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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Four-year-olds doing cute things, animals making epic comebacks, and music, music, music.

happiness

Joy can be found high in the sky or low on the ground.

Happiness is not something our survival-centered brains naturally gravitate towards. We all need help once in a while to shift our mindset with reminders of just how wonderful, hilarious, magical, endearing and truly awesome life on this blue planet can be.

Luckily, there are countless sources of joyful inspiration out there, both IRL and in the virtual realm. At Upworthy, we like to make collecting those uplifting gems just a little bit easier for you with these weekly round-ups. And the funny thing is: week after week, the world provides.

Here are 10 smile-inducing things we've discovered this week. Enjoy!


1. Life is beautiful. Just take it from Scooter, "The World's Ugliest Dog."

If Scooter, a bald 7-year-old Chinese Crested dog with backwards facing hind legs can not only escape certain death to be in a loving home, but make an epic comeback by winning the "World's Ugliest Dog" competition…then perhaps there's hope for us all.

2. Her name is Van Van. She likes to rap. At 2 o'clock, she takes a nap.

Can you believe this impressive word play is being effortlessly spewed by a four-year-old?! The adorable march and dad's hype up take it to next level sweetness too. Van Van has way more raps where that came from.

3. Wild buffalo returning to their natural habitat on Blackfeet tribal land is a breathtaking sight.

A win for nature. And a win for Indigenous groups. Huzzah.

4. As it turns out, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" is the perfect Blink-182 song

It's the Blink style "na na na"s in lieu of Beyoncé's "oh oh oh"s for me. This diddy is brought to you by Alex Melton, who has all kids of Blink-182 covers. And they're all bangers.

5. May we all enjoy life as much as this 41-year-old at her first ever hip-hop class

It's never too late to try something new.

6. Guy ends up being the only one on his flight, so he decides to party with the crew

@phil.stringer

18-hour delay turned this flight into a private party! ✈️🥳 Watch how the amazing crew and I made the most of it! #americanairlines #flightattendant #airplanetiktok #privateparty #FlightFun #delayedflight #fyp #viral

After a near 18 hours delay, everybody except for Phil Stringer had given up on a flight heading from Oklahoma City to Charlotte. Did that stop him from having the time of his life? Hell no. you can read the full wholesome story here.

7. Gorillas, lemurs and more beat the heat with Pride-themed rainbow ice pops

Happy Pride to humans and animals everywhere. Stay cool, y'all.

8. The family that sings together, stays together.

New Jersey's Sharpe Family Singers wowed the "America's Got Talent" crowd with a sensational cover of "How far i'll Go" from Disney's Moana. But even more inspiring than their talent is the sheer amount of fun they have together on stage.

9. Friends come in all shapes and sizes…including hummingbird size.

You know how they say you attract more bees with honey? The same could be said for nectar and hummingbirds. That's why this clever 4-year-old girl hid herself in a nectar suit to get up close and personal with some bird friends. The sweet experiment proved a success.

10. And last but not least: when anxiety levels are too high, follow this dog's lead and take a chill pill

@barstoolsports Little man is somewhere else 😭 @Son of a Boy Dad ♬ original sound - Barstool Sports

Of course, in this pup's case…there can be too much of a good thing. But even his hilarious "melting face" is enough to put a smile on ours. How about you?

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

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Pop Culture

Optical illusion that looks like a person with two dogs has people totally tripping

It takes a while to see it, but there are not two dogs in the photo.

Where is the third dog in this photo?

Optical illusions are wild. The way our brains perceive what our eyes see can be way off base, even when we're sure about what we're seeing.

Plenty of famous optical illusions have been created purposefully, from the Ames window that appears to be moving back and forth when it's actually rotating 360 degrees to the spiral image that makes Van Gogh's "Starry Night" look like it's moving.

But sometimes optical illusions happen by accident. Those ones are even more fun because we know they aren't a result of someone trying to trick our brains. Our brains do the tricking all by themselves.

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Walmart announces a new buy now, pay later program at self checkout.

Americans have suffered from rising rents, mortgages and grocery bills over the past few years and now 60% live paycheck to paycheck. Even people in higher income brackets are feeling the pinch, with over half of Americans earning over $100,000 having little to no money left after expenses.

To help Americans spread out their expenses and get a little financial breathing room, Walmart is now offering buy now, pay later loans through Affirm for the first time at self-checkout kiosks at more than 4,500 locations.

"Eligible shoppers can easily pay over time for their favorite electronics, apparel, toys, and more in simple monthly payments when checking themselves out in-store," Affirm said in a news release.

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People share the 18 things that are a 'subtle sign' someone is really smart

"They effortlessly communicate complex concepts in a simple way."

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

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Joy

Mom's hilarious grocery cashier character created during playtime has people rolling

Mom Aubrey Sanchez might have invented "Rosey" for her daughter, but now everyone is entertained.

@aubreysanchezx3/TikTok

We've all met Rosey.

Playing pretend isn’t always something that comes as naturally to adults as it does to kids. But as we become more aware of just how important playtime is to a child’s development, more and more parents are rolling up their imaginary sleeves to put in the work.

Of course, some parents have absolutely no problem committing to the bit. Aubrey Sanchez is clearly one of those parents.

On January 1st, Sanchez debuted Rosey, a salty-but-charming grocery cashier created during a bit of play time spent with her daughter, in a video clip that racked up a whopping 61.3 million views on TikTok.
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David Booth is on a mission.

Losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare, but losing a child to a preventable accident is a unique kind of grief. Such bereaved parents are often haunted by what ifs, and many choose to channel their grief into helping prevent whatever killed their child from happening to other people.

That's what David and Jennifer Booth decided to focus on when they lost their 18-year-old son Nicholas in a car accident in April of 2023. Nick and his friend Will had left lacrosse practice and were driving along a treacherous road near Richmond, Virginia, when they lost control of the car around a curve. The car hit a retaining wall, flipped and burst into flames, killing both teens. The Virginia Department of Transportation estimated that the car was traveling in excess of 80 mph when it struck the wall.

After another local teen was killed in a car crash two days before the new year, Booth reflected on how he talks about his son's death. He took to Facebook Live in January of 2024 to share his thoughts.

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Husband surprises pregnant wife with hibachi reenactment

Eating hibachi at a Japanese restaurant is an experience. The hibachi chef wheels out his cart, cleans off the cooking space and the next thing you know there are flames shooting two feet in the air from an onion volcano. Spatulas go flying, eggs spin on end and with each squirt of oil the flame dances wildly while the heat warms your face.

It's truly a show of skill and entertainment that you simply don't get with other dinning experiences, so it's no wonder people enjoy it. But when you add in pregnancy cravings, it takes that enjoyment to a whole new level and this woman's husband got the memo. The couple, Dan and Sam uploaded a video to their TIkTok channel where it has gone viral with over 1.5 million likes.

In the video, Sam, who is pregnant is laying in the bed craving hibachi when her husband comes to beckon her into the kitchen.

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