an hour while focusing solely on my breath. I pay $311 each month for my gym membership.
7 p.m. — Time for dinner. I’ve been very into making different variations of Japchae with different veggies and proteins. Tonight, I used onion, carrots, cabbage, and leftover rotisserie chicken. Part of my unemployment journey is cooking as many meals at home as possible and saving takeout and dining out for my social life.
I don’t grocery shop on a schedule. I usually do a big haul once every two weeks and then go to the store when needed in between. My boyfriend has a car and so I try to time our grocery shopping together at Wegmans or Whole Foods so that way I don’t have to lug it all home or spend money on an Uber. All in all, I don’t really track my spending for anything; I probably spend $100 to 150 on groceries per week but sometimes I spend far less because I have plans and eat out.
Daily Total: $153

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — I’ve been drinking bone broth before breakfast every morning for the last few weeks to help with my overall health, but mostly my gut health. I’ve been trying different brands but love the Kettle & Fire and Dr. Kellyann brand. I saw a TikTok from Glow with Ella where she adds salt, pepper, ginger and ghee or olive oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar to make a “tonic” and it’s actually SO good and makes me feel warm and nourished. For breakfast, I make myself avocado toast with an egg and then make myself a shaken brown sugar latte with my Nespresso.
11:30 a.m. — I truly have nothing else going on except going to the gym in the middle of the day. Usually, I just do the 12-3-30 treadmill exercise and then do a little workout on the mat. After I work out, I always use the sauna. It’s genuinely how I justify paying for a luxury gym membership. I shower, get ready, leave the gym, and realize it’s been three hours. How? I have no clue!
2:30 p.m. — I walk over to the grocery store from the gym and end up doing a bit more damage than I originally planned. Some highlights include bone broth, greek yoghurt, frozen wild blueberries, Sumo oranges, chicken thighs, pineapple, Swiss chard, more fruits and veggies, canned chicken, white beans, cream cheese, and other pantry needs. Since I knew I was going to be taking an Uber home, I wanted to make sure the trip was worthwhile! I pay $85 for groceries and $20 for the Uber home. $105
Daily Total: $105

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — I’m preparing to have myself a very productive Friday, so I make my lil’ cup of bone broth, toast with cottage cheese, and my Nespresso latte. I’m freelancing for a few hours a week to help a small brand with their social media, so I spend a few hours on that and then get ready to run my errands. I take a shower, blowdry my hair, and do my skincare routine. I’ve been loving the Dieux Skin Instant Angel moisturizer and the Shiseido Urban Environment SPF.
12:30 p.m. — I originally had planned to go into SoHo, try on some dresses for an upcoming wedding, get my passport photo taken, and drop off a disposable camera from the holidays... And while I did most of those things (except the passport photo, I’m dead set on getting it taken at Rimowa and their passport studio has been closed for renovations... sad!), I also ended up stopping at Still Here in Nolita to try on their “Cool Jeans” (that’s literally what they’re called). And unfortunately, it was love at first sight and I had to have them. They’re included in this diary because they feel like sweatpants, and I've been talking nonstop about how I have no outside clothes for when I’m on my period and can’t be bothered by stiff pants. So, here we are, investing in my mental health! I used a 10% off coupon and paid $255 for them. $255
3:30 p.m. — I failed to plan my lunch accordingly so I had to stop for lunch before heading to the gym. I end up stopping at a cafe for a chicken and rice dish and a pandan coconut sweet treat (my favorite). After my lunch, I go to the gym for a quick 12-3-30 session and sauna, and then head home to get ready for a night in at my boyfriend’s apartment. $25
Daily Total: $280

Day Four

10 a.m. — I had a day planned with my friends so I woke up, gathered my stuff and headed home in an Uber ($25) to get ready. I have bone broth and make myself a quick coffee while getting ready before meeting up with my friends. We bop around, get coffee ($7), onigiri and matcha ($20), and more pandan treats ($12). We tried to find Sonny Angels but everywhere they were sold out. $64
6 p.m. — After spending the day in the cold, I come home and mostly rot on the couch. I end up heating up leftovers for dinner, take a magnesium for sleep, and call it a night.
Daily Total: $64

Day Five

8 a.m. — I wake up, have my bone broth and breakfast (Greek yoghurt this morning!) and get ready to go to a spin class at the gym with my roommate. I love spin classes because the energy is really whatever you make of it. You can choose to be hootin’ ‘n’ hollerin’ with the class or just focus on yourself. I always feel so strong and powerful! After the class, I stay at the gym to shower and get ready for the rest of my day.
12 p.m. — We meet up with some friends for brunch, and I order an iced coffee and a smoked trout platter, and we order pancakes for the table. We’re sitting downstairs next to the fireplace, the snow is falling, and it just feels so cozy and lovely to be sharing a Sunday brunch with besties. My total ended up being $40. After brunch, I take public transit ($12) to the suburbs to meet my boyfriend at his mom’s house for the long weekend. $52
4 p.m. — I feel a migraine coming on as soon as I sit down on the train. I usually suffer from migraines around my period or if I’m dehydrated or just generally run down. Whatever the reason, I’ve always tried to eat healthy or drink enough water or sleep to feel better but usually nothing helps except prescription meds. Recently though, I read about The McDonald’s Fry Cure on Reddit — something about the combination of caffeine, sugar, and salt helps? For whatever reason, it’s been helping and I'm not asking any questions. Anyways, I asked my boyfriend to stop at a drive-thru on the way to his mom’s house and within an hour I was feeling better. $5
Daily Total: $57

Day Six

9 a.m. — Good morning from the suburbs! My boyfriend, his mom, and I all had the day off for MLK Day, so we sit around and drink coffee and eat toast before getting ready for our activities. I usually try not to drink coffee on an empty stomach, and I definitely don’t bring my bone broth everywhere (lol), but it was a lovely morning catching up around the kitchen table.
11:30 a.m. — I’ve been begging to go to the Cheesecake Factory for WEEKS now. Growing up, I always thought Cheesecake Factory was the nicest of all the nicest restaurants. We order buffalo chicken blasts to share, my boyfriend orders chicken piccata and I get the Chinese chicken salad and of course a slice of cheesecake to share (we split the bill). It might not have been as good as I remember, but flipping through that menu was all I needed. $40
2 p.m. — I haven’t walked around a mall in YEARS and because of the holiday, every floor was crawling with teens. It was my first time witnessing the Sephora teen phenomenon in real life. I stocked up on Tower 28 moisturizer and purchased The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Cream. I also had my boyfriend pick up the Kiehl’s moisturizer for himself, but also for me (hehe). $30
Daily Total: $70

Day Seven

9 a.m. — We drove back to the city last night so I wake up at my boyfriend’s apartment. There’s something about being at his place that makes me forget all of my health and wellness habits. All that TikTok talk about “boyfriend air” is real and it needs to be studied. Anyway, I have eggs and toast (thanks bf) and pack my stuff up to leave and go home. I stop for an iced coffee on the way to the subway. $7
12 p.m. — I have a routine dermatologist appointment because I’ve been on and off spironolactone for the last four years. I always stop taking it the moment my skin clears up and then act shocked when my acne comes back with a fury. Thankfully, I still have my insurance for the next two months so I’m trying to get all my routine appointments in just in case I have a month without insurance. My copay was $50, and I’ll be spending another $60 on Altreno (tretinoin) after insurance from the fancy delivery-only pharmacy. $110
3 p.m. — My current hyperfixation snack is Greek yoghurt, frozen wild blueberries, almond butter, and granola. I’ve been craving it as a snack, as dessert, and as breakfast. I make myself a bowl, listen to a little bit of the Huberman Lab podcast with Rick Rubin, and get ready for the gym. Going to the gym has entirely shifted how I get ready, whether or not I wear makeup, and when I shower. I head to the gym for a yoga class, then spend some time on the treadmill and of course finish it all off with some time in the sauna.
Daily Total: $117
Weekly Total: $846
Reflection: “I think my overall wellness is much more important to me than the routine itself. Since I’m in such a transformational time, I really am just trying out different things and routines that feel good for me. I have terrible sleep habits (I stay up late and sleep in) but that doesn’t really affect me right now because I’m not required to go into an office or start work at a certain time every day. What’s most important to me is feeling good, feeling rested, and feeling in charge of my wellness.”

More from Wellness

R29 Original Series