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What We Learned in 2022

The Pocket team’s favorite findings of the year, from the hot water bottle’s unlikely comeback to the unexpected appeal of socializing in virtual reality.

Pocket Collections

Read when you’ve got time to spare.

The Pocket team are also avid Pocket users—our saves reflect our own curated corners of the web. These are the gems that gave us fresh perspective, prompted self-reflection, or taught us something new in 2022.

The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle

Kris De Decker
Low-Tech Magazine

Toasty toes for the win: “The hot water bottle is making a comeback—and it’s perfectly timed, with the energy crisis, cost of living rises and hurtling inflation. I came for this article’s title; I stayed for its history lesson and practical tips. (Make a heat tent with hot water bottles under a blanket at your desk! Use cold water bottles in summer!) Eco-friendly, affordable and delightfully low-tech, hot water bottles aren’t just for pain relief or bedtime use. I’ve now put mine back into rotation. As an added plus, I discovered this gem through the vast and varied reading habits of our Pocket users.” —Kimi, Recommendations Editor

The Pain of Losing Your First Language

Kristin Wong

Finding your way home: “This story touched me. It’s not, at least not only, about growing up bilingual or learning a language. It’s about yearning to belong, to find your place in the universe, to find happiness.” —Nina, Software Engineer

The Movie Star and Me

Domenica Feraud

A fairytale gone awry: “This piece got a lot of buzz earlier this year since it’s rumored to be about a very famous movie star, who is allegedly the inspiration for ‘All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).’ I’ll admit that I initially read it to follow the internet gossip, but what I discovered was an incredibly poignant take on the confusing power dynamics that exist both in relationships and the workplace.” —Benton, Partnerships Manager

This 715-Song Playlist Is Scientifically Verified to Give You the Chills, Thanks To “Frisson”

Sam Gilberg
Big Think

Pleasurable gooseflesh: “I learned there’s a technical term for the feeling I’m chasing when I listen to my favorite songs on endless loop: frisson, aka piloerection, aka ‘aesthetic chills’. Now every time the right chord elicits that thrill for me, I think about this playlist (Portishead! Dvořák! Radiohead!) and the primal response we experience when something suddenly violates our expectations in a good way.” —Corrie, Syndication Coordinator

The Economic Principle That Helps Me Order at Restaurants

Joe Pinsker
The Atlantic

The case for going halfsies: “I owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Pinsker for applying the economic principle of ‘The first sip is always the best sip’ to restaurant orders. Since reading this piece in August I have changed my restaurant order strategy in order to maximize first bite, leading to a significantly richer, more enjoyable experience every time. Joe, should you find yourself in Los Angeles, dinner—featuring six different appetizers and then dessert—is on me.” —Amy, Staff Recommendations Editor

Photos Found Near Bombed-Out Kyiv Apartment Tell a Family’s Story

Siobhán O'GradyKostiantyn Khudov
The Washington Post

People are really, really brave: “It’s overwhelming what a dark place the world can be, but that makes the light we do have even more precious. From Ukraine to Iran and beyond, ordinary people have been showing extraordinary resilience by standing up to raw, arbitrary brutality, often because they have no other choice. We wouldn’t know about any of it without the reporters who risk their lives in conflict zones to show us exactly what is happening in this ugly, beautiful world. My dear friend Siobhán O'Grady, a reporter at the Washington Post, and Ukrainian journalist Kostiantyn Khudov, are two of my guiding lights. All of their coverage from the war in Ukraine has been indispensable, but I will leave you with this story of their quest to find the owner of some family photos they spotted in the debris a bombed apartment in the early days of the invasion. It’s a small piece of humanity in an inhumane time.” —Alex, Staff Recommendations Editor

The Number Ones

Tom Breihan

60+ years of hits: “I’m told I’m late to the party on this one, but if that’s the case, I want to make sure no one else misses out. Tom Breihan has been working through every single #1 song that‘s been the Billboard Hot 100 since 1958. The detail is amazing, the nostalgia is overwhelming and every time I dive in I learn something new about artists and songs I love.” —Matt, General Manager, Pocket

Why R U Mad at the Name Kayleigh?

Kathryn Jezer-Morton
The Cut

An ode to monikers: “Growing up, I was always teased for my name because it’s not common in America. I would know I was next in the attendance list, especially with a substitute teacher, when there would be a pregnant pause before they attempted to sound out my name (it’s phonetic—you just pronounce every letter...). So when I discovered this article on Pocket, I was curious to find out more about names and what makes people react the way they do to them. The article dives into race, culture, and social status in regards to why people name their kids certain names which seems more nuanced than just randomly calling your child ‘Kymburleigh’ (instead of the traditional Kimberly).” —Damiano, Senior Media Manager, Consumer + Brand

Converting Integers to Floats Using Hyperfocus

Mara Bos

High-tech fever dreams: “I learned a lot about math and compilers while enjoying this beautifully crafted story that combines really deep technical details with great dialogue through her discovery process.” —Juha-Matti Santala, Developer Advocate for Firefox Add-ons

This Is Life in the Metaverse

Kashmir Hill
The New York Times

A surprisingly social experience: “The metaverse is still seen as a punchline to many people, but after I read this article in which the author spent 24 hours making friends, watching performances and exploring Horizon Worlds, it made me see it in a whole new light. It’s basically just a novel, convenient place to socialize. And for extroverts like me, that’s pretty appealing.” —Mary, Head of Brand Voice

Give Yourself Permission to Be Creative [WATCH]

Ethan Hawke

Creativity’s healing power: “‘There's no path until you walk it... and you have to be willing to play the fool.’ I recently stumbled upon this video and have found myself coming back to it whenever I feel stuck.” —Astrid, Social Content Manager

Supermanagers Podcast [LISTEN]


Be a better leader: “I loved learning about the diverse management experiences from a variety of managers across different organizations, from startups to established companies. This podcast exposes listeners to both good and bad stories—helping leaders-in-training repeat the good and avoid the bad.” —Marco, Engineering Manager

A Counterintuitive Guide to Happiness

Amy Maoz

Setting healthier goals: “We are often told we should be happy—‘do what makes you happy’ is not always so simple. Having my child followed shortly by a pandemic, has caused me to re-evaluate the idea of happiness and how to pursue it. This collection presented some really great thoughts on happiness and why happiness isn’t always the goal.” —SuAnn, Senior Engineering Manager for Backend

Pocket’s Top Articles of 2022


Explore the stories that defined the year, and the ones we’ll still be talking about in 2023. Plus, discover the best long reads, smart advice, and entertaining culture writing that Pocket readers loved this year.