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2022’s Best Distractions

And just like that, 2022 is pretty much over. There’s less than two weeks until Christmas, which means less than three weeks until we enter whatever madness 2023 will be.

As we gear up for entering another year that may or may not fly by, I want to take some time to look back at 2022. I share an honest and personal recap of my year in “episode 71: the best of 2022” on The Simply Jamilah Podcast. This writing is more focused on the distractions and discoveries I found this year and want to recommend, including my favorite writings from this blog and my favorite episodes of my podcast.

*This is documentation up to December 9, 2022, meaning I have yet to listen to SZA’s new album.


  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Yes, this movie felt as long as it actually was, but I think they managed to do a beautiful job of seamlessly honoring Chadwick Boseman, telling another story with a new “villain”, showcasing the good and bad sides to both villains and heroes, and introducing another female hero to the MCU.
  2. Lightyear – Nowadays, it’s hard for me to have interest in animated Disney movies. Like, I haven’t seen Moana or Coco. However, I’ve always liked Toy Story, so I had to watch this one. This film did not disappoint. So beautiful and heartwarming and an animated film I would continuously watch again.
  3. Marry Me – I had to pick at least one romance film to include on this list, and this is the one. Romantic movies are so incredibly predictable that they tend to get old as you’re watching them. However, this one kept me entertained and is one I plan on watching again when I have the proper streaming service.

tv shows

  1. Wednesday – There is a reason it is breaking records and getting a ton of hype, despite all the annoying gossip. I don’t tend to like this genre, but Wednesday may have transformed my mind. I’ve loved Jenna Ortega since her Stuck in the Middle days (in all the Wednesday hype, we can’t forget the movie she did with Maddie Ziegler earlier this year). This show was perfectly paced, casted, executed, and I need season two.
  2. Partner Track – Another show I need season two of; gosh I hope Netflix doesn’t cancel this show, especially with the cliffhanger. Personally, I think this show’s season one is better than Emily in Paris‘ season one. There was so much tension and subplots and representation. A stunning legal drama.
  3. Euphoria – First and foremost, RIP Ashtray. I binged season one at the beginning of the year before season two came out at the end of January. Another beautiful show where the hype is understandable. I am impatient and nervous for the next season. Also, once again, Labrinth killed the soundtrack.

content creators

*All handles are Instagram handles.

  1. @kristy.sarah – Also known as Kristy Scott, if you looked at this year’s “Forbes 30 Under 30 List“. She’s the most recent content creator I’ve become obsessed with. She’s beautiful, hilarious, and a phenomenal example of a wonderful mother and wife.
  2. @kaitiyoo – Her brain is amazing, first off. She has a fantastic ability to be vulnerable and honest and true to herself without showcasing too much of her personal life. Most of her content is fashion-based, but she incorporates mental health discussion in that and beautifully showcases the acceptability of one’s imperfections because we’re all human. Kaiti Yoo is a content creator who stays authentic and private, no matter how much her numbers increase.
  3. @heybriajones – A member of YouTube’s 2023 Black Creators class… or something like that. Numerically, she grew quickly over the course of 2022, but she’s also stayed true to herself. She does a wonderful job of giving advice, GOOD advice, without putting every single detail of her personal life on blast. One of my favorite things about her is her honesty and transparency when it comes to content creation.


  1. Sketchup (for iPad) – This is the only one exclusive to one particular Apple product. Considering Sketchup has always been for Windows, this is a pretty big deal, and it seems pretty seamless. This is a recent download, but considering I haven’t downloaded many apps this year, it’s on the list.
  2. BeReal – There’s a reason this app blew up this year. Considering my recent move, I use this app to be nosy and keep up with the lives of my friends… when they remember to post. More than anything, though, it’s another way to document my life.
  3. Habit – When I was having to wake up at 3 am everyday, this app did a really great job of keeping me in a routine for the simple things I was forgetting, like drinking water and exercising and taking time for myself. If you want more of a routine, I highly recommend Habit.


  1. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – There is a reason so many people read this book so quickly. I did a review on it, so I’m going to keep this brief. It’s chilling and gut-wrenching and pulls every single emotion out of you. Writing is Jennette McCurdy’s gift, and I feel honored I was able to read her story.
  2. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon – Once again, I had to include a young adult romance on this list, so I chose this one. Nicola Yoon did such a beautiful job with X and Evie’s love story. I have never connected so much with a character like I did with Evie.
  3. All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks – An iconic and necessary read. Literally everyone needs to read this book. There’s so much more I could say about it, but once again, a review on Simply Jamilah already exists for it.


  1. The First Heartbreak – I reached a new level of vulnerability with this writing, and it felt incredible to bare my soul. There was a lot of pain, and writing this pain unlocked a part of myself I didn’t know existed.
  2. My First Solo Trip: Concord, California – Documentation of a very exciting, pivotal moment in my life. Writing this was fun. Editing the video clips was fun. The actual trip was fun. A writing I go back to time and time again.
  3. Thank You, Sex Education – This is one of the best shows I finished/caught up with this year. Writing in general puts a big smile on my face (I love expressing myself with words), but something about writing this had me smiling for a while after I published it. There was something about this writing that had me coming back and rereading it more than a few times.

podcast episodes

  1. 61: the role of a leader” – Retail tea was spilled, and I loved everything about this. It was a necessary venting session about poor manangement in the retail corporate ladder (thinking about doing a part two for the sake of the family I had to leave on November 30th…). I also shed some serious tears about the people I thought were my family in May, and it felt good to cry my eyes out; I now realize I was mourning an inevitable autumn of continuous friend-dumping.
  2. 64: the war on women” – This was recorded after Roe v. Wade was overturned, and it felt so good to talk bluntly about something I’m passionate about. The government should not be allowed to govern women’s bodies. Men should not be allowed to govern women’s bodies. Forewarning, a lot of heavy topics are mentioned in this episode.
  3. 66: a chat with reeve” – I always love doing an interview, and this interview with Reeve was so amazing. We spent about five hours simply talking to each other, and I loved every second of it. Reeve is one of my favorite humans alive, and I’m not just saying that because we’re friends.


  1. Jemele Hill is Unbothered – I talk about this podcast aaaaaallllll the time. It’s literally such a good podcast and so incredibly relevant to everything happening right now. I’m not going to do a deep dive into why you should listen to this podcast, but LISTEN TO IT!
  2. Recipe Club – This is a new podcast for me, so it didn’t make my Spotify Wrapped. However, if you’re a lover of food or trying new recipes, this podcast is for you. A listener submits a recipe based on one food, such as quesadillas, and after a quick history lesson and interview, three chefs try the recipe and share their experience. Amazing podcast with unintentional comedic moments (my favorite!).
  3. The Antidote – A podcast to help you get through the uncertain and tough times, and it is beautiful. Grace and Amy interview their celebrity friends, but instead of talking about someone’s upcoming project, they focus on what their guests do to bring them peace as the world continues to set itself on fire.


  1. “Love$ick” by Mura Masa, A$AP Rocky – If I started listening to this song repeatedly at the beginning of the year, I guarantee it would be on my Spotify Wrapped. A$AP sounds soooo good on this song. Something about this song is such a good car vibe.
  2. “To Be Loved” by Adele – My favorite karaoke song to purposely butcher because I cannot hit any of the notes Adele manages to continuously hit. This song also became my favorite song to cry to this year. Adele did something phenomenal, unreachable with 30.
  3. “I Was Sad Last Night But I’m Okay Now” by tobi lou – I had this song on repeat so many times, especially at the beginning of the year and with my recent move. I know every single word to this song, and I think it’s a song I will continuously go to when I want to bring myself up after any sort of sad emotion/cry session.


  1. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick Lamar’s beautiful return. There are so many, yet not enough, words to describe the perfection Kendrick created with this album. This is why artists who take YEARS to perfect their craft and live life to create something worth listening to are superior.
  2. Blue Slide Park by Mac Miller – I dove deep into the mind of Mac Miller this year when I listened to his entire discography, and as I’ve stated several times before, Blue Slide Park is my favorite album. There is a reason he is my top artist of the year.
  3. Girlfriend by THE DRIVER ERA – This was the year I fell in love with Ross Lynch’s new band, THE DRIVER ERA. I want a guy to sing me a song from this album; I have no problem falling in love with a struggling musician if he randomly picks a song from this album to sing to me every morning. If they toured to a city near me, I would’ve been at Ticketmaster’s throat the way people were for Taylor tickets.

There’s so much more to where this list came from, and I will be sharing EVERY distraction I experienced in 2022 as we venture through the month of December.

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