39 things that are bad for you that you do anyway

We beat ourselves up a lot as human beings for our supposed ‘weaknesses’ don’t we? We admonish ourselves every time we eat a third bourbon or indulge in back to back Married at First Sight Australia. We imagine what better all round people we’d be if we only did the washing up immediately after dinner and didn’t ever text an ex after a glass of wine.

The fact is, we all do stupid stuff.

We all do things that we know, on some level, aren’t good for us. We do things knowing they are going to impact our health or our emotional wellbeing or possible contribute to the decline of the British High Street. But do you know what? It’s okay.

It’s okay if you get things wrong sometimes, it’s okay to make mistakes. The point of making this list, with the help of people on social media, is not to shame you, but to empower you. You can read this list knowing that all of these things are done by other people too and that it doesn’t make you a failure as a human.

What’s way more important is kindness, showing empathy, offering support when you are able. Making people laugh, sharing hopes and dreams, loving your family and friends. You can do all of this at the same time as eating too many crisps. If lockdown life has taught us anything it’s that being kind, both to ourselves and to other people, should be the priority.

So here’s my list of things that are bad for you that you do anyway – some aren’t even that bad at all, which proves my point really, that it’s all meaningless standards imposed on ourselves, by ourselves. Hopefully that’s a comfort.

Some are my own, some are other people, all of them are human.

things that are bad for us that we do anyway

1. Comparing yourself to other people.

2. Judging other women’s looks and choices.

3. Smoking weed.

4. Reading arguments between strangers on Mumsnet.

5. Giving yourself too many tasks to do in one day and then spiralling out of control.

6. Bottling up feelings.

7. Not exercising for days at a time.

8. Watching too much reality TV.

9. Eating onion bhajis.

10. Spending way too much time on your phone.

11. Drinking a red bull every day.

12. Binge drinking at weekends.

13. Following your crush. (Online, not stalking I presume.)

14. Watching stories of toxic friends leaving you out of things and never calling them out on it.

15. Drinking alcohol every night.

16. Not drinking enough water.

17. Thinking about an ex-partner when you masturbate.

18. Twitter and alcohol in combination.

19. Coke Zero.

20. Eating salty sunflower seeds.

21. Going to bed too late.

22. Staying in bed too late.

23. Skiving at work.

24. Having one night stands.

25. Staying or getting in touch with an ex.

26. Judging people on dating apps based on looks.

27. Reading the news.

28. Leaving the dishes until the next day. (Or maybe the next.)

29. Doing a Starbucks drive through once a month for coffee and cinnamon swirls.

30. Listening to the neighbours argue.

31. Snooping on your children’s phones.

32. The Daily Mail column of shame.

33. Eating junk food.

34. Engaging in online conversations with racists.

35. Reading Reddit threads.

36. Putting things off until the last minute and then panicking.

37. Overthinking.

38. Rereading old messages from exes.

39. Using social media.

How many of these do you do and what would you add to the list?




  1. beefy
    19 January, 2021 / 11:24 am

    Don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with using social media or having one night stands – and I would consider it a complete win to go to Starbucks once a month. The sunflower seeds one is incredibly specific.

    • Jo Middleton
      19 January, 2021 / 11:25 am

      Hahaha! The sunflower seed one made me laugh a lot in its specifity! I think that’s what might be comforting about the list – a lot of the things you might thing are really fine, and that then might make you feel better about your own things because it’s a bit of perspective?

  2. 19 January, 2021 / 7:02 pm

    I do a lot of these! But the worst is comparing myself to others – I do it every single day and all it does is utterly reduce me as a person.
    Probably shouldn’t admit to this, but I spend way too long watching spot- squeezing videos on YouTube

    • Jo Middleton
      21 January, 2021 / 6:55 pm

      Brilliant! I am not a fan of the spot squeezing myself but I know they’re popular! The comparison one is such a hard habit to break, I’m sure there are very few people who could say they never did it.

  3. 15 February, 2021 / 4:09 pm

    Onion bhajis made me laugh, and the Daily Mail column of shame and mumsnet arguments ha ha. Think we have all done some… most of these – v funny.

    • Jo Middleton
      19 February, 2021 / 9:04 am

      Oh for sure – I’ve done over 25 of them!

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