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Former inmate shares hacks she learned in prison that are still useful: 'Recovering out loud'

Tsakonas' tips are seen as 'blessings' for those looking to save money or take their own path to life after incarceration.

Former inmate shares hacks she learned in prison that are still useful: 'Recovering out loud'
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @tinassee

We all learn different lessons from life and when we learn them from each other, we feel better supported. Tina Tsakonas (@tinassee), a former inmate and recovering addict, has taken to her TikTok account to reveal how she is "recovering out loud and living [her] best life." While her videos are primarily devoted to inspiring viewers on their own road to recovery, she occasionally shares life lessons she has learned, particularly while incarcerated. In a video that has gained over four million times, she shared "jail hacks" she still uses in her day-to-day life.

Image Source: TikTok | @tinassee
Image Source: TikTok | @tinassee

Tsakonas' tips are being seen as "blessings" for those looking to save money and for people who are now taking their own path to life after incarceration. Tsakonas demonstrated in her video how she uses a pack of mustard, hair conditioner, deodorant and toothpaste in unconventional ways. She uses mustard when she gets heartburn and applies conditioner all over herself to smell good. She reveals one can apply deodorant for razor burns and use toothpaste to clean shoes. 

Although these helpful and frugal tips might not appeal to everyone, her tips shocked netizens. "WAIT. Deodorant helps razor rash?!" questioned @apryl.nicole003. "Not my preggo self literally climbing out of bed at 11 pm to try the mustard hack," commented @shelbyfair24. "The toothpaste on shoes works so well," added @notmoniquebergman

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A post shared by Tina Tsakonas (@tinassee23)


Her followers appreciate Tsakonas more than her hacks. Her stories about addiction and recovery have also received millions of views, inspiring people all over the platform. TikTok and Instagram have been a way for Tsakonas, who has been sober since March 18, 2016, to tell her story to the world, inspiring others who may be struggling on their path to recovery. "I will continue to recover out loud. I'm not ashamed. I've come a long way. People need to see they can do the same," she wrote in one of her videos' caption in 2022.

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A post shared by Tina Tsakonas (@tinassee23)


Another inspiring woman who spent 6 years in prison also shares her story as an inmate. Jessica Kent spent a year in New York prison for drug trafficking and five years in Arkansas before breaking the cycle. She ended up in prison as a result of her drug addiction. Giving birth to her daughter while imprisoned was a traumatic experience for her, but it also made her determined to break the vicious cycle. She's been out of prison for almost a decade and has accomplished so much since then. She has a Bachelor's degree in correctional program support services, works as a full-time YouTuber with a popular channel, and is currently writing her autobiography. Her YouTube channel and TikTok account provide followers with insights into life in prison, drug addiction and recovery. She is now married and has two children. 

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A post shared by Jessica Kent (@jesken12)


The justice system is intended to create a just society that benefits everyone, but in most cases, it can be a source of contention. Incarceration is a huge problem in America, and rather than being rehabilitated, individuals are frequently forced to become repeat offenders, trapped in a vicious cycle. While most people's knowledge of the prison system is based on pop culture, the stories that come out of jail can be far worse. However, some people choose to accept their experiences and heal in order to get better.

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