Decorated Olympian, Dedicated Dad, Michael Phelps Opens up About Mental Health

Michael Phelps Mental Health
(Getty/Ian MacNicol)

As we trudge onward into this nightmarish exercise in time dilation we’ve collectively assigned the number 2020, it’s more necessary than ever to take initiative with keeping our mental health in check. After all, taking care of yourself is the first step in taking care of anyone else.

We thought it’d be a good time to spotlight this piece on mental health by Michael Phelps. The fact that even human marlin Michael Phelps, winner of 28 gold medals, 23 of which were gold, like other Olympians, isn’t exempt from the occasional bout with depression, just goes to show that mental illness does not discriminate. Anxiety attacks don’t care how fast you can swim.

(Getty / Ian MacNicol)

Phelps has been outspoken about his struggles with ADHD and depression. Recently, he did an interview with SportsCenter in which he referred to life under quarantine as the “toughest stretch” of it he’s ever dealt with it, but grateful to have loved ones there to help him through it.

Michael also wrote about his mental wellness for ESPN, stating that he wants people struggling to know they’re not alone. “So many of us are fighting our mental health demons now more than ever,” he says.

He spoke about the importance of taking it one day at a time, conceding to the fact that while there’s no real cure for depression, there are certainly ways of managing it.

The thing is — and people who live with mental health issues all know this — it never goes away. You have good days and bad. But there’s never a finish line.

He also wrote about the importance of taking care of your body, as it’s directly linked to how your brain feels. It’s important in these tumultuous times to maintain routines, especially ones that nurture your physical well-being.

I just escape to the gym. And look, there are days that I don’t want to be there. But I force myself to do it. I know it’s for my mental health as much as my physical health.

(Getty / Fotonoticias MDB)

Michael goes on to talk about negative thinking patterns, and how important it is to identify them. One minute you’re burning toast, the next you’re drudging up memories of rejection from sixth-grade crushes. Before you know it, it’s Friday.

One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to be open about it. There is immense power in vulnerability, and if the most decorated Olympian of all time can do it, so can you. The first step is, naturally, being real with yourself. Michael finds writing things down helps.

I try to write notes on my mirror with a dry-erase marker. There are motivational quotes throughout my office I use to help me. And I journal. I have 20 to 30 pieces of scrap paper all over where I write things down that pop into my head or I want to remember to help me later.

Earlier this year, Phelps donated 500 months of free Talkspace therapy to medical workers, harkening back to the notion that we’re best equipped to care for others when we first care for ourselves. Remember: empathy comes from within.

Michael is a dad to three young boys, and he says he learns a lot from them.

I have to give myself more love and more compassion. I just don’t. I look at our boys. They fall down, hit their head, cry a bit and 30 seconds later they are back on their feet chasing their brothers and laughing. They’ve moved on. They’re resilient. They live in the moment so well. That’s what we all need to do.

(Instagram / Michael Phelps)

Michael wants everyone to know that they’re not alone in their emotional hardships and thinks we’re finally reaching a point in society where troubles with mental wellness are being validated. We commend Michael for speaking so openly about his struggles and hope his message of resilience resonates with anyone who might need to hear it. Please love yourselves, so that we may more effectively love one another.

4-Yr-Old Celebrates Being Cancer Free by Ringing Bell on Dad’s Fire Truck

Boy Rings Dad Firetruck Bell
(YouTube/13NewsNow)

Having a child diagnosed with cancer is one of the most gutting things a parent can experience. It’s one of life’s most vicious and senseless cruelties to see your kid suffer fighting a deadly disease. This is why every parent can relate to the joy and happiness when a child overcomes the disease. The story of a 4-year-old boy in Virginia was making the rounds recently for his unique celebration marking the end of his cancer battle. After he was in remission, he got to ring the bell on his firefighter dad’s fire truck.

Nolan Turner celebrated being cancer-free by donning a fire helmet and ringing the large silver bell on the fire truck outside the Children’s Hospital. He was surrounded by his parents, extended family and friends, and hospital staffers.

His teary-eyed dad told a local news station that ‘crossing the finish line is a great feeling’, he said. “It’s just so amazing watching him overcome this adversity with a smile on his face.”

Dad called his son a “true fighter”, and said Nolan wants to grow up to be a firefighter too. His dad’s firefighter buddies have been part of the support network the family was especially grateful for, and they even made several trips to his hospital while he was undergoing treatment. The boy wasn’t allowed to have any visitors outside of his parents, so the fire trucks raised ladders with signs of support for Nolan to raise his spirits.

Just a powerful and cathartic moment to see their son triumphantly ring that bell, and it’s the sort of thing that causes the allergies of any dad to act up (if you prefer a cutting onions reference, feel free to swap that in).

George Orwell’s 1984 Is Getting a TV Adaptation

1984 TV Series

Thanks to our political climate, people often turn to pop culture to make sense of what’s going on in the world. Things aren’t exactly peachy these days, and thus various dystopian movies, TV shows, and books are being referenced in relation to the pandemic and our political circumstances.

As social media continues to assert its dominance, both in driving conversations and shutting down particular voices, one particular work has been getting more and more play, and that’s George Orwell’s classic tale of totalitarianism, conformity, and disinformation: 1984.

It’s a great book, in which many parallels can be found with today’s climate, regardless of your own political persuasion, but unlike other dystopian works like Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451, it hasn’t gotten a pop culture makeover in quite a while (unless you’re a theatergoer). Until now.

1984 is getting a TV adaptation, but instead of adapting straight from the novel, the planned five-part miniseries will work off of the 2013 stage play from Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.

“As the world grapples with democracy and government in our divided age of surveillance, ‘fake news’ and truth decay, the urgency of Orwell’s masterpiece is undeniable,” the pair said in a statement (via Deadline) “The small screen feels like a natural home for his portrait of a society in which people trust their screens more than the world outside their windows.”

Apparently, that 2013 staged version has a bit of a reputation for its intense and bloody torture sequences (the book employed a very literal ‘rat in a cage,’ shouts to Billy Corgan), which caused some audience members to recoil – and made actress Jennifer Lawrence throw up during her visit to see Olivia Wilde in the Broadway production.

Whether the TV show will adhere to those levels of intensity is yet to be seen, but there’s no denying the show’s modern-day relevance, even if most of the people claiming we’re currently living under Big Brother’s watch haven’t actually read it.

Is HBO Max is Developing a Live-Action Harry Potter Series?

Harry Potter
(Warner Bros)

It was a big day for wizardry, as The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that HBO Max is developing a live-action Harry Potter series. The beloved book franchise has spawned 10 blockbuster movies appeared headed for the streaming world for a series set in the Harry Potter world.

We’re in a full-fledged era of streaming wars, as each service tries to one-up the competition and dethrone Netflix. NBC moved The Office to Peacock, Disney+ is releasing a million Marvel and Star Wars shows, and HBO Max is getting all Warner Bros movies the same day they are released in theaters. And now, HBO Max is working to add some magic to their offerings.

Rumors say the project is in the very early stages and that executives are deep in conversations with several different writers exploring TV possibilities, as the project is a high priority item for HBO Max. Yet, when The Wrap contacted HBO and Warner they got this response:

“There are no ‘Harry Potter’ series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform.”

But that may be because they haven’t committed to one of the pitches they’ve been soliciting.

Or maybe it’s all a bunch of Hogwarts hogwash!

There would still be plenty of speed bumps for a future series, including a complicated rights deal with NBC that doesn’t expire for several years. Another wrinkle is the involvement of author J.K. Rowling, who still has a say in any spin-off productions. Still, with the highly popular IP, and the clear efforts from the streamer to find an angle to return the Harry Potter world, it looks like only a matter of time before wizards will become cool again.

Coca-Cola With Coffee Is Here to Power You Through the Day

Coca-Cola Coffee
(Coca-Cola)

If you’ve been looking for a magic button to help you get through the day, the Coca-Cola company has heard your call and delivered a first of its kind: a coffee cola. Coca-Cola With Coffee is already in cans and available now, it’s set to change the beverage game. Why? Not just because it’s a first, but because it’s good…like, really good, according to reports.

Announced last summer, the product has officially hit grocery stores throughout North America after being tested in dozens of international markets. Here are the important details: it’s 100% Brazilian coffee mixed with the Coca-Cola you know and love, not just some bizarro coffee-flavored pop (are we going with soda or with pop these days?). There are three flavors; dark blend, vanilla, and caramel. There’s also a zero sugar, calorie-free option.

Supposedly it “sips like a Coke, finishes like a coffee” according to a spokesman. The true key here, it’s got a LOT more caffeine than your regular Coke. But still not quite as much as a 12-ounce cup of coffee (the 69 milligrams of caffeine is around half of the 12-ounce coffee), so it hits that perfect middle ground.

“In preliminary consumer testing, more than 80 percent of consumers who tried it said they would buy it,” a spokesman said in a press release. “Our customers would take a sip and immediately ask, “When can we have this?” The answer is NOW. It’s in stores everywhere and will be integrated into the daily routine for parents who need a lift in no time. Unless you’re one of those saints who has successfully given up soda (raises hand smugly) but is still addicted to drinking too much coffee anyway (raises hand shamefully).

For the rest of us, it could be just the ticket we need to power us through those afternoon lulls and gets us to the finish line that much sweeter.

“Dexter” Revival Takes Michael C. Hall Out of the Woods (and Miami)

Dexter
(Showtime)

It was one of the best series on TV and then…it wasn’t. Few shows saw an unraveling after a series finale (and last few seasons, if we’re being totally honest) quite like “Dexter” on Showtime, but now, the gang is getting back together to fix those mistakes.

Here’s what we know, and it’s the most important thing: the 10-episode revival is not picking up where the story left off (thank god), which means Dexter is NOT A LUMBERJACK anymore. The controversial series finale had the vigilante faking his own death and starting a new life on the west coast as a lumberjack, which was deeply unsatisfying to many fans. So, like, just forget that, because the revival is picking up years later

The revival WON’T be going back to Miami either, as it’s set to take place in a fictional upstate New York town. Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption, Starship Troopers) is signed on to play the antagonist, and only a handful of other characters are known at this time. Of course, the main one, series star Michael C. Hall is back, obvs, and he too was frustrated by the finale.

“Let’s be real, people found the way that show left things pretty unsatisfying, and there’s always been a hope that a story would emerge that would be worth telling,” Hall told reporters. “I include myself in the group of people that wondered what the hell happened to that guy, so I’m excited to step back into it.”

It’s also clear it isn’t being rushed, as Hall said he and the show’s creators have bantered around ideas for years, but Hall never thought it was the right time. This time, they found an idea they really liked, and one Hall thought was a better fit for the character.

Hall said “I think in this case, the story that’s being told is worth telling in a way others weren’t, and I think enough time has passed where it’s become intriguing in a way that wasn’t before.”

The show is in production now and will air in the fall. It sounds really promising and will give fans of the original series (you know, before it fell apart) hope for a much more satisfying close.

Could Rick Moranis Appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Winston Didn’t Say No

Ernie Hudson on Rick Moranis' Return
(Columbia)

In the midst of the nightmare that was 2020, there were a handful of bright spots. A bunch of movies landed on streaming services to help us survive, Taylor Swift graced us with two new albums, and Rick Moranis re-emerged into the spotlight after having taken years off to raise his kids.

The one-time megastar who started on SCTV starred in Strange Brew, headlined the Honey I Shrunk the Kids trilogy, and co-starred in Ghostbusters and Spaceballs, pulled back from Hollywood after his wife passed from cancer. Now that his kids are grown, he’s making a return to the industry, most notably in the forthcoming legacy-quel to Honey I Shrunk the Kids on Disney+.

Despite the imminent arrival of a new Ghostbusters film that exists in the same universe as the original movies and will feature cameos from some of the original cast, Moranis is not supposed to appear. Or is he?

Ernie Hudson, who suited up alongside Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and Harold Ramis, was recently asked if Moranis makes an appearance in the new movie, and he didn’t exactly say no…

During a chat with Living Life Fearless, he was asked point black, and he dodged the question. “I think the studios probably want to hold that one,” Hudson said. “I love Rick. But yeah, I’ll let them share that.”

Moranis hasn’t spilled the beans, but he has expressed a willingness to dive back into work – but that the female-led Ghostbusters movie didn’t pique his interest.

“I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role, and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I’ll probably do it,” Moranis told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “[But Ghostbusters 2016] didn’t appeal to me.”

If Hudson is playing coy and Moranis is returning, it’s a pretty well-kept secret. Bill Murray himself even denied it when he guested on Ellen, saying, “”We’re missing Rick Moranis and we’re missing Harold Ramis,” Murray said. “And they’re greatly missed for so many reasons. They were so much a part of the creation of it and the fun of it. But Harold is featured in the story of the movie, so it’s going to be very interesting.”

Maybe the movie’s delay, which was made necessary due to the pandemic, afforded a little extra time to find a way to get Moranis into the film. Or maybe the cast are just great at bluffing!

Either way, we’ll have to wait til this summer to find out, when Ghostbusters: Afterlife premieres. But you can tie yourself over with some crazy Facts About Rick Moranis.

2021’s Newest Trend Is the “Monkey Tail Beard” and TBH We’re Worried About You

Monkey Tail Beards
(Instagram/the_godriguez, bellaxbarbearia)

This has been one heck of a year. A freaking pandemic, all the political junk we never want to think about again, there’s a lot going on – and realistically, no person is fully equipped to handle it all. We’ve become accustomed to checking in on our loved ones even more than usual because it’s important to make sure the people we care about are holding it together as well as they possibly can. On a recent check-in, we were reminded that cries for help can come in a million different packages. Sometimes a questionable fad is nothing more than a questionable fad, but uh, we wanted to make sure you’re doing ok out there.

Nearly a year of quarantine has left even the biggest homebodies longing for the days of attending a party for a couple of hours before making an excuse to leave. We’ve had to come up with new and creative ways to stay busy, occasionally leading us to some pretty ridiculous situations. Or in this case, some ridiculous facial hair. The latest beard trend of 2021 is not entirely unexpected, given our deep desire for some sort of novelty during these monotonous days. Recently, photos featuring something called a “monkey tail beard” have been popping up on social media, and it’s – well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Angus Grant (@angusgrantart)

The bizarre facial hairdo features a single sideburn that essentially runs down the side of your face, swoops down around your chin, and circles upwards over one side of your mouth ending in some sort of long-winded moustache.

The trend first popped up in 2019 when MLB’s Mike Fiers showed up sporting the monkey tail beard, and we cannot stress this enough, he did it for laughs. Now, the monkey tail beard is making waves on social media by people who look suspiciously serious about it.

Listen, we get it. It’s a weird time, and we’re all just trying to make it through. If what you need to spread your creative wings within the confines of your own home is this thoroughly bananas look, more power to you – sometimes you really just need to monkey around and find out. All we ask is if you do decide to take the plunge, please photograph the evidence.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @sortadandy

Father Figures: My Hero

“This is my husband, Jesse, and our son, 24 hours after getting off ECMO from his heart surgery.

Our son is 5 months old and almost went into cardiac arrest two days after surgery and was placed on life support. Jesse has always pushed himself to be the best father, husband, and father figure.

He took care of me while I was battling Stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma our first year of marriage and now he is providing love and strength for our son in our third year of marriage. The obstacles that have been thrown his way have only made him love harder.

Our son is still fighting but getting stronger every day, and hearing his father’s voice, I believe, has been pushing him to get better. He is full of strength and love and deserves to be recognized for everything he has done and continues to do.

He’s my hero.

To all the good dads doing amazing things for their families, Jesse is right there with you.”

– Kirsten Boyer

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Giant Ape Finally Gets a Shot At Giant Lizard in Godzilla vs. Kong Trailer

King Kong vs Godzilla Trailer

With all of the real-world hullabaloo over the past few months, you may have forgotten that there is a Godzilla extended universe out there.

The modern-day Monsterverse started with Garth Edwards’ new Godzilla movie back in 2014, then there was Skull Island, featuring King Kong, which was a prequel that used a post-credits stinger to reveal its connection to the Godzilla movie, which got a sequel in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In that one, the big lizard fought classic enemies Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidora, but now he’s facing his most formidable foe, the giant ape himself.

The two king monsters are coming head to head in the forthcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest), in which Kong looks like the child-befriending gentle giant good guy, and the quiet, angry Godzilla is having none of it. The two go head to head while the almost-incidental humans in the story (including Alexander Skarsgaard, Rebecca Hall, and Coach Taylor) seek to uncover ancient mysteries surrounding the two behemoths.

I’m not convinced the pair won’t eventually team up to fight some larger foe, but there’s no real hint of that in the trailer, which focuses on their no-holds-barred brawl.

Check it out: