After a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 gave us all a chance to reset and remember some of the other things that interest us – like dystopian Korean dramas or immune-boosting fungi. The Post’s lifestyle section kept up with all kinds of cultural news and expert health advice to help navigate the year. As 2021 comes to a close, we take a look at the articles we published that touched readers the most throughout the year. Here are the top 10. 10. Liked Squid Game? 6 other K-drama survival series and movies One of the most notable pop culture breakouts in 2021 is the K-drama series Squid Game . The show was one of the most popular Netflix shows of all time, and apparently, a lot of people who watched it were left wanting more. Our tenth most popular article recommended six other Korean shows and movies that could help scratch that Squid Game itch. 9. The history of China’s royal couples Written soon after the death of Prince Philip, this article delves into the history of female monarchs in China . Despite female succession to the throne being prohibited in Imperial China, Empress Wu Zetian ruled as sovereign during the Tang dynasty. This is as good a year as any to learn about Empress Wu and her assortment of reportedly handsome lovers. 8. Teenage actress Natalie Hsu on her biggest influences There is a lot of interest in teenage actress Natalie Hsu, who starred in The Day We Lit Up the Sky , a musical drama filmed in Hainan, southern China. Hsu, who has Hong Kong roots and grew up loving musicals, plays an underdog who is determined to win a dance competition. Hsu talks about the support of her mother, former actress Ann Bridgewater . 7. Martial arts star Jackie Chan’s forgotten story about Bruce Lee In 1997, the South China Morning Post interviewed Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan about martial arts legend Bruce Lee but the interview remained unpublished until it saw the light of day this year . In it, Chan talks candidly about Lee’s martial arts style, working with him as a stunt double and the dangers of being seen as superhuman. 6. Netflix’s wild and absorbing K-drama Vincenzo Starring Song Joong-ki, Vincenzo was one of the most popular K-dramas this year – and the huge interest in our review of the series reflects that . The show features the violent adventures of a Korean-Italian mafia member who takes on an evil corporation and their enabling law firm. Our review looks at the fun, as well as the morally dubious, aspects of the show – watch out for spoilers. 5. Designer makes stylish face masks from her dresses More than a year after Covid-19 first broke out, it continues to be a defining part of our lives, even dictating fashion choices. That may be why our fifth most popular story was about a designer in Singapore who started making high-quality and stylish masks in response to the pandemic. Carol Chen, founder of Maskela, was renting out designer gowns when quarantine began. Seeing the need to pivot her business, she began cutting up her dresses to sell them as masks . Chen won awards for her efforts and launched a new label at Paris Fashion Week in October. 4. Sleep better and reduce stress with breathing exercises A lot has happened in the last couple of years and sometimes it’s important for each of us to stop and take a breath. This article features experts who teach people how to do just that . Instructors and practitioners of breathwork in Hong Kong argue that breathing patterns can affect everything from sleep to mental health. Considering the high-stress times we live in, it’s something worth reading about. 3. Spycam photos of Momoland’s Nancy undressing prompt legal action This story looks at the troubling case of molka , or secretly taken photos and videos in South Korea that show women in intimate situations. In January, manipulated photos were circulating of then 20-year-old Momoland singer Nancy, whose management was prompted to take legal action. The invasion of privacy deeply troubled K-pop star Nancy, who told the Post in a later June interview that she tries to ignore online negativity. 2. The best ways to prevent middle-age weight gain Wellness articles made for popular lifestyle reading in 2021. This piece starts off speaking to a 46-year-old in Singapore who talks about the challenges and benefits of her rigorous workout routine. It also outlines tips and tricks from health care experts on staying healthy in middle age through consistent exercising, eating healthy, reducing stress and getting an adequate amount of sleep. 1. Eating two mushrooms a day keeps the doctor away Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Lifestyle section’s most popular story of 2021 – which garnered more than half a million readers – is … a tale of two mushrooms . Chinese medicine practitioners and researchers at Pennsylvania State University alike argue for the health benefits of the popular fungi. A study of 19,500 patients found that eating two mushrooms a day may significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Experts urged caution when interpreting the new research.