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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

happy, smile, joy

Need a reason to smile? Here are 10 of them.

Why does music have such a strong impact on how we feel? It's literally just a series of sounds put together in a certain order. How can something so seemingly simple make us happy or sad or scared or melancholy?

Research shows that listening to intensely emotional music can tap into deep, evolutionarily ancient circuits in our brain. Our relationship with music stretches back throughout human history and when dopamine is released from those deep circuits, the result is pleasure.

According to a study from the British Academy of Sound Therapy, it takes 13 minutes of music to help us release pent-up sadness, and nine minutes of music to help us feel happy. (It also takes 13 minutes of music to relax and 13 minutes to focus, in case you were wondering.) Nine minutes. That's all it takes for music to work its happy magic on us.

Music really is magical, isn't it? So are animals and kids, which is why those three things make up 90% of this week's list of things that made us smile. Seriously, can anything make us happier faster than music, animals and kids?


Maybe a great story about a sweet old man. Cool, we've got one of those, too.

Each week, we offer a roundup of smileworthy content to lift people's spirits and brighten people's days. If you find yourself smiling, pass it along to share the joy with others.

1. This wee one jammin' out with his broken ukelele and his adorable smile.

Oh that little foot tap! Bop, little one, bop.

2. Jax's "Victoria's Secret" is just the body-positive summer anthem we need.

@jaxwritessongs

I wrote a song for The Kid I Babysit. It’s called Victoria’s Secret 🤫 ❤️ 👙 @TheLascherFamily #victoriassecret #fyp #bodypositivity #originalmusic

Once you get past the "too fat and too flat" rage, this video is the best. I'd buy this single, seriously. (Read the full story about how Victoria's Secret really was made up by a dude here.)

3. A guy thinks he's rescuing a kitten. Then they just keep on coming.

Holy moly. It's like kitten heaven and kitten hell all at once. Robert Brantley, the man who found them, has been posting updates on their adoptions. Read the full story here.

4. When the parrot he rescued walked for the first time, his reaction is pure gold.

Hope you were prepared for that unbridled joy. Phew.

5. Her voice blew her fellow audience members—and the judges—away on "America's Got Talent."

Who would expect that voice to come out of an 11-year-old? Wowsers. Congratulations, Maddie. Read the full story here.

6. The difference between a cat and a dog, perfectly summed up in one video.

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Same animals, two different videos. The doggo lying down so carefully so as not to disturb his friend, and the cat literally standing on the dog before booping him in the face. Hilarious.

7. Who knew Chewy had the most compassionate customer service ever?

People in the thread shared how Chewy sent them flowers—and sometimes even a portrait of their pet—when their pet passed away, and always told them to donate the food they had left rather than return it. Read the full story here.

8. He took his grandpa with dementia to a football game and it turned out to be a day to remember.

Alzheimer's is such a hard challenge, and a reminder to cherish the time that we have with our loved ones. What a wonderful gift to give grandpa.

Speaking of cherishing time with our loved ones…

9. This little brother is so excited to see his big sister he can barely contain his little self.

"I'm so happy!" So. Dang. Sweet.

10. An adorable reminder to slather on the sunscreen this weekend.

Oh, raccoon. Could you be more delightful? (And seriously, don't forget the sunscreen.)

Animals, kids and music, I tell you. They'll make you smile every time. Come back next week for another roundup of joy and delight and have a fabulous weekend!


Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

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People think everyone should experience these things 'at least once in their lifetime'

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Representative Images from Canva

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The girl wandered from her home and was quickly reported missing by her family to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff quickly dispatched its aviation unit that used thermal imaging technology to scan the nearby swamplands to try to find the young girl before nightfall.

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Family

10 things kids get in trouble for that adults get away with all the time

Why do we expect children to have more self-control than grown-ups?

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

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