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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

girl singing, boy with dog, dad with giggling baby

The world is filled with moments of joy.

Have you ever wondered what happens in your brain when you're smiling?

The act of smiling releases molecules in your brain called neuropeptides, which help you fight off stress. Then come smaller neurotransmitters such as serotonin (which acts as an anti-depressant) and endorphins (which provide mild pain relief). These chemicals may just be tiny molecules floating around in your brain, but they make a big difference in how you feel.

At Upworthy, we're all about small things making a big difference. Whether it's the life-giving sound of a baby's laughter, the delight of a person dancing like no one's watching or the beauty of a random act of compssion, little doses of joy can go a long way toward creating the kind and peaceful world we all want to live in.


Hope this collection of small, happy things brings some big smiles to your faces!

1. The way this baby belly laughs every time the bird chirps. Oh. My. Goodness.

There is nothing better than the sound of a baby laughing. It's just pure, unhindered joy.

2. Shop owner gifts a $700 prom dress to a girl who drove six hours to her store.

@juicybodygoddess

I didn't cry until I did edit #plussize #plussizetiktok #juicybodygoddess #plussizefashion

Summer Lucille opened her Juicy Body Goddess store precisely for moments like this. The way she hypes up her customers and helps them feel their own beauty is truly a joy to behold. See more of Lucille's stellar service and read the full story here.

3. This girl is on fire, for real.

Such confidence! Every kid deserves this kind of encouragement in their artistic expression.

4. A Fred Meyer store gave its entire Powerball bonus to the local food bank.

Fred Meyer, food bank

Fred Meyer paid their lottery bonus forward to the community.

Upworthy

Not only that, but the corporate office also gave the store associates $10,000 to celebrate. Read the full story (including how the $754 million Powerball winner who bought the ticket saw a 'sign' that won her the jackpot) here.

5. Dad shares a genius way to handle a kid drawing on the wall.

The ultimate "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach to parenting. Most kids will draw on a wall at some point, and while parents do have to teach when and where it's okay to draw, there's no harm in showcasing their artistry in the process.

6. Dad narrates his son's trip to the mall 'Look Who's Talking'-style and it's delightful.

@kingkeraun

Come get yall nephew ! 🙄

The voice-over comedy still hits. Way to go, Dad. Read the full story here.

7. Mom shares a perfect, real-life example of the 'Dad is RIGHT THERE' phenomenon.

@tinyann22

Moms can never get a minute of peace lol #momsoftiktok #momlife #ring #camera #kidsoftiktok

As a mom whose husband is a totally involved, hands-on parent who shares child-rearing equally, I can attest that this phenomenon is all too real no matter what. I have watched my children leave the kitchen where their father is cooking to come and ask me where to find something…in the kitchen. He's right. there. A follow-up to this video shows the dad on the ring doorbell, tablet in hand, with the kid still telling Mom the tablet isn't working. So darn funny.

8. Boy reassures rescue dog that he'll be cared for and protected, and where's my tissue?

Gulp. What a sweetheart. And what a lucky doggo.

9. Dog sneaks around on tiptoe to get what he wants and it's hilarious to witness.

Okay, Milton. That is too much. Read more about Milton's sneaky habits here.

10. Here's to the friends who immediately go in for the snuggle when they see you.

​Monkey's all, "Bring it in, buddy." Too sweet.

Feeling better with those soothing neurochemicals flooding your brain? If you'd like to get these serotonin-pumping posts delivered to your inbox each week, you can sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here. Share the joy with someone who needs it and keep the feel-good molecules flowing!

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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