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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From preschool philosophers to peek-a-boo parrots to dancing daddies, here's this week's roundup of joy.

kids, wedding, dancing, reading

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Here we are at the end of another year on this beautiful rock hurtling through space and, as always, it's been an eventful one.

We started the year with everyone obsessed with Wordle, then congratulated the guy who created it for his million-dollar deal with The New York Times. Russia invaded Ukraine and we witnessed the world rally behind the Ukrainian people. We said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II, the world's second-longest reigning monarch. We said hello to galaxies we'd never seen before, thanks to the James Webb telescope.

As we head into 2023, let's remind ourselves that, no matter what the people who profit off of polarization try to sell us, there is far more that unites us than divides us. Our human family may have hard problems to solve, but look how far we've come. There's so much we can do when we recognize our oneness and work together to make our world a better place.


One thing that makes the world a better place is joy. That's why we pull together these weekly roundups—there's positive power in a smile spreading from person to person.

So enjoy and share your favorites, whether it's with a stranger, a friend or a grumpy uncle. Everyone can use a little shot of wholesome joy.


1. 3-year-old Emi teaches us the real meaning of friendship.

A person you can run to who makes you laugh and makes everything better and better? That's true friendship right there. Preschoolers seriously make the best philosophers. Read the whole story and catch more of Emi's commentary about friendship here.

2. Iceland's lovely tradition of Jólabókaflóð is like holiday heaven for introverts and book lovers.

Iceland, Christmas, books, reading

The Icelandic tradition of gifting and reading books on Christmas Eve is an introvert's dream.

studioroman/Canva

Literally translating to "Christmas book flood," this Icelandic tradition dating from WWII involves everyone gifting books and then cozying up to read them together on Christmas Eve. With hot cocoa, no less. Sign me up. Read more about Jólabókaflóð here.

3. Andrés Cantor calling the winning goal for his home country of Argentina is pure joy.

The Argentine-American sports announcer has been waiting for this moment for decades. He conveyed the emotion of an entire nation and it couldn't be sweeter. Read about Andrés Cantor and the incredible World Cup final here.

4. Young Lionel Messi fan dancing before World Cup is the energy we all need.

Smooth, little man. Smooth.

5. Daughter 'pranked' her dad during their wedding dance, then he surprised everyone.

@nancylestock

When everyone thinks you’re pranking your dad….and then he joins in 🕺💃🏻 #wedding #fatherdaughter #surprisefatherdaughterdance #fatherdaughterdance #surprise

Noice. Love a fun daddy.

6. Parrot plays peek-a-boo with neighbor's cat and it's hilarious (sound up).

@tyla

This is way too cute 🥹 But we all know the cat’s real intentions 😅 #funny #petsoftiktok #parrot #cat #cattok #cosy #cutie #foryoupage #cuteanimals #fypシ

What do we think the cat is thinking here?

7. Mariah Carey celebrated a boy's joyful performance of her iconic Christmas song.

Knox is autistic and his mom shared the video with the caption "#AutisticJoy on full display! My kid is everything! I hope Mariah sees this!!" And she actually did. Read the full story here.

8. This 'Little Drummer Boy' performance is probably unlike any you've ever seen, but definitely worth watching.

Big sound. Big drums. Epic, epic version of an old classic from For King & Country. Read more about it here.

9. Check out this doggo who loves looking at Christmas lights.

Upworthy on Instagram: "Look at that face 😍😍😍🎄⠀ ⠀ (Via u/pacmaneatsfruit on Reddit) ⠀ ⠀"

Seriously, that face though.

10. Let's get ready to roll into 2023 like…

(Always helpful to have a friend to give us a nudge. :))

Hope that brought some smiles to your face and joy to your heart!

If you'd like to have these roundups and other highlights of humanity delivered right to you, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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