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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

Guy makes a tweet about what you should have 'by age 30.' People's responses were hilarious.

"By the age of 30 you should have anxiety, and an emotional support pet that also has anxiety."

Photo by NIPYATA! on Unsplash

This is 30.

When Steve Adcock, an entrepreneur and “fitness buff” posted this to his Twitter:

“By age 30, you should have a group of friends that talk business, money, and fitness, not politics and pop culture.”

… people had thoughts.



His post might have been intended as more of an encouragement to surround yourself with people who challenge your current mindset, considering the tweet continued with “one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made was making friends with like-minded folks who talked about the same [stuff] over and over. I agreed with 99% of it. Your comfort zone will kill your progress.”

But still, overall the tweet left an unsavory taste in people’s mouths—primarily because it implied that money was somehow a better conversation topic than what people are usually genuinely passionate about. Why not talk about your favorite television show with friends if it lights you up inside?


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1989 video brings back strong memories for Gen Xers who came of age in the '80s.

It was the year we saw violence in Tiananmen Square and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The year we got Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's "Batman." The year "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted on TV, with no clue as to how successful they would become. The year that gave us New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul while Madonna and Janet Jackson were enjoying their heyday.

The jeans were pegged, the shoulders were padded and the hair was feathered and huge. It was 1989—the peak of Gen X youth coming of age.

A viral video of a group of high school students sitting at their desks in 1989—undoubtedly filmed by some geeky kid in the AV club who probably went on to found an internet startup—has gone viral across social media, tapping straight into Gen X's memory banks. For those of us who were in high school at the time, it's like hopping into a time machine.

The show "Stranger Things" has given young folks of today a pretty good glimpse of that era, but if you want to see exactly what the late '80s looked like for real, here it is:

Oh so many mullets. And the Skid Row soundtrack is just the icing on this nostalgia cake. (Hair band power ballads were ubiquitous, kids.)

I swear I went to high school with every person in this video. Like, I couldn't have scripted a more perfect representation of my classmates (which is funny considering that this video came from Paramus High School in New Jersey and I went to high school on the opposite side of the country).

Comments have poured in on Reddit from both Gen Xers who lived through this era and those who have questions.

First, the confirmations:

"Can confirm. I was a freshman that year, and not only did everyone look exactly like this (Metallica shirt included), I also looked like this. 😱😅"

"I graduated in ‘89, and while I didn’t go to this school, I know every person in this room."

"It's like I can virtually smell the AquaNet and WhiteRain hairspray from here...."

"I remember every time you went to the bathroom you were hit with a wall of hairspray and when the wind blew you looked like you had wings."

Then the observations about how differently we responded to cameras back then.

"Also look how uncomfortable our generation was in front of the camera! I mean I still am! To see kids now immediately pose as soon as a phone is pointed at them is insanity to me 🤣"

"Born in 84 and growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to explain to younger people that video cameras weren’t everywhere and you didn’t count on seeing yourself in what was being filmed. You just smiled and went on with your life."

Which, of course, led to some inevitable "ah the good old days" laments:

"Life was better before the Internet. There, I said it."

"Not a single cell phone to be seen. Oh the freedom."

"It's so nice to be reminded what life was like before cell phones absorbed and isolated social gatherings."

But perhaps the most common response was how old those teens looked.

"Why do they all look like they're in their 30's?"

"Everyone in this video is simultaneously 17 and 49 years old."

"Now we know why they always use 30 y/o actors in high school movies."

As some people pointed out, there is an explanation for why they look old to us. It has more to do with how we interpret the fashion than how old they actually look.

Ah, what a fun little trip down memory lane for those of us who lived it. (Let's just all agree to never bring back those hairstyles, though, k?)

The way makers use time makes meetings far more disruptive than they are for managers.

Most people don't look at their work calendar on any given day and say, "Yay! I have a meeting!" Most of us just understand and accept that meetings are a part of work life in most industries.

Some people, however, are far more negatively impacted by scheduled meetings than others. For people involved in creating or producing, meetings are actively disruptive to work in a way that isn't often the case for managers.

A viral post with an explanation from Paul Graham breaks down why.

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