In the social media age, we’re constantly bombarded with news about poverty, conflict, disaster, and injustice, and that’s for a couple of different reasons. One is our innate negativity bias, which draws us to click on headlines with words like “outrage” and “scandal” while letting our eyes gloss over the stories where everyone makes it home safe.
Another is the media industry’s belief that, according to the old saying, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
This media attitude is a problem for a few reasons, not least of all because the daily barrage of negativity can severely warp your worldview. Most people don’t know that we’re living in times of rapidly decreasing global poverty, rapidly increasing public health, and, with a few media-inflated exceptions, we’re dangerously close to achieving world peace.
But the consequences of bad news go beyond Debbie Downer syndrome: Bad news is literally bad for your health.
A popular but extreme remedy is to simply go cold turkey on current events. That’s a great strategy to free up scarce mental space, but it comes at the cost of being an informed citizen in our increasingly interdependent global village.
The good news is there’s actually plenty of good news out there.
And not only does it exist, but when you read, digest, and share it, it’s just as good for you as the bad is bad. Check out these six sources of daily positivity and add them to your content streams for a more balanced look at the world and a more peaceful and positive inner life.
Positive News sees itself as “a magazine and a movement,” churning out meaty in-depth narratives about how “real progress and possibility” are overcoming society’s challenges.
The self-proclaimed longest-established publication for “quality reporting that inspires,” Positive News is a top tier publisher of in-depth articles that piece together the one-off feel good stories you’ll find in the other feeds on this list and pulls out the big picture and positive patterns. Topics like the positive environmental impact of bee tourism and America’s black banking revolution give you something to smile about today, but also show you how it might be leading to an even bigger smile tomorrow.
Real Life Heroes
Real Life Heroes is the YouTube channel that wants to restore your faith in humanity. Every day subscribers are submitting high quality videos of everyday heroes, from the usual suspects like police officers and life-saving pups, to unlikely heroic acts from bikers and brave little kids. While the other sites on this list curate articles that are sure to brighten your day, sometimes you’ve got to see it to believe it, and the videos on Real Life Heroes are high definition proof of the good in the world.
Good News Network
For nonstop human interest stories with guaranteed happy endings, head to Good News Network. While some of their stories hone in on positive social trends like rising high school graduation rates, the majority are great for a quick read and a smile on your morning commute, like cops choreographing to Beyoncé or baby elephants rescuing humans from adorably nonexistent danger.
Reddit Uplifting News
Thanks to social media, we no longer have to rely on editorial boards to decide what they think will inspire and uplift us. Reddit is the perfect platform for grassroots good news, which is why it’s no surprise that the Uplifting News subreddit enjoys over eight million subscribers.
Rather than composing their own uplifting news stories, every day Redditors are upvoting articles about little kids making sure their classmates get to eat lunch, Tasmanian devils overcoming facial cancer, and the like. Even better, you can submit your own links, and upvote the most inspiring ones you find, joining the community in ensuring that the best positive news on the Internet is getting read and shared.
What started as a college student’s late-90s endeavor to inspire his friends with daily motivational quotes has grown into Daily Good, one of the biggest curators of the day’s good news on the web. Stories are conveniently curated in categories like generosity, nature, and mind and body, and their inspiring newsletter is a reliable daily, weekly, or monthly digest of what’s going right in the world.
Upworthy is probably the most popular provider of uplifting news and videos, and for a good reason.
Founded with the goal of using the Internet as a mind-opener rather than a conversation-ender, Upworthy produces some of the most clickable articles and videos on the glass-half-full side of the web, like “How a DIY dress helped one woman reclaim the power words had on her body” and “Having a rough week? These uplifting comics are your chicken soup.” Their illustrations and short videos have a knack for drawing your attention to today’s big issues, but doing so by shining a spotlight on where the most inspiring progress is being made in addressing them.
In need for a regular dose of good news like this? Try an RSS reader like Feedly, curate some uplifting content feeds for yourself, and start every day with a cup of coffee and a reminder that you live in a world that’s becoming a better place every day.