Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Top Email Newsletters I Recommend

I enjoy using email to stay informed, and I've tried a ton of different free email newsletters over the years. I use emails to stay on top of political and financial news as well as stay connected culturally and digitally with information that I feel adds something to my life. So I thought I'd sum up the newsletters that I've found to be tried and true. In other words, these are the ones I open and read every single time. Most are daily and concern the news, but there are some that are less frequent and more varied on topics. (And of course, you can sign up to receive emails for this blog, too! If you're on a desktop, just submit your email address in the lower right. If you're on a mobile device, just click view web version and then enter your email in the lower right.) Enjoy!


  • Vox Daily Sentences: This is a left-of-center summary of the news that covers a fair number of issues. Their reporting is thoughtful and they include information aggregated from other news sources in their newsletter.
  • The Atlantic Daily: I don't read most of The Atlantic in detail, but their newsletter gives me an idea of which longform pieces I actually want to take the time to read. Several of their articles have stuck with me years after I read them.
  • Robinhood Snacks: Robinhood provides succinct, punchy, and interesting finance news digestible even for not-so-economically-inclined readers like me.
  • Stephen Aftergood's Secrecy News: This is a bit of a niche newsletter that doesn't publish that frequently but provides updates in publicly available U.S. government secrecy, intelligence, and transparency policy. I recommend it for folks interested in national security and open government policy.
  • Diplopundit: This is essentially a blog for State Department insiders with a mix of breaking news, gossip, and analysis. I recommend it for folks who work at State who want to keep up with the goings-on of Foggy Bottom.


  • Latter Day Light: This is a short daily devotional with a brief Scripture, Church leader quote, Church history factoid, and usually a one-panel cartoon. I like it because it gives me a brief pause in my day to think about eternal things.
  • The Well Examined Life: This is a blog recently launched by my dear friend E, who is a lawyer by day but an excellent scholar of the Scriptures and religious history in his spare time. I always find his perspectives deeply thought-provoking and insightful, and I hope you will, too.
  • FamilySearch: I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most diligent family history researcher, but I still enjoy the emails from FamilySearch letting me know when there are some records in my family tree I can clean up and reminding me of memories and stories recorded about my ancestors.


  • TED-Ed Newsletter: I get about three original animated educational videos per week, and I watch whatever's in the email. The topics include history, literature, science, math, and even riddles, and the animations are beautifully done. I highly recommend this if you're just generally curious and want to learn something outside your wheelhouse.
  • Morgan Hazelwood's Writing Blog: This has great tips and encouragement for the creative writers out there! I heard about this great blog from someone at the Washington Science Fiction Association, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The newsletter is helpful without being overwhelming. Check it out!
  • Blogilates Newsletter: This is the newsletter for YouTube fitness legend Cassey Ho. I originally signed up for this to get the free monthly POP Pilates workout calendars, but I've also grown to love the blog posts and videos about body positivity, fitness, healthy eating, and more.
  • Slate's Dear Prudence: So I confess, I'm addicted to advice columns. I don't always agree with Slate's columnist, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, but I do like to think about the dilemmas posed in the weekly chats and think about how I would advise a friend in that situation. And thinking about those things has increased my understanding and compassion for people going through various hardships and has even helped me comfort my friends in real life more effectively when they're struggling.

Of course, there are some newsletters that I once read but fell by the wayside, but a lot of that is due to personal preference. I cancelled my subscription to theSkimm because they had a few cases of misleading reporting, and when I reached out to them they followed up with a form reply and no corrections. I stopped following Foreign Policy and Politico because I find they publish too many viewpoints too frequently for me to keep up with limited time. With Foreign Affairs and various DC think tank newsletters, I felt their most important content was generally captured in the news or conversations I'm already having with friends. I also used to get a lot of food-related emails and cancelled those because I can pretty much find all the food information I want when I want at my own convenience. Not all of these newsletters are bad, it's just that I don't have the time to read them.

If one or more of the newsletters above interest you, you should give it a shot and see if you like it! You can always unsubscribe later. I've sure enjoyed them a lot. Let me know in the comments if you have a recommendation that I missed; I'm always looking for more!

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