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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

uplifting, good news, inspiring, happy, joy
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Lots of human doing good things, and animals doing cute things

How do you actually know if you're happy?

Happiness is, to some extent, a choice, but it's certainly not without its indicators. Do you revel in other people's success? Are you able to truly not sweat the small stuff? Can you maintain healthy relationships? Do you know how to regulate your emotions? Is it possible for you to live in the moment and appreciate the little things? These could all be signs that your disposition is actually a bit sunnier than you give it credit for.

But still, in our busy, imperfect world, it can be a challenge to realize the joy held within ourselves. That's why every week, Upworthy gives you a carefully curated list of small, simple things that might help you access that spark of inner joy—so that you may be reminded that happiness isn't so very far away.

Enjoy this week's round-up.


1. Watch this adorable little girl help regulate mommy's emotions with some sunglasses and kind words

Clearly she's a natural born therapist. Then again, most kids have such a high emotional intelligence, don't they?

2. Anthony Hopkins dancing the rumba on a Sunday morning is such a vibe

@anthonyhopkins

Hey goomba do you like how I dance the rumba…? Sunday vibe 🍕🍝

♬ original sound - Anthony Hopkins

Who cares if he's cooking someone's liver with some fava beans? This is so so wholesome.

3. Poor pups' reaction to getting a turnip instead of cheese is priceless

@thatrezteacher Pure disappointment!! 😂😂😂 #thanksgivingvibes ♬ original sound - That Rez Teacher

Turnips < Cheese. Always.

4. Prepare to get blown away by a heartfelt country ballad version of Cher's "Believe"

Just when you think you can't be surprised by songs covers, another amazing revamp comes along. And Alexa Wildish completely delivered that for her performance on a recent episode of "The Voice Knockouts."

5. Kenyans create 'special holiday' to plant trees which could significantly fight climate change

Imagine what could happen if every country in the world implemented this idea.

6. May we all get excited for something in life the way this little girl gets excited for the "Jelly Roll" song

@theapplegoddess90 This little girll my daughter is becoming famous over this video! First 99.5 WKDQ used it on their site now global from London and eyewitness news is using it as well! #needafavorjellyroll #jellyrollneedafavor #jellyroll #jellyrollofficial #bunniexo #eyewitnessnews25evansville #WKDQ ♬ original sound - Tiffany Nicole Appell

That's right. Feet kicking, glee shrieking, mouth agape excited.

7. Teens continue on with sweet breakfast tradition for a grandmother who lost her grandson

Sam Crow began a Wednesday tradition of having his friends over for his Grandma Peggy's delicious breakfast. After Sam's tragic passing, the "breakfast club" was determined to keep his memory alive. read the full story here.

8. Man creates a world in virtual reality to spend time with his dog who passed away too soon

Okay, this one is admittedly more of a tearjerker than our usual fare. But what a beautiful story, and great idea for grieving pet owners.

9.Woman shares the sweetest reunion with her favorite college dining hall worker after she switched jobs

Who doesn't like a good reunion?

10. Everyone is in love with Duck, the kitten with only two legs who walks around like a T-Rex

Cody, Duck's owner, fell in love with her instantly, and has an entire Instagram dedicated to her shenanigans aptly title Purrasic Duck.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it in your inbox, subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

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Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

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Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.



Van Gough never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.
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Family

Mom shows why painters tape is her 'weird' thing she'll never travel without

For parents with young kids looking to have a little less travel stress this holiday season—this one's for you.

@nicholaknox/Instagram

A mom shows all the ways painters tape can be useful while traveling

Traveling can be stressful for anyone, but it’s particularly challenging for parents with really young kids. The sitting still for long periods of time, the changes in schedule, the abundance of stimuli, the unexpected stomach bugs, the suddenly running out of diaper wipes…all the things that make trips triggering for toddlers and therefore chaotic for mom and dad.

And while there might not be a way to completely avoid every travel-induced aggravation (it’s all part of the journey!) there are definitely tips and tricks and tools to make it a bit smoother of a process.

For one mom, a peaceful trip always begins with a roll of painter’s tape.
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Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

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Pets

Dog mom has the most random phone conversation that adorably captures her dog's attention

This nonsensical conversation has the puppy ready for tacos...now!

Dog mom's random conversation has dog on edge of his seat

Dogs are constantly listening even if we don't know it. Their little ears perk up anytime they hear something suspicious or tilt their heads trying to understand what's being said. Some dog owners avoid saying words like "walk," "ride" or "treat" in front of their dogs because they know it will get the dogs overly excited.

One dog mom decided to test her luck by holding a fake phone conversation while her dog was nearby and it was shared to social media by HrtWarming. The conversation was about as nonsensical as it could get because no one else was on the other end of the phone.

"Yeah, did you get the treats? Well, he specifically wanted peanut butter. Yeah. Peanut butter treats. Yeah because we're going to go for a ride later," She says. "I think we're going to go for a ride and go to daycare. Camp. Yeah."

At this point the dog is pretty invested in the conversation as he keeps tilting his head from side to side but as the random conversation goes on, he gets more excited.

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Family

Baby still in diapers is blowing people away with his musical ability at the piano

Young Gavrill seems to intuitively understand music, and the best part is that he does it with such joy.

Gavrill Scherbenko appears to be a musical prodigy.

Mozart blew people away with his composing abilities at age 5. Franz Liszt played piano professionally for the aristocracy when he was 9. Yo-Yo Ma played cello for President John F. Kennedy at age 7.

Musical prodigies have fascinated people for centuries with their mastery of music at unexpected ages. Most of us have the same questions: How and at what age were their abilities discovered? Is it nature or nurture or a combination of both? Can prodigies be created on purpose, or is it something no one can predict or control?

While each musical prodigy has their own unique story, one family is giving the world some early glimpses of what an innate sense for music looks like in a baby who's still in diapers.

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Is it always best to be honest with friends?

A big parenting trend over the past few decades is people giving their children names that help them stand out instead of fit in. Social scientists say that a big reason for the change in America is the rise of individualism.

“As American culture has become more individualistic, parents have favored giving children names that help them stand out—and that means more unique names and fewer common names,” Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, told the BBC.

However, being an individualist comes with some risks. One can be an iconoclastic trendsetter or seen as desperate, inauthentic and cringeworthy.

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