Dana Thompson of Owamni
Dana Thompson of Owamni, our favorite video feature of 2022. (Credit: Owamni)

Climate change. Widening divides. Genuine attacks on our freedoms and lives. And we still had our individual responsibilities to think about on top of it all.

“Overwhelming” is perhaps the best word to summarize 2022. At The Story Exchange, we took both micro and macro approaches to covering many of the pressing issues we’ve faced  – from talking with the teen founder of a banned book club and an entrepreneur making creepy-crawly (but sustainable!) snacks, to birds-eye looks at our deadly, ongoing gun violence and insulin access crises.

As 2022 draws to a close, we’re revisiting what we feel are some of our most compelling works. Here are 11 staff picks published throughout the year.


At the Best New Restaurant in America, Healing Is Part of the Experience

Video by Sue Williams; article by Colleen DeBaise – On numerous occasions, Dana Thompson of Indigenous eatery Owamni has seen customers arrive to “just sit at the table and weep.” We were moved by the powerful statement made by this restaurant’s “decolonized” menu.


(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

11 Motivational Songs to Get You Through a Bad Work Day

By Victoria Flexner – When life gets too hard, sometimes you need to hit “pause.” Other times, you need to hit “play” – on tunes with the power to pull you out from under the weight of the world. And that’s what this inspiring, just-plain-fun playlist is all about.


(Credit: iStock)

America: Where Men Do the Shooting, And Women Bear the Brunt of Gun Violence

By Candice Helfand-Rogers – Gun violence is one of America’s deadliest and most enduring problems. Through this in-depth piece, we sought to understand it in detail. As it turns out, the issue isn’t just the guns themselves.


(Credit: Ella Scott)

This Teen Founded a Book Club That Only Reads Banned Books

By Kate Brennan – The Vandegrift High School Banned Book Club was launched by Ella Scott because, as she told us in this staff-favorite article, “we felt the need to do something and get students involved and raise awareness on the issue” of book censorship.


Claire and Chad Simons launched 3 Cricketeers in 2015. (Credit: 3 Cricketeers)

Eat More Crickets (Especially If Chocolate-Covered)

Podcast by Sue Williams and Colleen DeBaise – Yes, we tried them – and yes, we liked them! This delightful podcast tells the sweet startup story of 3 Cricketeers and its founders’ hopes of fighting through an “ick factor” to save the world via thoughtful food.


(Credit: Flickr)

A Trailblazer in Politics Steps Down

By Colleen DeBaise – The 2022 midterm elections brought about some big changes in our nation’s leadership. Just as notable? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down after 35 years of service. Here’s our thoughtful reflection on her career.


(Credit: Maya Gengozian)

Buzzy Memoir ‘Acceptance’ Offers New Take on Resilience

By Maya Gengozian – During an afternoon sit-down with The Story Exchange, former Google employee Emi Nietfeld reflected on the tough road she’s traveled in life – including the harassment she says she experienced while working for the tech giant.


(Credit: Taylor Swift, YouTube)

On Taylor Swift’s Music Video, and Society’s Ongoing Problem With My Body

By Candice Helfand-Rogers – A small moment in a new Taylor Swift music video led to some significant personal reflection on body image, fatphobia, and the ups and downs of living in a society with exhaustingly narrow definitions of beauty.


(Credit: Earth Rides)

Her Rideshare Company Only Uses Electric Vehicles

By Kate Bennan – We need all the solutions we can get when it comes to staving off the effects of climate change. That’s a big part of why we enjoyed this profile on entrepreneur Raven Hernandez, who has helped more than 300,000 eco-conscious riders get around so far.


(Credit: ICF Instagram)

Who Can Become a Life Coach? Anyone. That Might Be the Problem

By Corinne Lestch – We’ve seen them in our social media feeds by the dozens – the life coaches. But how does one become a life coach? And, is there even any oversight? This investigative piece took a long, hard look at the situation.


(Credit: Right Care Alliance Facebook page)

Millions ‘Can’t Afford to Live’ Due to Insulin Costs. These Women Want Change – Now

By Candice Helfand-Rogers – The right to live should not be a matter of affordability. Yet for millions of Americans with diabetes, that’s the case. This article speaks with several women who are trying to change the status quo.