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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Did someone order some mood-boosting serotonin?

dog, dad and daughter

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

Spring has sprung, y'all! Officially on paper, at least. It's still flippin' cold and brown where I live, but we can see the daffodils stretching their way out of the ground and it won't be long before everything bursts into bloom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Earth laughs in flowers." That feels true, doesn't it? These early days of spring are a bit like preparing to watch your favorite comedy, snuggled up on the couch with your people (or your cat), nummy snacks and comfy pants, smiling in anticipation because you know you're about to have some big laughs.

Hopefully, that's also how you feel jumping into these weekly roundups of joy, knowing you're about to get hit with some mood-boosting serotonin and cant-help-but-smile goodness. (That's how I feel each week pulling these lists together–it's like a little weekly smile therapy.)


Thankfully, you don't have to wait to enjoy these bursting blossoms of joy! Off we go…

1. There can't possibly be anything sweeter than this kid singing 'Three Little Birds'

I just want to put him in my pocket and bring him out any time I need a little lift. Gracious, that sweet voice and face are simply angelic.

2. Dad gives his baby girl a relaxing 'spa day' while Mom and big sis are out at the salon

So soothing just to watch her temples being massaged! What a lovely core memory he's creating for her. Read the full story here.

3. Speaking of relaxation, has a baby alligator ever been this happy?

Amazing what a little hydration can do. I've never seen an alligator display this much personality. It's actually, dare I say, cute?

5. Security guard named 'Pocket' might be the biggest Taylor Swift fan at the concert

That's right, Pocket. Embrace your Swiftie status and dance like nobody's watching. We love to see it.

5. Bruce Willis being showered with love on his 68th birthday is what it's all about

His diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia is incredibly tough, but seeing him smiling and surrounded by the support of his family, is beautiful to witness. Read the full story here.

6. 100-year-old Grace Linn is an inspiration with her speech about banning books

@jodipicoultbooks

I am so inspired by everyone who spoke up against book bánning at the Martin County School Board meeting today, including Grace Linn. Grace is, in her words, “100 years young.” She spoke about witnessing the rise of fascism during WWII, about losing her husband to the war when he was 26, and about protecting our freedom to read. Thank you, Grace, for reminding us that this is a part of history we must not repeat.

She's seen things in her life and she knows why this is important. How great to see her using her voice—and sewing skills—to defend the freedom to read.

7. Dad who never wants his picture taken makes an exception for the perfect dad joke

Dad's gonna dad joke. It's like, the law or something. Gotta love it.

8. Good doggo does the 'pick a card' date challenge and it's the cutest thing ever

@opiethepitbully

Do we want to see a part 2? 👀 PJs & robe by @toothandhoney code WILDLY10 to save #pitbulls #bullybreedsoftictok #pitbulls_official #pitbullsaresweet #cutedogs

The teddy bear robe is everything. I'm not even a dog person and this has me all "Awwwww."

9. Irish dance meets Megan Thee Stallion and it's an unexpectedly awesome combo

@morgvn.elizabeth

#irishdance #fyp #keepingactive #spacethings #foryou

Irish dance is savage, so it's a natural mashup when you think about it. Read more about the amazing Morgan here.

10. Kids from Dream Catchers Academy in Nigeria recreated Rihanna's halftime dance and DANG

That's the kind of energy we all need to carry us through the weekend!

Hope you enjoyed this week's roundup. If you'd like these posts sent to your inbox each week, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Keep smiling, everyone!

Family

Woman goes to huge lengths to adopt husband's ex-wife's baby to save him from foster care

She had lived in foster care and didn't want it for the newborn with no name.

Christie Werts and her son, Levi


Christie and Wesley Werts have taken the idea of a blended family to the next level. When the couple fell in love five years ago and married, they brought together her children, Megan and Vance, and his children, Austin and Dakota.

As of January, the Ohio family has five children after adopting young Levi, 2. Levi is the son of Wesley’s ex-wife, who passed away four days after the child was born. The ex-wife had the boy prematurely, at 33 weeks, and died soon after from drug addiction and complications of COVID-19.

When Levi was born, he was a ward of the state with no first name or birth certificate.

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Music

Beyoncé’s cover of ‘Blackbird’ has fans praising Paul McCartney after learning its true meaning

"I already loved Blackbird, and this cover, but knowing this history makes it so much more meaningful."

Beyoncé photo by Blair Caldwell via Beyoncé Press/Paul McCartney by Melissa Lopes via Flickr

Beyoncé covers "Blackbird' and fans are praising Paul McCartney

Beyoncé released a new album recently and unless you've been asleep for the past few weeks, you've likely heard about it. While everyone knew she was going to make a more significant splash into the country music genre, the details of the album were scarce until it's release. To many people's surprise it wasn't simply a country album, it was a genre bender that somehow seamlessly transitioned country, pop, R&B and rap all in one album, Cowboy Carter.

Country music legends like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton made an appearance, with Parton introducing Beyoncé's cover of her infamous song "Jolene." While the spin on that country classic has the internet abuzz over the lyric changes that take the singer from begging to assertively telling Jolene to stay away, it's "Blackbird" that many can't get enough of.

"Blackbird" was originally written by Paul McCartney and sung by a little band he was in named The Beatles. Maybe you've heard of them. The song topped the charts in the 60s and will likely make its way to the charts again with Queen Bey's cover of it. But it's the meaning behind the song that has people talking.

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Joy

When a newborn lamb was rejected by her mother, the family dog stepped in to nurture her

A mother's urge to care for a baby is one of the strongest instincts in the animal kingdom

@oliviajaneakers/TikTok (used with permission)

Max took over when Beau's mom refused to care for her.


A mother's urge to care for a baby is one of the strongest instincts in the animal kingdom, but sometimes something somewhere along the line goes haywire. Occasionally, a mom will reject its offspring, refusing to nurture or feed or care for it in any way.

That's what happened to baby Beau, a lamb born to a sheep on Olivia Akers' farm.

"Beau’s mom didn’t want to be a mom. I don’t have an exact answer as to why," Akers shared on Instagram. "I tried EVERYTHING under the sun to get her to accept Beau. Rubbing the placenta for scent, also tried with her milk, giving them time in close quarters. She got progressively more violent, telling me she didn’t want to do this. So I listened."

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Ramy Youssef at the 2017 MPAC Media Awards

Actor and comedian Ramy Youssef pulled off an incredible feat in his March 30, 2024 Saturday Night Live appearance, mixing religion, politics and humor in a way that disarmed and united people. Some people are calling it one of the best SNL monologues ever, and it's genuinely impressive to watch.

How often have you seen someone manage to talk about religion, prayer, the upcoming election, and something like the bombardment of Palestine in a way that isn't offensive, obnoxious, or overwrought and that's also funny? Never, right?

Youssef somehow did all of that in an 8-minute stand-up comedy routine that was equal parts warm, genuine, heartfelt and humorous.

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Joy

Couple lives permanently on cruise ships because it costs ‘half’ the price of life on land

"We now have a telephone bill, a ship bill and a few credit card bills for when we go ashore, but that's it.”

A white cruise ship crosses the sea.

Given the rapidly changing cost of living in the United States, lifestyle options that once seemed luxurious are now starting to look like good deals. A growing trend is that retirees are choosing to spend their golden years on cruise ships instead of living in a retirement community.

The latest examples of this trend are John, 76, and Melody Hennessee, 64. Before retiring, John was a doctor and the couple also owned an art gallery in Stuart, Florida. In 2021, the couple sold everything and purchased an RV to see the country, but after a few years, they were exhausted.

“The constant maintenance, fueling, and planning,” he told Realtor.com.

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Pop Culture

Why Beyonce's 'Protector' song has parents bawling

"Beyonce you gonna need to start paying for my therapy cause the way these tears are flowing."

Beyoncé/Youtube

Brb, grabbing tissues.

Not even 24 hours after its release, Beyoncé’s soulful, genre-bending “Cowboy Carter” album broke records on Spotify, becoming the platform’s most-streamed album in a single day so far this year.

With 27 tracks—ranging from thought-provoking covers to an eclectic array of originals—there’s a little something for everyone. There’s even a more whoopass version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.

But there’s one tune in particular that’s striking a cord with parents. Not to mention making them shed a few tears.

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