8 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Brood

So you want to be sad in a sexy way? Join the club.

(Sigh.) Here are eight hot tips for cultivating an air of enthralling ennui.

1. Kill (most of) the lights.

It’s counterintuitive, but to nurture brood awareness you have to act like brood awareness is the furthest thing from your mind. Wear black, gray, or brown — anything that implies a hard impermanence. Like United, this is a No Peacock zone.

Firelight is great because it emphasizes cheekbones and romanticizes awkward silences. Dark bars are hard to beat, especially the ones you and your ex used to frequent.

2. Look off into the distance, not down.

To boost brood interest you need to look deep, not depressed — like you’re a thousand miles away and the poignancy of this new geography is really weighing on you.

Brooding out a window is cliché for a reason: it works. Cabs, airplanes, portholes. I once saw a mechanic looking out from an empty garage and my heart snapped like a Pirouline. Imagine if it had been raining!

3. Embrace the aging process.

Your face, your posture, and your credit score should all say, “You wouldn’t believe the squalls this old heart’s weathered.”Even if you’re like, 23.

Botox? Honey, no-tox. Crow’s feet by candlelight? Now we’re talking.

Your past is checkered and you want to shade in the white squares with the nearest symmetrical stranger.

4. Listen to Elliott Smith or The xx, but struggle to explain their appeal.

These artists are too complex for words, just like you. What better way to increase brood engagement than by making your audience finish all your thoughts?

5. Push all of the world’s problems to the front of your mind and your own dumb luck to the back.

Think of all the dogs in shelters who will never be adopted.

Think of all the plastic choking our oceans.

Think of the one aspect of your super-charmed life that’s been kind of disappointing. Maybe you’re not quite where you want to be professionally, or you’re hungover.

Hang this omni-awareness from your neck like an alluring albatross.

6. Accessorize your brood.

Hand-roll your own cigarettes so your audience knows how badly you want to shorten this interminable life.

Scribble in a notebook as if out of some grave necessity. Is it a poem or a grocery list? Hey, art is subjective.

Punctuate your brood by sipping — never slurping — from a mug of black coffee, a glass of red wine (watch out for wine mouth), or a tumbler of neat whiskey. Pick one and stick with it: consistency of vice is key to brood loyalty.

7. …But not with food.

You’re a husk, remember? By definition, husks lack substance.

8. Take it from Maine.

Nobody broods harder than Maine. Look at Maine, brooding up there by the ocean, with its craggy beaches and primal sadness. Maine is such a loner, it seceded from Massachusetts.

Like Maine, you should linger at the corners, let storms wash over your face, and associate yourself with the sea.

Even if that just means being a wallflower and frowning in a fisherman’s sweater.

- — -

Follow the steps outlined above to amass a large following of Brood Advocates who want desperately to nurse you back to emotional health. Then, let them try.

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