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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

We could all use a roundup of joy.

10 things, piano, squirrel

Upworthy's roundup of delights from around the internet.

Have you ever pondered what joy actually is? Is it different than happiness, and if so, how?

Though the dictionary definitions of the words are quite similar, people like to debate how happiness and joy differ. Some people say happiness is an emotion while joy is a state of mind. Some describe happiness as coming from outside of us while joy comes from within us. Some describe happiness as surface and fleeting while joy is deeper and more lasting.

In the documentary "Mission: JOY," iconic spiritual leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama explore the concept of joy. Each of them has endured a great deal of tragedy and struggle in their lives, yet both exude and embody joy at the deepest level. In 2015, six years before Desmond Tutu passed away, the two holy men spent five days together sharing their thoughts on life, suffering, compassion, joy and more.


The two agree that joy comes from within and is largely born from helping people. As Tutu said in the film, "Joy is the reward of seeking to give joy to others." And science backs that up as well. Research on happiness shows that those who do kind things for others are happier and healthier. The more joy we spread, the more joy we receive.

One of the best things about joy—it doesn't require everything to be OK to feel it. Even in the face of difficulty and struggle, we can find joy. People who face physical or mental health challenges can still experience joy. Though tragedies may touch our lives, joy still finds ways in.

Whether these 10 things will bring you joy or happiness I can't say, but hopefully, they will bring a smile or 10 to your face. Enjoy.

1. Let's all live vicariously through this baby squirrel being brushed.

This might seriously be the most relaxing video I've ever seen. I'd grab that brush and bring it back too, lil' squirrel.

2. These seniors got tap lessons and the joy is palpable.

Just the best. So much fun.

3. Seriously, this documentary about the kinship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is what the world needs now.

Everyone needs to watch this film. It's joyful, hopeful, beautiful and hilarious. Desmond Tutu's daughter said these two together have the energy of two 8-year-old boys, and it's so easy to see. Their friendship is truly a wonderful example to us all. Read the story here.

4. Kiddo meets his baby brother for the first time—with a Mario Bros. twist.

"It's a me, Mario!" And he finally got his Luigi. So sweet.

5. Baby leads a dance class and gracious, the cuteness is too much.

Let's have wee ones lead all of our exercise classes from now on, please.

6. Pianist unexpectedly summoned a fellow piano player at a London train station.

How fun is that?!? (Also, more public live music like this, please.)

7. Take a scroll through these pics of sweet doggos smelling the flowers.

The only thing better than a sweet doggo is a sweet doggo taking a moment to smell the flowers. Click the arrow on the right to scroll through.

8. The European Union beat its greenhouse gas emissions targets by more than 70%.

EU, flags

In a bit of good climate news, the EU blew past its greenhouse gas emissions goals for 2020.

Photo by ALEXANDRE LALLEMAND on Unsplash

In a bit of good news on the climate crisis front, official EU data submitted to the United Nations this week shows that the EU not only succeeded in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% but actually reduced them by 34%—a whopping 70% more than the goal. Undoubtedly, that accomplishment was helped by the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, but hey, we'll take it.

9. Gorilla family takes a keen interest in documentary filmmaker.

Can you even imagine? So thrilling and terrifying and adorable, all at the same time. Their curiosity is so innocent and sincere. And the silverback pulling that baby away, like, "Okay, that's enough. Leave the nice man alone." Just incredible.

10. Security camera captures this couple's sweet goodnight moments.

@isabellafons1

é meu vídeo favorito 🥹

The first shot of this video reads, "Me telling my boyfriend that I wanted to record more of our moments." And what follows is a series of candid clips from a home security camera showing them saying goodnight to each other. Awww. Young love. Gotta love it.

Have a joyful week, everyone, and come back next Friday for another roundup of delights!

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this year

Our most loved Instagram posts of the year are pure Upworthy joy.

Upworthy's top 10 Instagram posts of 2022

Here we are, friends, in the final stretch to the 2022 finish line. What a year it has been!

Every week this year, we've shared a roundup of 10 things that made us smile, and you have told us time and time again that you love it. (Who wouldn't love a regular collection of joy all in one place?)

To close out the year, we're doing this week's roundup a little differently. Millions of you follow us on Instagram, where we curate and share delightful, uplifting things we find around the interwebs. It's always fun to look back at the end of the year and see what resonated most with people, so we've gathered together our 10 most beloved Instagram posts of 2022 for your enjoyment.

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Mom absolutely slays when bar band hands her a fiddle.

The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but it appears he took a detour to a bar in Nashville and possessed a middle-aged mom on his way down there.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed 5.5 million times, Olivia Reeth's daughter shared that her family had gone to the Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and was watching the Moonshine Outlaw Band perform. Her mom told the band she played the fiddle, and mid-song, the fiddle player decided to hand his instrument over to her.

You kind of have to wonder what the guy was thinking. Did he imagine she'd be able to keep up with the band? Did he figure she'd play a few bars and then hand it back?

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Family

Stay-at-home mom shares her life 'without the filters' and parents everywhere can relate

"Let me walk around my house and make you feel better about yours."

Emily Feret wants to "normalize being normal."

In the age of social media, it’s easy for moms to feel bad about themselves. Given the “positivity bias” of social media, parents are much more likely to share idealized pictures of their families that make everyone else feel like they’re the only ones who don’t have it together.

A study published in “Computers in Human Behavior” found that being confronted with “idealized motherhood” can increase anxiety and put unnecessary pressure on your mental health.

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popular

Two doulas help dad deliver baby during a blizzard with help from strangers on Facebook

"This is going to be me. I’m going to have to put my big boy pants on and figure this out."

Photo by Shawn Dearn on Unsplash

Two doulas help dad deliver baby in blizzard

Working remotely usually isn't this hands on but two doulas in Buffalo had to get creative when a patient went into labor while trapped inside the house due to the historic blizzard. Davon and Erica Thompson found themselves in a peculiar situation when Erica went into labor on Christmas Eve.

Davon called 911 multiple times in an attempt to get assistance but the operator couldn't send anyone out according to NBC News. But the baby was not going to wait until EMS was free. Erica's contractions quickly jumped to just three minutes apart and Davon knew he was about to become a midwife.

Davon told the Buffalo News, “At that point, I was like: ‘This is going to be me. I’m going to have to put my big boy pants on and figure this out,’" so he reached out to a friend.

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Photo via -ted/Flickr

The health insurance reform bus tour, 2009.

At a time when it can feel like America's most pressing problems aren’t being addressed, there’s some very good news on the healthcare front that everyone should know. The percentage of Americans who are uninsured has hit the lowest point in American history.

A report from the Office of Health Policy earlier this year announced that the uninsured rate hit an all-time low of 8% in the first quarter of 2022. To give some perspective, in 2010, before the Affordable Care Act (ACAalso known as Obamacare) had been fully implemented, the uninsured rate was twice as high at 16%.

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