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Joy

10 things that made us smile this year

Our most loved Instagram posts of the year are pure Upworthy joy.

hummingbird, toddler hug

Upworthy's top 10 Instagram posts of 2022

Here we are, friends, in the final stretch to the 2022 finish line. What a year it has been!

Every week this year, we've shared a roundup of 10 things that made us smile, and you have told us time and time again that you love it. (Who wouldn't love a regular collection of joy all in one place?)

To close out the year, we're doing this week's roundup a little differently. Millions of you follow us on Instagram, where we curate and share delightful, uplifting things we find around the interwebs. It's always fun to look back at the end of the year and see what resonated most with people, so we've gathered together our 10 most beloved Instagram posts of 2022 for your enjoyment.


From sweet big brothers to bird and queso lovers, this top 10 countdown is a delightful reminder of the things that made us smile the most this year.

Enjoy!

10. 'Living statue' broke character when a toddler insisted on giving him a hug.

Who can resist a wholesome toddler hug? Nobody can. (And nobody should.)

9. A pilot brought an airplane-obsessed 2-year-old into the cockpit to be his co-pilot.

Representation matters and this kiddo got to see firsthand that dreams can come true.

8. Bird researcher became a human bird feeder and her silent excitement was adorable.

First of all, brrr. Second of all, what a fun idea. Third of all, her face after the bird ate from her face feeder was everything.

7. Boy met his baby brother for the first time and his reaction melted everyone's hearts.

Oh, what a little feeler! Hudson is a very lucky little brother.

6. Kids named 'Internet' and 'Ordinary'? So, so close.

Shout out to our social media team for the caption on the first one here ("She wins the Antionette." LOL), but click through for more hilarious kids-getting-names-wrong stories.

5. Little girl's reaction to her 'silly Popsy' shaving his beard was priceless.

Classic toddler, from "I don't like it, take it off!" to "Hey, why did you take it off?" She sure loves her silly Popsy, though. Too cute.

4. Kiddo's sweet reaction to holding his newborn baby sister was just pure love.

We have a bit of a theme here, with two new big brothers on our list. But come on. It doesn't get any purer than this.

3. Baby ate queso for the first time and his face said it all.

Queso baby is all of us.

2. Neighborhood kids run to greet man with Alzheimer's every day after school.

 ✨"

Tissue warning was definitely in order for this one. What a beautiful example of community.

1. Hector the hummingbird—and the human who hand-feeds him—were the favorites of 2022.

Hector loves his nectar and everyone loves Hector. And that resonant voice from Hector's human friend makes his visit all the better.

Thanks for a year full of smiles, everyone. If you'd like our weekly 10 things roundups delivered to your inbox in 2023, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here. Have a safe and happy new year!


Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

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Joy

5-star Scottish resort offers whimsical afternoon tea experience with 'naughty sheep'

Cameron House's Woolly Wellness retreat includes tea in the garden with adorably rude guests.

Cameron House/Naughty Sheep

Cameron House's Woolly Wellness retreat includes a unique sheep encounter.

Remember when "goat yoga" was all the rage? And then "cow cuddling" and "turkey cuddling" made everyone's bucket lists?

Now we can add "nuzzling with naughty sheep" to the mix, but with a fancy Scottish twist.

Less than an hour from Glasgow, Scotland, the Cameron House resort sits on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, looking as if it were plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Sprawling green grounds, gorgeous lake views and a four-story castled mansion greet guests as their "home away from home" (only better), and a perusal of the reviews show guests raving about the 5-star resort's elegance, beauty and exceptional service.

I mean, just look at this place:

drone view of cameron house grounds and lakeCameron House sit on Lake Lochmond in Scotland.Cameron House


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A pitbull stares at the window, looking for the mailman.


Dogs are naturally driven by a sense of purpose and a need for belonging, which are all part of their instinctual pack behavior. When a dog has a job to do, it taps into its needs for structure, purpose, and the feeling of contributing to its pack, which in a domestic setting translates to its human family.

But let’s be honest: In a traditional domestic setting, dogs have fewer chores they can do as they would on a farm or as part of a rescue unit. A doggy mom in Vancouver Island, Canada had fun with her dog’s purposeful uselessness by sharing the 5 “chores” her pitbull-Lab mix does around the house.

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@caitlin.the.realtor/TikTok, used with permission

Wait, so 90's fashion is in, but 90's hair is out?

Every era has its own version of what’s attractive. And very rarely does that aesthetic hold power with the following generation. In fact, it often becomes the opposite of cool.

Just think of Elvis. He might have been a universal sex symbol for a time, but it also wasn’t long before his pompadour became passé. Same goes for Paul Newman’s rugged manliness, David Cassidy’s babyface, Tom Selleck’s mustache. Indeed, for everything a season.

Which brings us to the 90s. The age of beach blonde surfer boys (real surfing skills not required, but a plus). Of flannel, lots of flannel, and super chiseled bodies. Let’s not forget this was the dawning of the term “metrosexual,” and also the time period that brought us that Calvin Klein ad with Mark Wahlburg.

How exactly would these guys measure up with the Gen Z kids today?

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popular

A wild Eurasian crow befriended a toddler and won't leave his side

Crows are so much smarter than we think.

A Eurasian crow.

A family from Denmark has created a touching video montage documenting their unique friendship with a wild Eurasian crow. This crow, affectionately named Russell, has become an honorary member of their household, forming special bonds with each family member, including the pets.

However, the crow's relationship with their son, 2-year-old Otto, is truly extraordinary. “They could spend hours just playing,” Otto’s mother, Laerke Luna, says in a video shared by The Dodo. "When Otto is outside, he will never leave Otto’s side.”

Russell, the free-spirited crow, ventures away from the family's home from time to time, but never for too long. He always comes back and announces his return by tapping on the door, swooping in to lounge on the sofa, or awaiting Otto's return from school atop their roof.

“When we are inside, he will sit inside the window because he wants Otto to go outside with him,” Laerke said.

The family’s relationship with Russell didn’t come out of nowhere. When Russell was a young bird, he had health problems so the family took him and nursed the bird back to health. Eventually, they witnessed his first attempts to fly.

Recently, Russell became friends with another family member, their second child, Hedwig. Although he does get a little annoyed with the bird’s frequent attempts to nab his pacifier.

Even though it’s rare for humans to strike up such a close bond with a crow, according to research, it’s not that surprising. Audubon says that crows are “some of the smartest animals in the world” with an intelligence “on par with chimpanzees.” They are also very social and family-oriented, so no wonder Russell loves Otto and his family.

Crow Named Russell Waits For His Favorite Kid To Get Home From School | The Dodo


Learning

Why you shouldn't throw your dishwasher pod into the bottom of your dishwasher

Dishwashers actually use the dirty water to know how to wash your dishes.

Photos by cottonbro studio and PhotoMIX Ltd. via Canva

Why your detergent shouldn't go in the bottom of the dishwasher

There always seem to be something going on with the pods and powders you're supposed to use in the dishwasher to clean your dishes. Either the pods don't dissolve completely or the powder gets all goopy and hard, never really fully dispensing into the dishwasher.

The inconsistency in product dispensing can leave you wondering if the dishes are even getting cleaned, causing some to toss the detergent pod into the bottom of the dishwasher. It would seem that placing the detergent at the bottom would allow for it to actually reach your dirty dishes. But Melissa Pateras, a domestic expert, explains that doing it that way isn't doing what you think it's doing.

Pateras actually breaks down exactly how dishwashers work to clean your dishes while explaining why putting the detergent on the bottom is ineffective.

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