A newsletter about facing the ups and downs of life, all while being kind to yourself.
Hi there! I’m Katie. I started My Sweet Dumb Brain in 2018, a year and a half after my husband died while running a half marathon. He was 32. And I, suddenly, was a 31-year-old widow.
In the time since his death, I’d amassed a lot of emotions and thoughts about grief, depression, hope, guilt, sadness, and joy. This newsletter became a place to process all of it, and to share the things I’d learned with others.
I’ve since published more than 200 issues and watched as readership grew—from friends and family, to acquaintances, to total strangers! I’ve written about the fragility of life, the joys of freelancing, what it’s like to fall in love again, and much more. I’ve sharpened my skills as a writer, met other people with similar stories to mine, and heard from countless wonderful readers. It’s been a wild and rewarding journey, and I’m grateful for all of it.
This newsletter publishes once a week. Each Tuesday, I send out an essay to all readers. Paying subscribers receive a special expanded version of the Tuesday newsletter, with additional thoughts, reader responses, related resources, and more.
My Sweet Dumb Brain wouldn’t exist without reader support. Revenue from paid subscriptions makes a big difference: 20% goes to my editor, 5% is donated to a different reader-nominated cause each month, and the remainder supports me! Paid subscriptions allow me to treat My Sweet Dumb Brain like the fulfilling job that it is. And as this newsletter grows, so does the time I spend on it.
But that’s not all!
Subscribers also receive Sweet Dumb Brain stickers, designed my by brother, the wildly talented Catlanta. You, too, can put a sticker on your laptop to remind yourself to be kind to that amazing mind of yours.
Here’s what people are saying
Katie Hawkins-Gaar @katiehawkBecoming a parent makes you reconsider a lot of things. For me, it's the way I talk about my body. #mysweetdumbbrain https://t.co/VwQLGjZCdo
Katie Hawkins-Gaar @katiehawkIn today’s newsletter, I re-examine some of my past career choices. Were they really worth it? #MySweetDumbBrain https://t.co/WY1GARsVJi
Katie Hawkins-Gaar @katiehawkThis essay definitely falls under the “wrote it because I need to read it” category. #mysweetdumbbrain https://t.co/Dn5hRhrrzE
Are you convinced yet?
As a journalist and freelance writer, I put a ton of care into my work. Although I write about personal experiences, I also include research-backed studies, quotes from published authors, and fact-checked links to support the topics I tackle. I also work with a wonderful editor (hi, Becca!) who makes sure my newsletters are clear, concise, and typo-free each week.
Perhaps my favorite testimony came from a reader named Catherine. “Your newsletter is like the BFF break I need every week,” she emailed me.
“I am so grateful for all you put out there,” Catherine added. “It really helps on so many levels. If one week, I’m feeling lonely, it makes me feel less alone. If one week, I need some reaffirmation, your newsletter is there. And it always makes me feel like we’ve just hung out and had a chat. So thank you!”
You can get My Sweet Dumb Brain in your inbox each week for free. Or you can subscribe for just $35/year or $5/month. It’s worth it, I promise.
I hope you enjoy this newsletter as much as I enjoy writing it!