Reddit is a pile of hot garbage. The link-sharing site is notorious for its racist, sexist, homophobic and just all around offensive content and users regularly disparage anyone who tries to call attention to the racism, sexism or offensive content on the site. I personally have “rage quit” reddit numerous times when it gets too much. When most people think of reddit, they think of Men’s Rights Activists, Atheists in fedoras, or 15-year-old white boys in suburban Iowa (this groups are not mutually exclusive).
But there are also parts of the site that aren’t hot garbage (insane, I know). There’s a reason I keep coming back. You can find advice on anything from relationships to fixing your iPhone. There are entire subreddits dedicated to genres of music or specific television shows. If there is a hobby you are interested in, I guarantee there is a subreddit for you! Moreover, there are occasionally beautiful and moving stories and interactions that can restore your faith in humanity, if only for a few minutes. While I must reiterate that a sizable chunk of the site is awful, I’ve also compiled a list of wonderful subreddits.
Skincare Addiction is the most pure, honest, helpful subreddit of all the thousands of subreddits. There’s so much to learn (never put lemon or harsh scrubs on your face!) and so many people who really care about this topic. Posts range from questions about acne to raves and rants about products (seriously, don’t use lemon on your face). I credit this subreddit with singlehandedly clearing my acne. Even if you don’t have acne, SCA is a great place to go to learn more about health and beauty.
2. Personal Finance.
I am terrible with money. I am a big fan of not checking my bank account for weeks because I’m scared to see that number. If you are like me, Personal Finance is not for you. But like Skincare Addiction, this subreddit is full of people who care about a particular subject and want to share their wisdom with others. Anything from investments to debt to buying a house is fair game. It’s an entire community of people rooting for you to succeed financially, which is a great feeling.
TwoXChromoses is the default “female” subreddit, made for anything lady-friendly. TrollX is the place where women joke around and let loose. When I say let loose, I don’t mean joke about their husbands’ silly poker games – I mean posts about period blood with hilarious reaction .gifs. Their ethos is perfectly summed up in a tagline on the subreddit’s description – “Come for the period comics, stay for the cultural awareness.” Single women over 30, cat ladies and those who need to rant about their sexist co-worker – this place is for you.
If TrollX is for funny women to come together, Entwives is for creative female potheads to come together. Somehow smoking weed has become gendered, and taking a bong rip is almost exclusively associated with Judd Apatow-esque men. Entwives is a place that is unapologetically female. Users share pictures of their new, glittery pipes, trade stories about their partners’ sweet, weed related romantic gestures and more. Posts often veer away from weed specifically, and users have been known to share engagement photos or ask for support after a break up. Any place that is focused on women supporting other women is A+ in my book.
If you are not familiar with reddit, you may be familiar with IAMA, also known as Ask me Anything. It’s a subreddit where the users of reddit interview a famous person, or sometimes just a person with a wild story or experience. Yes, President Obama did an AMA. The top AMAs include Bill Gates, Gordon Ramsey, and Sir Ian McKellan. It is a fascinating look at these celebrities. You often see humorous or heartfelt sides to them that you may not see in a standard interview.
6. Earth Porn.
Unsurprisingly, reddit has a lot of porn. Like, a lot. A disgusting amount. This porn, however, is SFW (safe for work). Earth porn is nothing but stunningly gorgeous pictures of landscapes across the world. Sometimes I think they are photoshopped, but I really don’t care. Earth porn is perfect for when you are in a horrible cubicle and desperately wishing that you weren’t. If you’re a budding photographer, this is a great place for inspiration or to share your work.
7. Any city subreddit.
Any major city you can think of has its own subreddit. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago – they all have an entire subreddit dedicated to what’s going on in that city. If you’re thinking about moving to a new city or just spending a weekend somewhere, I recommend sifting through the subreddit to get a feel of the city. There are usually lots of links about where to eat, what to see, and what you should see (or skip). It’s also fun to sift through the subreddit of the city you live in- nothing is more fun than seeing a hyper specific meme about a random neighborhood in your city.
It is exactly what it sounds like – mildly interesting is a place where people post pictures of things that are interesting, but only mildly. Did your gas cost exactly $20.00 and you got exactly 6.00 gallons? Post a picture of those satisfying, even numbers. On the frontpage of the subreddit right now is a picture of a bag of marshmallows with one really, long marshmallow. It is such an innocent and pleasant place, it brings nothing but joy and a quiet, “Oh, wow. Interesting.”
Like many young people in college, I began to consider getting a tattoo. I couldn’t put my finger on why I wanted one, but they fascinated me. This subreddit taught me so much about what makes a good tattoo and what doesn’t. I credit them for saving me from getting a cheesy quote on my ribs, which was my first choice. Even if you’re not interested in getting a tattoo, the pictures shared on this subreddit are nothing short of art. They really expand what most people think tattoos are capable of being, and there are lots of knowledgeable people, including actual tattoo artists, to give advice and encouragement.
Like any large group of people, reddit develops a “hivemind” on certain topics, and Circlejerk is a self aware space to make fun of that hivemind. If you’re a longtime reddit user like myself, Circlejerk is especially satisfying. Posts are text only, and include things like “Does anyone remember 2015? Fuck I’m Old!” which was posted on January 2nd, 2016, and “Bernie Sanders to push ban on oral sex. ‘It’s the only way I can get reddit to stop sucking my dick.”