Our Top 5 Stories of the Year
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Our Top 5 Stories of the Year


This year was big for AfterParty; not only did we start to become profitable but we also saw a roughly 100-fold increase in traffic. We had stories picked up in HuffPo, Salon, Psychology Today, The Frisky and more. Elle Magazine called us “resource and heart-filled.” AfterPartyPod was named one of the 10 most popular celebrity podcasts. We even made NPR.

At the end of a year, particularly an exhausting year, it’s always interesting which stories were the heavy hitters in terms of traffic. Are they the ones that make us weep onto our laptops as we poured our deepest fears and feelings onto the page? Er, not in this case. You are quirky folks, dear readers! Here were our five biggest stories of the year:

1) Are Addicts Really Superhuman? 

This post, by Laura Barcella, examined a story which reported that addicts “tend to be among the most successful individuals if they manage not to kill themselves.” The ultimate major good news-bad news story, eh? Addicts tend to go and do impressive things, yay! But the reason they do it is that they lack fully functioning dopamine receptors that ordinarily “make normal people feel happy and complete—that should allow them to feel pleasure,” boo! Commenters had something of a heyday here, primarily pointing out that addicts and alcoholics certainly don’t own the patent on restlessness and dissatisfaction.

2) 4 Things I Do When I Wake Up with Alcoholism

Danielle Stewart knows that if she doesn’t “quiet the asshole” in her head, “a drink is never far away.” Her four tips for quelling that morning monster are fairly basic: call another alcoholic, get to a meeting, write in a journal and cancel everything. But as usual, it’s her style and delivery that elevate her stories to “best of” lists; as she writes, “Much like a child ready to be born, alcoholism can descend upon us at any hour of the day and night without much concern for what we have planned the next morning or how little sleep we had the night before.”

3) An Addict and His Photographer Girlfriend Tackle the Stigma of Addiction

We love our heroes over here at AfterParty; in fact, we have a section wholly devoted to them. But the hero/es that most captivated our readers this year were Kate Meyer and Tom Goris. The two created a site called IAmNotAnonymous, a project which inspires and gives hope to addicts everywhere by showing the faces of different sober folks in gorgeous black-and-white close-ups. By highlighting these two, we’d hoped (and continue to hope) to be able to show even more people those they’ve highlighted. A highlighting extravaganza!

4) Tribute: 20 Years Ago, Kurt Cobain Died

We’ve lost many icons to addiction but none impacted our readers more this year than Kurt Cobain—or at least Jared Mazzaschi’s tribute to his hero. As Mazzaaschi writes, “I remember the tears, head in my hands, life seeming so bleak I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t seek out friends. I called my drug dealer.” (Lest you think this is a tragic story covering a tragedy, we should let you know that Mazzaaschi is sober now.)

5) How Has Obamacare Impacted Substance Abuse Treatment?

Look at you guys wanting to learn! Yep, one of our biggest stories this year was our thorough examination of the impact The Affordable Care Act has had on rehab coverage—the very story that landed me on NPR. What we determined here is that while some insurance companies (we’re talking to you Cigna and Aetna) are rising to the occasion, others are using everything in their power to not have to extend treatment coverage. The news that insurance companies are trying to wiggle out of their responsibilities will surely not come as a surprise to anyone who’s aged possibly three years while on hold and/or trying to reason with insurance company representatives about pesky matters like out-of-network coverage; perhaps what’s most surprising about the story is the fact that, despite all concerns, Obamacare is a boon to those who wouldn’t have been able to get any treatment at all.

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About Author

Anna David is the founder and former CEO/Editor-in-Chief of After Party. She hosts the Light Hustler podcast, formerly known as the AfterPartyPod. She's also the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Party Girl and Bought and the non-fiction books Reality Matters, Falling For Me, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There and True Tales of Lust and Love. She's written for numerous magazines, including Playboy, Cosmo and Details, and appeared repeatedly on the TV shows Attack of the Show, The Today Show and The Talk, among many others.