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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week​

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

smiley face smile
Photo via br_ruy/Canva

Need a reason to smile? How about 10 of them?

Did you know that baby owls' heads are too heavy for their little bodies to hold up all the time, so they sleep on their stomachs and it's the cutest thing ever?

Did you know that otters like to have their hands rubbed by humans?

Did you know that Kevin Bacon singing a Beyoncé song with his guitar while being surrounded by goats was a thing?

There's so much to learn in this week's list of things that made us smile!


From our adorable animal friends to our awesome fellow humans doing awesome things, here are 10 delightful finds from around the internet to lift your spirit and give you a feel-good boost.

Otter loves it when a human holds and rubs its little hands and the bliss is too much.

Look at that face. I get it, little otter. Hand massages are highly underrated.

Baby owls sleep on their stomachs because they can't hold their honking heads up for too long.

This is one of those things that sounds fake, but isn't. Dr. Heather Hinam, conservation biologist, confirmed it. Entirely too hilarious.

Speaking of owls … the way owls run looks like a cartoon.

Oh my gosh, why are their legs so long and why do they look like they're picking up their trousers and sneaking around? Can't handle it.

Bono made a sweet animatic honoring his 40-year marriage to his wife, Ali.

Bono and Ali started dating the same year that U2 formed and 40 years later he still refers to her as his "soulmate." Four decades is an impressive run for any couple, but practically unheard of for a world-famous rockstar. (I see you, Jon Bon Jovi!) Read the full story here.

These brothers caring for their baby sister after she fell asleep in her high chair is so dang sweet.

@stevenbb12345

#amor #dehijos #💓💓

No idea what the backstory is on these kiddos, but clearly they've been raised to take good care of their sister. The way the older one jumped into action and the smile on the younger one's face before he snuggled her up are just precious.

Kevin Bacon sings Beyoncé surrounded by goats in the most unexpectedly delightful video.

This is the cover no one asked for but everyone finds themselves bopping to. What a combo. Read the full story here.

This 3-year-old loves her "Creepy Chloe" doll and Disney embraced her in the best way.

Creepy Chloe accompanied Briar to Disney World and had a special, spooky day.

Photos courtesy of Brittany Beard

Kids are quirky, and 3-year-old Briar Rose's choice of doll makes that clear. Disney World cast members totally went above and beyond when she brought "Creepy Chloe" to the Magic Kingdom, giving her some spooky treats, taking some fun portraits and making her an Honorary Caretaker of the Haunted Mansion. So fun. Read the full story here.

This bird trying to land a lady with his wing-waving, headless peek-a-boo dance

Bro, you're going way too hard here. Very entertaining, though.

Brodie the famous floof visits kids in the children's hospital and it's sheer joy.

Nobody can suppress a smile when they see Brodie. What a sweet way to bring some joy to these kids' day.

It's Labor Day weekend! Let's celebrate like this cat, with an epically awesome nap.

May we all find a space and time when we can be this relaxed.

Hope this list brought a smile or six to your face! Have a fabulous weekend and come back again next week for another serotonin-boosting roundup.

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Health

The simple 'Dorito theory' is a thoughtful way to break our addictive, unfulfilling habits

"Things that aren't actually satisfying are those that are maximally addictive."

via Celeste Aria, used with permission and Hugo Martins/Flickr

Celeste Aria explains her "Dorito theory"

Philosopher Eric Hoffer once said, “You can’t get enough of what you truly don’t need to make you happy.” His point is that we can have enough of the things that truly satisfy us, such as a healthy relationship, necessary material possessions, or nutritious food.

However, the things that can’t satisfy us, such as junk food, toxic relationships, or status symbols, will always leave us feeling hollow, no matter how much we indulge.

This idea has popped back into public consciousness, although with a slight twist by TikTokker Celeste Aria, who refers to her version of the idea as the “Dorito theory.” “One thing I can’t stop thinking about is called the Dorito theory,” she said in a post with over 1 million views. “I learned about this, and now I see everything a little bit differently.”

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Education

Why awkwardness is such a real thing for people everywhere and one big key to overcoming it

This is super helpful info for people who struggle with social anxiety.

In our brains, awkwardness can feel as painful as being bullied.

Some people fear heights or small spaces, some fear spiders or snakes, and some fear illness or death. When taken to an extreme, such fears can form of an anxiety disorder, but they are understandable fears to have because any one of those things could theoretically spell our demise.

But what about fearing something that isn't physically dangerous at all, but rather psychologically uncomfortable, like…awkwardness?

For people with social anxiety, the fear of awkwardness is as real as the fear of death. "I'd rather cross a glass bridge over a 1,000-foot canyon than introduce myself to someone new" is a totally normal thought for a socially anxious person. The silences and pauses that mark most social interactions are magnified to painful degrees and the feelings of self-consciousness most of us experience in those moments are felt in extremes in the mind of a socially anxious person.

No one likes feeling awkward, of course, but why is it even a thing in the first place? What makes some interactions feel so uncomfortable to our brains? And more importantly, how do we overcome the fear of awkwardness, especially those who find themselves completely paralyzed by it?

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Pop Culture

A new viral R&B version of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' is such a beautiful mood setter

It's like a completely new, equally good version of the all-time classic.

Representative Image from Canva, Dolly Parton/Youtube

Brb, listening to this 100x on repeat

As Rolling Stone announced that Beyoncé just became the first Black woman artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, let’s keep the celebration of Black women busting through barriers in the genre going, why not?

Singer/songwriter and producer NYA, aka @nya.w0rld on TikTok, has given her followers all kinds of R&B versions of well known songs from artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Avril Lavine. She’s even R&B-ified theme songs from popular television shows like “Friends.”

But it’s her recent R&B ballad of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” that’s so good, people are hoping it finds its way to the Queen of Country herself.

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An influencer and a baby.

There is an arms race amongst parents these days to choose the most original name for their children possible. While it’s important to instill individuality into a child, studies show that people given unusual names at birth are more likely to suffer setbacks in their social and professional lives.

It can even make it harder for them to find a date.

Knowing that his daughter was setting her child up for a hard life by giving him a very unusual name, a dad staged an intervention—in person and online—to get her to realize what she was doing.

The father, known as MulledMarmite on Reddit, shared his dramatic story on the AITAH forum. He says this daughter’s interest in selecting such an unusual name comes from influencer culture.

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