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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!


Brandon Conway sounds remarkably like Michael Jackson when he sings.

When Michael Jackson died 13 years ago, the pop music world lost a legend. However markedly mysterious and controversial his personal life was, his contributions to music will go down in history as some of the most influential of all time.

Part of what made him such a beloved singer was the uniqueness of his voice. From the time he was a young child singing lead for The Jackson 5, his high-pitched vocals stood out. Hearing him sing live was impressive, his pitch-perfect performances always entertaining.

No one could ever really be compared to MJ, or so we thought. Out of the blue, a guy showed up on TikTok recently with a casual performance that sounds so much like the King of Pop it's blowing people away.

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An article in the journal Crisis, cited in a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health news piece, states that the acute period of heightened risk for suicidal behavior is often only hours or minutes long. Around 87% of people deliberated for less than a day. Another article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that of people taken to the hospital after a suicide attempt, 48% considered the idea for fewer than 10 minutes.

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And considering how many "kids these days" laments we see coming from older generations, it's also heartening to see kids showing excellent character qualities when no one directly asked them to.

A viral video from a Little League baseball game is giving us a nice dose of both—good sportsmanship and basic human kindness from two players from opposing teams.

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