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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Enjoy this week's collection of smile-worthy delights.

happy joy smile
Alexas_Fotos/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Have you ever pondered the simple power of a smile?

Research shows that smiling is contagious. We tend to mimic the facial expressions of those around us, so if someone around you is smiling, you'll probably feel a natural urge to smile as well. And even if you were feeling grumpy at the time, that act of smiling can actually positively influence your own emotions and make you feel happier.

In other words, "Smile and the world smiles with you" actually has some truth to it. And the more reasons we can find to smile, the better everyone around us will feel.


That's one reason why we pull together these roundups of smile-worthy delights each week. Not only are they uplifting and entertaining, but they have the potential, however small, to make the world a better, brighter, happier place for everyone around us.

Here are 10 things that made us smile this week. Hope they make you and those around you smile, too.

1. Adorable baby has the world's cutest reaction to her mom finally understanding her.

That final breathless "Ses!" Seriously, give that baby alllll the strawberries, plus anything else she wants, forever and ever, amen.

2. This strangely moving time-lapse of a Eurasian blue tit mama raising her family

Did not expect to get emotional at watching birds fly the nest in two minutes flat, yet here we are. The way the mama got her nest all cozy for her surprisingly large family. And those tiny little yellow mouths! Man, they grow fast, and then one day [gulp] they leave. Phew, all the feels.

3. Desperate mom asking to borrow an orange cat for her Garfield-loving kiddos is so pure.

Ah, the things we do for our offspring. I'd pay money to see this lasagna dinner actually happen. "Cat will not be required to eat lasagna if contraindicated" is my favorite part. Definitely need a follow-up on this one.

4. Dog freezes in the middle of a bunch of fake Halloween cats and it's hilariously impressive.

At first, it's hard to tell if this dog is even real. How can he hold so perfectly still for so long, right down to his tail? Good boy Maverick here appears to be a lab pointer mix, and pointers do this as part of their hunting behavior. He doesn't even twitch until his owner comes close and reassures him. Totally hilarious among a bunch of fake cats.

5. Monkey meticulously picking every string off a banana is soooo relatable.

Banana strings are disgusting, but I'd never have guessed that monkeys would be finicky about them. The way it picks the string off the baby's head and then tosses another string off the tree stump, like, "Ew, get away, gross banana string!" is so relatable. I'm feeling that common ancestor here, monkey.

6. Dog's Halloween costume looks like two people struggling to carry a pumpkin.

How do humans come up with such clever things? This is just nonstop entertainment. (Check out more hilarious dog costume ideas here.)

7. Wee one doing his sister's cheer routine alongside her is all kinds of awwww.

That kick at the end! He's got the moves, and how sweet that they gave him poms so he could participate.

Speaking of little brothers…

8. The way this baby looks at big sis would be enough, but then the little head snuggle.

Why is everyone trying to make me want a baby?!? Why???

OK, one more brother and sister thing…

9. You know you're a mom when finding the 115th "butt" in your house is a sweet, touching moment.

First of all, hilarious. Second of all, how sweet is it that a brother would go to such lengths just to make his sister laugh? These are the kinds of things families remember forever. So silly, but so memorable.

10. Let's fly into the weekend with the verve and humor of this flight attendant who makes it impossible to ignore the flight safety presentation.

Someone was a drama kid. Gotta love it. But in all seriousness, he probably made all of those passengers safer with his comedy routine. Read the full story of why here.

That's it, folks! Hope you enjoyed this week's list and come back next week for another roundup of joy. (And if you'd like to get these posts in your inbox each week, subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.)

Kristen Bell announces This Saves Lives new partnership with Upworthy.

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Every day, Upworthy shares stories that spotlight the very best of humanity. But if there’s one cause that unites us all, it’s solving child hunger.

In a recent poll of our followers, we found that child hunger is the issue they care about most. So today, we’re doing something about it. We’ve joined forces with humanitarian snack brand This Saves Lives to end child hunger.

This Saves Lives co-founder, actress Kristen Bell.

This Saves Lives was founded in 2013 with the goal of ending early childhood severe acute malnutrition. Its solution is simple, for every snack you purchase, they give life-saving food to a child in need. This Saves Lives has already donated over 30 million packets of lifesaving food in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya and beyond. We hope our new partnership works to feed millions more.

“Will you join us? It’s easy and delicious.” — Kristen Bell.

Join us and explore delicious snacks that give back at thissaveslives.com/doinggoodtogether.

Identity

Gay choir teacher breaks down when his class gives a surprise performance at his wedding

Christopher Landis had kept his marriage secret because he wasn't sure how students or parents would react.

via Pexels

Two men exchanging rings in a wedding ceremony.

Christopher Landis, a choir director at Hingham Middle School in Massachusetts, didn’t tell his students he was engaged to Joe Michienzie three years ago. According to Inside Edition, whenever they asked who Michienzie was, Christopher would say, "That's Joe. He's my friend."

Landis kept his relationship a secret in front of his students because he wasn’t sure how their parents would react. Sadly, even today, LGBTQ people still have to be discreet about their personal lives in some professions.

This is sad for the teachers who have to stay closeted and also for the LGBTQ students who miss out on having a positive role model.

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This is the most important van in NYC… and it’s full of socks.

How can socks make such a huge difference? You'd be surprised.

all photos provided by Coalition for The Homeless

Every night, the van delivers nourishment in all kinds of ways to those who need it most

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Homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 50,000 people sleep each night in a shelter, while thousands of others rely on city streets, the subway system and other public locations as spaces to rest.

That’s why this meal (and sock) delivery van is an effective resource for providing aid to those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Every night of the year, from 7pm to 9:30, the Coalition for the Homeless drives a small fleet of vans to over 25 stops throughout upper and lower Manhattan and in the Bronx. At each stop, adults and families in need can receive a warm meal, a welcoming smile from volunteers, and a fresh, comfy new pair of Bombas socks. Socks may be even more important than you think.

Bombas was founded in 2013 after the discovery that socks were the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.

Access to fresh, clean socks is often limited for individuals experiencing homelessness—whether someone is living on the street and walking for much of the day, or is unstably housed without reliable access to laundry or storage. And for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness —expenses might need to be prioritized for more critical needs like food, medication, school supplies, or gas. Used socks can’t be donated to shelters for hygienic reasons, making this important item even more difficult to supply to those who need it the most.

Bombas offers its consumers durable, long-lasting and comfortable socks, and for every pair of Bombas socks purchased, an additional pair of specially-designed socks is donated to organizations supporting those in need, like Coalition for the Homeless. What started out as a simple collaboration with a few organizations and nonprofits to help individuals without housing security has quickly become a bona fide giving movement. Bombas now has approximately 3,500 Giving Partners nationwide.

Though every individual’s experience is unique, there can frequently be an inherent lack of trust of institutions that want to help—making a solution even more challenging to achieve. “I’ve had people reach out when I’m handing them a pair of socks and their hands are shaking and they’re looking around, and they’re wondering ‘why is this person being nice to me?’” Robbi Montoya—director at Dorothy Day House, another Giving Partner—told Bombas.

Donations like socks are a small way to create connection. And they can quickly become something much bigger. Right now over 1,000 people receive clothing and warm food every night, rain or shine, from a Coalition for the Homeless van. That bit of consistent kindness during a time of struggle can help offer the feeling of true support. This type of encouragement is often crucial for organizations to help those take the next difficult steps towards stability.

This philosophy helped Bombas and its abundance of Giving Partners extend their reach beyond New York City. Over 75 million clothing items have been donated to those who need it the most across all 50 states. Over the years Bombas has accumulated all kinds of valuable statistics, information, and highlights from Giving Partners similar to the Coalition for the Homeless vans and Dorothy Day House, which can be found in the Bombas Impact Report.

In the Impact Report, you’ll also find out how to get involved—whether it’s purchasing a pair of Bombas socks to get another item donated, joining a volunteer group, or shifting the conversation around homelessness to prioritize compassion and humanity.

To find out more, visit BeeBetter.com.

Jennifer Aniston shared her difficulties trying to have a baby in an interview with Allure.

For years, rumors of Jennifer Aniston possibly being pregnant have circulated through the media and internet gossip mill. Aniston has called these rumors "nasty" and "hurtful," but has largely kept quiet about that part of her personal life.

Now, at 53, Aniston is opening up about her efforts to have a baby and countless women are seeing themselves in her fertility journey.

In an interview with Allure magazine, Aniston shared that she spent years during her 30s and 40s trying to get pregnant amid the repeated, swirling rumors that she was.

"It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road," she said. “All the years and years and years of speculation...It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

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An Italian preschooler's Italian rant has people in stitches.

All people have a need to communicate, but the way we do that varies greatly from place to place. Every culture has its own communication peculiarities that make our human family delightfully diverse.

Not only do humans speak thousands of languages around the world, but we also engage in culturally specific speaking styles, speech patterns and body language, some of which are immediately identifiable.

Case in point: the Italian "finger purse."

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