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Dr. Irene S. Levine
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Irene S. Levine, PhD is an award-winning freelance journalist and author who writes about travel and relationships. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she is a professor of psychiatry at the New York University Langone School of Medicine. She spent the major portion of her career in senior policymaking roles at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Center for Mental Health Services in Rockville, Maryland.

Her articles have appeared in major newspapers, such as The Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, New York Times, Newsday, and USA Today, and national publications, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Bottom Line Health, Health, Ladies Home Journal, Prevention, and Reader's Digest.

Irene co-authored, Schizophrenia for Dummies (Wiley, November 2008) with her psychiatrist/husband Jerome Levine, MD. The book distills what the two have learned from families, clinicians and researchers during their many years in public mental health. The book is intended to dispel the many myths and misunderstandings commonly associated with schizophrenia, and to help individuals and their families better cope with the disorder. Schizophrenia is an illness of the brain that is now considered highly treatable, and that offers hope for recovery, with appropriate care and supports.

Her solely-authored book about female friendships was based on a online survey she conducted with over 1300 women. Best Friends Forever: Getting Over A Break-Up With Your Best Friend was published by Overlook Press in September, 2009. Irene blogs about female friendships at

Irene is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, North American Travel Journalists Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Authors Guild.

Entries by Dr. Irene S. Levine

18 Cruise Hacks

(8) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 3:53 PM

Each time you cruise, you're likely to become a better cruiser. You figure things out and pick up a few tricks from other cruisers that make a voyage easier and more enjoyable. After returning from our most recent Mediterranean cruise, I created a short list of my favorite cruise hacks,...

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12 Things You MUST See and Do in the Napa Valley

(8) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 5:17 PM

2015-05-31-1433095809-2104901-P1170647.JPG Vineyards in the Napa Valley

When it comes to figuring out what to see and do at any destination, every traveler derives special pleasure from discovering the hidden gems and authentic experiences that uniquely define a place and its people. It can entail...

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MortadellaBo: Celebrating Mortadella in Bologna

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 12:05 PM

Mortadella di Bologna is so closely associated with the city of Bologna that many people often use the terms "mortadella" and "bologna" interchangeably.


There is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. During our visit to...

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What You Can Do to Help Rebuild Los Cabos

(71) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 1:50 PM

A partial list of Hurricane Odile relief funds to help rebuild Los Cabos


Forgive me. I'm writing with my heart and not my head. I've been so very sad about the devastation of Hurricane Odile, the worst hurricane to hit Los Cabos in...

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Are Old Friendships Worth Re-igniting? If You Think There Is a Chance, Here Is How to Find Them

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 7:40 AM

Over time, all of us lose a good number of friends. It's to be expected. Paths diverge as we graduate, marry, move, become parents, embark on new careers, get divorced, or experience fundamental changes from within. Unlike marriages that have legal ties--or relationships with relatives that are bound by blood--friendships...

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14 Ways to Get Over the Holiday Hump

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 9:39 AM

Feeling alone? No friends or family?

The holiday season can be depressing if you are feeling alone or dispirited and everyone else seems joyous and happy. But you are not alone: Many others have no friends or family nearby, or feel disconnected or estranged from the people around them --...

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Travel Perks When You're 50 or Over

(7) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 5:27 PM

Feeling down in the dumps about an approaching milestone birthday? It may buoy your spirits to know you may now be eligible for a spate of age-related "senior" travel discounts and perks, ranging from A to Z (Airlines to Zoos).

Over the next five years, 80 million Americans will...

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Why Air Passengers Fly With the Flu

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 10:32 AM

Would you board an airplane knowing you had the flu? Would you worry about possibly infecting other passengers or airline crew?

An online survey sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that two-thirds of Americans would fly knowing they had the flu. Close to half (45 percent)...

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What Were You Thinking, Betty White?

(53) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 7:20 AM

(Screenshot from the New Zealand Air in-flight video)

Perhaps when we reach the age of 50, we're just a bit more sensitive to ageism when we see it.

The beloved 91-year-old comedian Betty White has a new starring role in Air New Zealand's...

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Dear Hotel Manager: Are Your Rooms Booomer-Proofed?

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 4:30 PM

(Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart)

Why hotel managers need to roll out the (non-slip) welcome mat for boomer travelers...

One of my close friends (a boomer like me) recently visited an upscale spa resort that shall remain nameless. She had just popped...

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The Unspoiled Beauty of Huatulco

(5) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 11:54 AM

It's hard to pronounce and lacks the cachet of Cabos or Cancun--but you might want to head to Huatulco this winter, a beach getaway with unspoiled beauty

View of Conjeos Bay from under a Palapa

Huatulco is located on the Pacific coast...

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5 Ways to Help a Depressed Friend

(9) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 8:15 AM

Your friend has suddenly clammed up on you. You ordinarily speak, email or text each other every day, but when you called her three weeks ago after she was recently laid off from her job, she curtly said she was taking a nap and would call you back later. Your...

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10 Reasons Why People Fall in Love With San Miguel de Allende

(15) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Magical San Miguel de Allende

Located in central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende has no beaches or blue waters like the Mexican resorts of Cancun, Cozumel, or Los Cabos. And it isn't easy to get to directly from many U.S. or Canadian...

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10 Insider Tips for Navigating TripAdvisor Reviews

(5) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 6:44 PM

To plan a vacation, people around the globe are increasingly seeking out insider tips and recommendations from online review sites. With travel sites in 21 languages and a collection of more than 500 million user-generated traveler reviews, it's not surprising that TripAdvisor leads the pack.

In fact, TripAdvisor reviews have...

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Is 50 Too Old to Make a BFF?

(14) Comments | Posted July 20, 2013 | 9:19 AM

If you feel bereft of friends, you're not alone.

Women are often stressed to the limit while they're simultaneously juggling careers and caring for children and/or aging parents. During those busy years, spending time with friends may feel like a self-indulgent luxury. Yet later, when we reach our 50s...

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Discovering The French Countryside On A River Cruise

(11) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 8:00 AM

A river cruise may be one of the most convenient and economical ways to explore Burgundy and Provence for those of a certain age.

"Paris is my home," says Balwinder Prabhakar, explaining her emigration from India to France, after falling in love and marrying a Parisian some 22 years ago....

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Cruise Review: The MSC Yacht Club: A "Ship Within A Ship"

(3) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 7:00 AM

Finding the intimacy of a yacht on a large ship

As soon as we stepped out of the taxi at the port in Barcelona to embark on our Mediterranean cruise, Vishesh, the stately head butler of the Yacht Club on the MSC Divina, greeted us warmly by name. He led...

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Cruise Review: The Crystal Symphony Makeover

(5) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 6:00 AM

Many luxury travelers are skeptical about taking cruise vacations. They associate cruises with mediocre, calorific buffet food; cramped, ill-designed cabins; hoards of people with lines at every turn; not being able to get off the beaten path; and being nickeled and dimed for extras. If you are cruise avoidant, a...

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3 Unforgettable Villa Vacations in Jamaica

(1) Comments | Posted December 25, 2012 | 11:10 AM

Sharing costs with friends or family can make these opulent villas more affordable for a special vacation.

The island of Jamaica is a popular tourist destination because of its tropical climate, craggy coastline with white sandy beaches, lush tree and ground vegetation, verdant golf courses, zesty foods paired with reggae...

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Douglas Ward, Cruise Expert, Shares His Ship Wisdom

(4) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 6:00 AM

Douglas Ward is the author of the just-released Berlitz 2013 Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships (now in its 28th edition), an invaluable resource to anyone planning a cruise. Ward also serves as president of the Maritime Evaluations Group, an American company that has published yearly reports cards on some...

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