Jillian Berndtson

Jill is a Senior from Loyola University Chicago majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. She enjoys writing about events around Michigan and mental health. When she's not working, she's either traveling, listening to music, or exploring the city. She's so happy to be working at the Blues!
World Autism Awareness day concept with puzzle or jigsaw pattern on heart with autistic child's hands supported by nursing family caregiver
Home and Family

Understanding Autism in Children

Autism affects the way a person communicates and interacts with others. It does not affect all people equally, rather there are varying degrees of severity.

Multi-ethnic group of little friends with toothy smiles on their faces enjoying warm sunny day while participating in soap bubbles show
Home and Family

Race to Recess: How Unstructured Play Helps Kids

One-third of children are overweight or obese, leaving room for a host of other health complications. So what can be done to help?

woman doing child's pose in a park

Get Grounded: How To Reconnect with the Earth Through Yoga

Those who believe in the science of grounding support connecting individual bioelectromagnetic fields with the earth’s electromagnetic field.

Scavenger Hunt map laying in grass
Home and Family

How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt

You can create a hunt that is kid-friendly or opt for a more difficult set of clues for adults. It really is whatever you decide.

person holding cupcake while having a video conference call

How To Throw a Virtual Party

You can still have plenty of fun and enjoy the company of your loved ones by throwing a virtual party.

A boy and girl sitting at a table sewing fabric
Home and Family

Little Life Skills Everyone Should Know

Of course education is important and school learning should be a priority, but there are also plenty of lessons kids can learn outside of the classroom.

Woman looking in pantry
Food and Recipes

Pantry Stocking Staples

If you’re like us, you always want to maximize your trips to the grocery store by buying food items that have a long shelf life and are versatile.

Woman painting a picture

In a Rut? 12 Ways to Move Forward with Positivity

From creative outlets to health and wellness changes, there are plenty of ways to work on yourself. Here are our favorite ideas.

YouthWork volunteers

YouthWork: Connecting Youth to Community Service

YouthWork aims to answer “what’s next?” by empowering youth of all backgrounds through community service projects.

Little girl holding paper with an F on it.
Home and Family

Helping Kids Navigate Academic Stress

The drive to succeed academically may be good to an extent, but it can also lead to an insatiable desire for perfection where a B can be devastating.

Girl holding hands in the shape of a heart

The Science of Love

What happens in our body when we believe we’re falling in love? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t involve Cupid and his bow and arrow.

Three teams in Grand Rapids Playing Human Hungry Hungry Hippos on Ice

MI Sporting Events to Inspire You in February

While we can’t change the weather, we can choose to make the most of it. In fact, there are plenty of events all around the state to take part in.

Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Sleeping Bear Dunes is located in Empire, Michigan and has many natural wonders. Read about plans to celebrate this popular attraction’s 50th anniversary.

Business people group discussing work plan with coach at meeting

The Best Advice We’ve Received From Mentors

Some pieces of advice tend to resonate with us more than others. Here are some of the best pieces of advice members of our team have received:

girl holding peanut

Taking Caution with Food Allergies

Allergic reactions range from a mild skin rash to anaphylactic shock, requiring immediate medical attention.

Sad woman turned away from group

Stopping Health-Related Stigmas

Unfortunately, many illnesses and conditions, both physical and mental, are stigmatized in society.

Son kissing mother

Small Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Sometimes even the slightest action can make someone happy. Here are some of the ways we participate in random acts of kindness during the holidays:

Parents and daughter picking out decorations
Home and Family

The Best Gift of the Holiday Season: Tradition

Ultimately, it’s not the gifts you remember, but the people and experiences you shared that live on for years to come.

Woman in back seat of rideshare

How to Stay Safe Using Ride-Hailing Apps

You can minimize the risk by taking basic precautions. Here are some tips to keep you safe in your next ride-hailing service.

Two people holding hands grieving

Kevin’s Song: Providing Support to Those Seeking Solace

Kevin’s Song is a Michigan-based organization focused on educating the community about suicide. Learn more about their efforts.

daughter talking to mother in wheelchair

Comedy, Caution and Caregiving: Breeda Miller’s Journey

Caregiving can be stressful, but there are small ways to embrace the journey. Read about Breeda Miller's experience and what she learned from it.

Woman washing her face

Eat Your Way to Better Skin

Skin care doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, you can easily take care of your skin by changing what you eat.

Young boy holding adult's hand
Home and Family

Special Challenges Adopted Children Face

Adoption is a life-changing experience that may bring about some unique challenges for the child that manifest in a variety of ways.

Young Child Learning to Swim
Home and Family

Just Start Swimming: Why Everyone Needs to Know How to Swim

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending kids start swim lessons when they are one year-old.

group of people crossing finish line of charity walk

How to Walk for a Cause

Participating in these charity walks is a win-win. You get the health benefits of walking while also funding a great cause.

senior couple working on their finances at home
Home and Family

Long-Term Life Planning Blueprint

While it’s easy to only look at the not-so-distant future, it’s incredibly important to plan for your long-term needs. It’s never too early to be prepared.

Little girl celebrates her horsey house call

Camp Casey: Providing Help, Horses and Happiness

Camp Casey is a non-profit organization that was established in 2004 with the mission of bringing smiles to kids with cancer and rare blood diseases.

A Healthier Michigan Table Talks: Managing Mental Health

Table Talks: Managing Mental Health

Mental illness can impact everything from work to social lives. It is often viewed differently because it can not be physically seen.

Nurse holding baby with medal

Medals4Mettle: Rewarding Life’s Hardest Races

Medals4Mettle collects old earned medals from long-distance runs such as half-marathons, marathons and triathlons and gives them to kids in the hospital.

two people at a coffee table having a serious conversation

The Power of Saying “No”

You may feel obligated to say yes all the time, but one of your greatest tools is the word “no.”

Soccer Mom accompanying her two daughters to football training
Home and Family

How To Keep Your Health in the Game

Sports are beneficial to mental and physical health and offer a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Sports also require dedication from the parents.

young woman relaxing

Small Steps to Simplify Life

Simplification looks different for everyone and each person has their own method that works for them. Here are some of our tips on how we keep things simple.

Testers of different lipsticks in the cosmetic store

The Concealed Truth: What Your Makeup is Made Of

Using cosmetics to enhance appearance is extremely common across the United States. One study found 31 percent of people ages 18 to 29 wear makeup everyday.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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