Arianna Huffington to the World: Calm Down!

HuffPost Lifestyle Sections Ordered to Run Daily Posts on Reducing Stress

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We all know Arianna Huffington is a big believer in the power of sleep and naps. Now she's building on that belief by dictating that a new editorial mission for HuffPost will be to help readers de-stress.

Arianna Huffington Credit: Rob Tannenbaum

Ms. Huffington introduced the mission in a post on the site Thursday, where she explained that all 13 of HuffPost's lifestyle sections will run at least one post daily -- whether it be a blog post from an outside expert or an original piece of reporting -- that aims to help readers decrease their stress levels.

Toward that end the Divorce section this week ran a slideshow titled "34 Ways to Relieve Stress During Divorce," consisting of advice people gave on Twitter. (The answer on the first slide: "Great sex with other people... and wine.") Other content areas will also be asked to align with the mission, but not necessarily as frequently as the Lifestyle sections.

It's not uncommon for editorial focuses like this to arise at media organizations as a result of advertiser interest in the topic. As is often the case at HuffPost, however, the new mission seems to stem directly from Ms. Huffington's personal interest. The stress articles across different sections are also not "sponsorable," according to the company. All that said, of course, HuffPost believes the move will be attractive to a growing number of advertisers.

In a phone interview, Ms. Huffington introduced the idea by mentioning to this reporter a photo she saw him post on Twitter that showed a tomato plant growing in the middle of midtown Manhattan.

"I'm sure seeing that was de-stressing," she said.

"It was," the reporter said. "So is HuffPost going to start selling tomato plants?"

"More like helping people notice the tomato plants," she said. "There are a lot of tomato plants in our lives, but most people would not have noticed it. And if we can increase our awareness to things around us that make us smile, that put our own daily problems in perspective, without a lot of thinking, and if we become more aware of when we are stressed, then we can learn to reduce stress in our lives and the impact of that is going to be enormous."

The new editorial focus follows up an announcement earlier this year that HuffPost would introduce a mobile app called "GPS for the Soul" that will help users measure stress indicators such as heart rate and bring up "whatever you need to get a sense of balance," as Ms. Huffington put it then. "It might be music, or poetry, or breathing exercises, or photos of a person or place you love -- or a combination of all of these."

She said the app will be launched at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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