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Pop Culture

9 of the craziest internet trends that are long forgotten

RIP, custom cursors.

2000s internet trends, early internet trends, ask reddit

Somewhere out there, a Neopet is still hungry.

As an elder millennial, I remember when the internet was completely uncharted territory. So many new things to discover and try out, with seemingly zero rules. The World Wide Web truly was the Wild Wild West, and we were its brave internet explorers.

With the ferocious speed at which information travels through social media today, we’ve become accustomed to internet trends simply coming and going. So much so that we’ve probably forgotten a few gems that were once considered the “it” thing.

Remember the unparalleled joys of making your Neopet happy? Or the instant self-esteem boost you’d get upon seeing that website hit counter go up on the bottom corner of your virtual masterpiece? (Remember, we didn’t have “likes” to lean on during this dark period.) These are just a few relics of a not-so-distant past—once cherished, but now buried in antiquity.

One Reddit user recently asked: “What’s something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?” and people’s answers were a wild nostalgia ride. Use this list for a stroll down memory lane, or to confound a Gen Z friend. Either way, it’s a bit of idle fun—something the internet will always be a good source for.

Without further ado, here are 9 of the weirdest internet trends no one remembers:


1. Downloading custom cursor effects for your computer

via GIPHY

Ah yes, who wants to see a boring arrow move around their screen when they can pretend to wave fairy dust around? Or rainbows, or snowflakes, or bubbles, for that matter. There really was something magically cathartic about animated cursors. Sure they were riddled with bugs, but sometimes that’s the price you pay for a little whimsy, right?

“I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber.” –@TW1103

2. Pre-Google search engines

before google, alternative search engines

One engine to search them all....

Giphy

Wow, hard to imagine a time when googling wasn’t an actual word. Believe it or not, kids, it used to be anything goes when looking up obscure movie trivia or long lost recipes.

Each search engine site had its own personality—Alta Vista chose a no frills approach, Dogpile offered a (never funny) joke of the day, and Ask Jeeves featured a savvy valet based on a character in a novel series by P.G. Wodehouse, ready to quench all curiosities that came in the form of a question.

Many of these separate quirks were quite revolutionary and, though eventually swallowed up by Google’s widespread success, have clearly inspired much of its overall format. Sure, other search engines do still exist, but I think we can all agree that Google reigns supreme.

3. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)

via GIPHY

Hulu’s “PEN15,” which centers around two middle schoolers in the early 2000s, nailed everything about AOL chat rooms with accuracy—from the cringeworthy screen names, to the melodramatic away messages, to the obnoxious login sound that had a Pavlovian effect on teens, bringing their eyes involuntarily to the screen. It’s pure gold.

Of course, there are some aspects of AIM that might be best forgotten—primarily the dangerous way in which teenagers were easily exploited.

“I was 14 but playing a 17 year old because 17 was very “grown up” to me, but I didn’t feel it was enough of an age gap for the lie to be exposed.” –@KayleighJK

"I was 13 pretending I was 18 on AOL chat rooms. I was exposed to too much at a young age. Imagine if I said my actual age" –@Chickeneggsandlegs

4. Flash games

early internet games

Got Flash?

Giphy

Flash games—often free, super easy to play, and normally only required Adobe Flash. According to Comic Book Resources (CBR), one flash game in particular called “Club Penguin” was so well loved that when it shut down in 2017, “thousands of players logged on for the game's final moments, doing everything they could do in game before it was gone forever.”

5. Smart guestbooks

early internet trends

This was a nice one, for sure.

Giphy

Pretty straightforward, and a pretty sweet way to connect with people around the world. Visitors from all over could digitally “sign” and leave a personal message, usually things like “Hi I’m so-and-so and I really enjoyed your website, was a pleasure to browse.” See now nice that was? Not exactly like the aggressive Yelp reviews we’ve become accustomed to.

6. GeoCities

geocities

So few pixels, so little time.

Giphy

Into science fiction and fantasy? Head on over to “Area51.” More of a sports fan? Click on “Colosseum.” GeoCities offered virtual neighborhoods based on specific interests, all on sites filled with flashy graphics and some hot new thing called GIFs. This was a time when enthusiasm for the internet as a community-building and self-expression space was at an all-time high, even if looking back the execution was a tad rudimentary.

Though the days of GeoCities are gone, some remnants of its glory remain, like this.

7. Webrings

retro internet

In the B.A. (Before Algorithm) era.

Giphy

As MIC contributor Brittany Vincent so astutely put it, “Webrings are a forgotten antiquity of the past, a solution created to resolve a problem that no longer exists.” Back when websites were both expensive and limited—not to mention search engines hadn’t hit their stride—having a little box on the bottom of a site you were already on, one that revealed even more magical places you could visit based on the site you were currently on … well, that was the ultimate luxury.

“Oh man, if you stumbled upon* a web ring that you were interested in it was like gold. Bookmark! Not to be confused with StumbleUpon, that was later and also magical.” –DanAykroydFanClub

Which brings us to…

8. StumbleUpon

ask reddit

Who knows where you'll stumble?

Giphy

Back in the day, the internet wasn’t such an all-knowing entity feeding off of algorithms. Endless exploring through obscurity was part of the fun. No better example of this exists than StumbleUpon, where visitors would click a button and land somewhere else at complete random. It was a game of internet roulette. And it was thrilling.

9. Poking on Facebook

early internet trends

Hey...still here...

Giphy

Sometimes, internet imitates life. This was the case with Facebook’s “poke” feature, where users could click a button to remind another user of their existence. Was it rather pointless? Yes. Was it intrusive? Also yes. Regardless, it was all the rage.

Like many of Facebook's features, “pokes” could disappear in the barrage of notifications, which could result in less than ideal realizations.

“I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back.” –@Klaus0225

internet trends

It's web surfin' time!

Giphy

Sure, today’s technology is faster, more efficient and far reaching, but we’ll always have a spot in our hearts for the early internet’s wonky charm. Sort of like those old yearbook photos…

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.




The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?


As they so often do, Penn and Kim Holderness from The Holderness Family have captured the Gen X existential crisis in a video that has us both nodding a long and laughing out loud. Salt-n-Pepa in the waiting room at the doctor's office? Uh, no. That's a line we are not ready to cross yet. Nirvana being played on the Classic Rock station? Nope, not prepared for that, either.

Watch:

Hoo boy, the denial is real, isn't it? We grew up on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, for goodness sake, and it's starting to feel like we made a wrong choice a chapter or two back and suddenly landed our entire generation in a time warp. This isn't real, is it? Thirty years ago was the 1970s. That's just a Gen X fact. So what if we've lived long enough for our high school fashions to go out of style and then back into style and then back out of style again?

Seriously, though, we can either lament our age and stage in life or we can laugh about it, and people are grateful to the Holdernesses for assisting with the latter. Gen X fans are also thrilled to see their own experiences being validated, because at this point, we've all had that moment in the grocery store or the waiting room when one of our jams came on and we immediately went into a panic.

"They were playing The Cure in the grocery store and I almost started crying," wrote one commenter. "I mean, how 'alternative' can you be if you're being played in Krogers? You guys are great! Thanks for making us laugh."

"I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody being played in Walmart," shared another. "That was edgy in my day."

"I know!!! Bon Jovi at the grocery store!!! That was my clue in!!" added another.

"Long live Gen Xers! We have to be strong!! We can get through this together!! #NKOTBmeetsAARP" wrote on commenter.You can find more from the Holderness Family on their Facebook page, their podcast and their website, theholdernessfamily.com.


This article originally appeared on 1.28.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

klem528/Reddit via Upworthy/Instagram (left), Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash (right)

A small act of kindness can make a big difference.

No matter who we are or where we live, we all have occasional bad days—and it can be surprising how quickly someone's words or actions can make your day worse or better.

A woman shared a story on Reddit that showcases how one small and simple act of kindness can have a big lasting impact, prompting others to share their own stories.

Reddit user klem528 explained that she was "having a day" and crying in her car as she pulled into a frozen yogurt store parking lot one day.

"I caught a glimpse of a teenage girl and dad in the car next to me while I was crying," she wrote. "When I came back after eating the fro you, their car was gone but this was in my door handle."

The photo shows a $10 bill with a note bedecked with hearts that reads, "Your fro-yo is on us. We hope tomorrow is a better day."

People loved the example of strangers taking the time and money to help a fellow human being feel a little less alone and began sharing their own stories of random kindnesses.

"I was at the self checkout at Walmart a few months back. This mother and her child id seen a couple times were checking out. Her son was a saint. The whole time, he would help her grab stuff off shelves. Was very polite to other people in the store if they were in his way.

Anyway, they're checking out, and he had this toy and his mother apologized and told him she couldn't get it. The kid seemed upset about it, but went and took it to the woman over the self checkout.

As he was walking back, a girl who was still checking out asked for it, and bought it for him. Took it over to him, and this kid burst into tears and thanked her. The woman who bought it asked if he'd be good for his mom, and this poor kid was choking back more tears, shaking his head yes. The mother also choking back tears a bit and thanked her.

It made my heart warm that day. I've tried to do little acts of kindness more since then." – Shawnessy

"One day, I was on my way home with a friend when I was stopped at the pump by a young woman who was nearly hysterical, dressed up and shaking her hands out. 'Please, please do you have $5? I haven’t had a job in months, I’m on my way to an interview, and I need just enough gas to get there. Please?'

I filled her tank as full as it could go. I got back in the car after her thanks and watching her speed away, and my friend says, without even looking up from her phone, 'Know you just got taken for a ride, don’t you? She probably didn’t have an interview.'

But I just shrugged and said, 'But maybe she did.' I think about her often. Maybe I did lose $30. But maybe I helped a young mother (saw the car seat in her back) find a job and provide for her family. Either way, I did it because I wanted to help someone, and it’s on them if they lied. The world might be a lot nicer if we stopped assuming everyone’s out to get us. – KaythuluCrewe

"Last summer my best friend in the whole world and I had a complete falling out. I was sobbing in the Starbucks drive thru a few days later, I was feeling miserable and the woman in front of me payed for my drink and told the barista to tell me it’ll get better 😭😭 I cried.

There really are good people out there. I hope tomorrow is better xo" – haleymichal

"I once went into Starbucks and I was having such a hard day, my uncle died, boyfriend and I broke up, work was being really hard on me. I couldn’t hold back my tears when I went to order and the barista gave it to me for free. I’ve never been so grateful for such a small, kind gesture on a terrible day. I’ve never forgot it and I doubt I ever will. Small acts of kindness matter." – venusdances

"I went to Chick-fil-A the morning after my husband passed away to get my daughter something to eat. The girl taking my order said, “you look like you need a hug. Can I hug you?” I sobbed in that girl’s arms for a solid 5 min. Another employee routed cars to the other lane, and she kept telling me, “who cares about those cars, it’s about you right now.” I will never forget the kindness of this young lady who couldn’t have been older than 18-19, did not know my circumstance. She just made it her mission to comfort me that day. ❤️😪" – beachbaby5

"I was in Lowe’s the first Mother’s Day after losing my own mom to buy plants for my garden. I was so late to checkout inside that the registers were closed. I apologized and said it wasn’t the best day. Not only did they open a register for me, but the cashier went in the back and brought me a gift bag full of candy that they gave to all employees who were moms that day. I will never forget her face or her kindness." – carpalmieri

"I lost my dog 7 months ago. I’m very sad and having a really hard time. I went to the park we always visited for our fifteen years together. I was walking and crying behind my sunglasses. I was with my other dog ( she is having a really hard time too). A lady passed by and stopped me to ask about my dog and pet her. As I was answering, she asked if I was ok, because my voice was shaky. I said I was so sorry I was just thinking about my dog that passed away and really miss him, but that that we go there to feel him close, it was his favorite place. She started crying and hugged me, and told me I was a good dog mother. Small acts are HUGE for the ones in need. I needed that hug. 💜" – delphinacoscia

On one of the very worst days I can remember in years, my partner and I pulled over on a road trip to deal with some bad news. A woman in the parking lot passed two ice cream cones into our car windows. And that memory makes the hard day so much better in the rear view mirror. Kind strangers make the world such a better place ❤️" – neuro_fuzzy

The original poster who posted the story three years ago shared that she still keeps the $10 bill and note in her glove compartment. You just never know how a small act can boost someone's mood and offer a much-needed sense of hope. Imagine the world we could build if we all went out of our way to lift someone's spirits and remind them they're not alone.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, check out our new book, "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories From the Best of Humanity," now available for pre-order.


Family

Woman goes to huge lengths to adopt husband's ex-wife's baby to save him from foster care

She had lived in foster care and didn't want it for the newborn with no name.

Christie Werts and her son, Levi




Christie and Wesley Werts have taken the idea of a blended family to the next level. When the couple fell in love five years ago and married, they brought together her children, Megan and Vance, and his children, Austin and Dakota.

As of January, the Ohio family has five children after adopting young Levi, 2. Levi is the son of Wesley’s ex-wife, who passed away four days after the child was born. The ex-wife had the boy prematurely, at 33 weeks, and died soon after from drug addiction and complications of COVID-19.

When Levi was born, he was a ward of the state with no first name or birth certificate.


“When I heard about Levi, without hesitation, I said we should take him,” Christie said, according to The Daily Mail, and her reason went far beyond the fact that the child was the half-brother to two of her recently adopted children. “I myself was a foster kid and, although for the most part, I had a great experience, I did not want him going to foster care,” Christie said.

@cjthemom5

Replying to @Journey♥️ Yes, they will always know of her and ill be there for every emotion good or bad. But im also mom, ive been to every game, every doctors appt, sat with them if they needed an ear loved unconditional . I am mom also. #adoption #srorytime #siblings #foryou #loveislove

Before the family knew of Levi’s birth, Christie had a recurring dream about a blue-eyed, blonde-haired boy.

"Before Levi, we had wanted to try to have a child of our own," she told Newsweek. "I'm in my forties, so we knew that we would probably need fertility treatment, so I thought let's just think about it and what will be will be."

The problem was that Levi was in Texas, so the family sold their house and moved to the Lone Star State to go through the arduous adoption process. The situation was further complicated because Levi’s biological father had parental rights even though he had substance abuse problems. The family couldn’t move out of Texas until his rights were legally terminated.

But after a 16-month process, in January 2023, Levi became a legal family member. Christie understands that adopting her husband’s ex-wife’s baby may seem unusual to some people. "It's a lot to process for a lot of people, but honestly, it seems a lot crazier than it was. At the time, it just made sense," she said.

@cjthemom5

Our adoption is official !!! after 17 months!!! #adoption #son #loveyou #ourstory#foryou #fyp

Even though Christie knew in her heart that she must adopt Levi, she wasn’t without reservations. “'If I said I did not [have concerns beforehand], that would not be honest,” she told The Daily Mail. “This was different—I was going to walk into a child I never met and was worried the circumstances would hinder this instant love. But [...] he stole my heart. I also felt this intense need to protect him.”

These days, Levi fits right in with the family, and the rest of the kids are happy to be back to living an everyday life without any caseworkers or inspections.

“He's great, he is the king of the house! We are all very close. He won't understand the journey right now, but someday, I will let him know we fought for him!” Christie said.


This article originally appeared on 8.31.23

Kids

Toddler cries every time he hears 'You Are My Sunshine' but begs his mom to sing it anyway

More than 33 million people have already made this the feel good song of the year.

Toddler cries every time he hears song but begs mom to sing it

Some songs make people emotional. It may be because the song has special meaning for them or because the musical arrangement is so beautiful that it activates something within causing tears to flow. Babies are not immune to being moved by music but typically they don't request the song that brings them to tears.

Jillian James posted a video to social media that shows her toddler son laying on her chest seemingly preparing for nap time. The little guys requests that his mom sing the lullaby, "You Are My Sunshine" but before obliging the request, James asks multiple times if he's sure. Apparently, the sweet song makes the toddler cry every time he hears it. Nevertheless, he persists with his request to hear "sunshine."

James knows what the result will be and checks one last time to see if the little boy is sure he understands what will happen, "you already look like you're about to cry. Buddy, I don't want to sing it if you're going to cry."


The additional warnings did not deter the persistent toddler. He assures his mom he's not going to cry but she has a sneaking suspicion that he won't hold up against the melody of the song and sure enough, waterworks before the first line is finished. Not just a little tear filled eyes, but full on crying and commenters don't disagree with his tears.

@jillianjames31 Every single night he asks me to sing “sunshine” but this is also his reaction when I sing it to him… idk what triggers this response but it equally breaks my heart and makes me laugh at the same time 😂 #youaremysunshine #sunshine #son #toddler #mama #momlife ♬ original sound - Jillian James

"you are my sunshine will always emotionally devastate me," someone admits.

"To be fair, You Are My Sunshine makes me cry too," another writes.

"Sometimes it feels good to listen to your favorite song and have yourself a good cry," one person shares.

"He wants you to sing sunshine for the same reason I like to watch military homecoming videos I guess. Same reaction," a commenter says.

Many people were not expecting the level of crying that escaped from the little boy and suddenly understood why his mom didn't want to sing it. Maybe when he's older he will understand why he listens to music that makes him cry, though sometimes it's just a matter of needing an emotional release with no larger reason outside of that. Poor little guy, sometimes we all just need a cry.

A therapist shares some advice with her clients.

A good therapist has the magical ability to take our messiest problems and break them down in a way that makes sense. They have an incredible way of showing us our struggles from a fresh perspective and quite often, the answers were right in front of our faces the whole time. We just needed their help to nudge us in the right direction.

For some, a therapist's simple, sage wisdom can change their lives with just one poignant realization.

Recently, a Redditor named BuildingBridges23 asked people on the subforum to share the priceless bits of wisdom that changed their lives and over 5,300 people responded. The pithy but powerful observations they shared were helpful to many people and more than one called the thread “free therapy.”


Here are 19 of the best responses to the question: “What's something your therapist said that was life-changing?”

1. You can't fix sick

"You're going to put yourself in an early grave trying to make your mother happy. Your mother is sick, trying to make her happy is like trying to fill a bucket that has no bottom, its not going to happen unless she fixes the bucket. You can't fix it for her." — ModerateDude9


2. Other people's feelings

"I asked him, 'How do you process all of the negative feelings that are projected at you?' and he said "They aren't my feelings.'" — Wirestyle22


3. Coping with death

"'The way your parents died will never be the most interesting thing about you. It's not even the most interesting thing about THEM.' My parents died by suicide together and I was worried that it was going to consume me as an individual. I didnt want their deaths or my grief to become my entire identity." — Crazyofo


4. Being brave

"When I broke down because I was so fed up with being scared and anxious all the time, he said something like. 'You can’t be brave without being scared first.' It always stuck with me that fear, no matter how overwhelming, won’t last forever and I try to see it as a chance for me to prove to myself I can fight back and try to get through this." — AnxiousAxolotyl88


5. Change

"Change happens when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change." ؅— SpicyEmmaa

6. Dealing with mental illness

"Just because the mentally ill person screaming at you lives in your home instead of on the streets doesn't mean their opinion is any more true." — UnorignalUse

7. People are like colanders

"Some people are like a colander. It doesn't matter how much time, love and support you pour into them, it will never fill them up enough to make a difference." — Competitive-Watch188

8. Boundaries

"The only people in your life who will be angry because you established boundaries were the people who benefitted from you not having them in the first place." — Imagine_magic

9. Other people's anxiety

"'Be the mirror, not the sponge.' Don’t absorb other people’s stress and anxiety, show it back to them gently. Changed my life." — CariocaInLA

10. Sensitive people

"That being a 'highly sensitive person' is just how I’m built. It’s not something that’s wrong with me or something that I necessarily have to change. I just have to accept it, to learn my boundaries and needs and live accordingly." — stuttering-mime-ta2


11. For people-pleasers

"'You don’t need to please everyone all of the time. People who love you will not leave you because you disagree with them or do something they don’t like.' She nailed a lot of my behaviours back to the fact my biological dad left when I was 9 months old. I cannot cope with perceived abandonment, and will do everything in my power to keep people happy… because they might leave me." — RhiR2020

12. It's not about you

"'You aren’t that interesting.' I would have panic attacks and paranoia that people were out to get me (PTSD, etc) and would think that people were judging me in grocery stores because my toddler was crying or that my hair was messy. And honestly it boiled down to…nobody cares. We’re all trying to survive and get through the day and what someone looks like or does, we observe and move on." — jac_kayyy

13. Judgement

"We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions." — Horny_Rapunzel

14. It's simple

"'The answer is simple. That doesn't mean it's easy, but it's simple.' I was doing what I always do in difficult, scary situations that I don't want to deal with head-on; I was overthinking and over-complicating what I needed to do to be happy again. The answer was actually quite simple: I needed to tell my (now ex-husband) that I wanted a divorce." — RovenshereExpress

15. Realize your unhappiness

"At the third session with our couples counselor, my wife and I had a brief ten-minute private session with our therapist. During my session, the therapist said, 'You need to accept the possibility of a divorce. You are trying to do the right thing and be supportive, but you can't do that alone. Your wife is taking advantage of you. You can't see how unhappy you are. That will change within a year after your divorce.' Yup. She was right. My wife and I agreed to divorce during the 4th session. I am finally happy, and love my life." — BlueCollarBeagle

16. Hurt

"Just because you were hurt when you were younger, doesn't mean randoms have the right to hurt you now." — Paeliens

17. See-saw relationship

"A relationship is like a see-saw. If the other person doesn't want to participate, you can keep going, but you'll get really tired." — SendInYourSkeleton

18. Panic

"Not my therapist, but a friend told me hers said this: 'You do not have enough information to panic about that yet.' Whenever I catch myself spiraling about the unknown, I try to remember that." — Bananaphone1549

19. Heart attacks

"It wasn’t my therapist, it was my doctor, but it was life-changing. I had been 300+ pounds all of my adult life and I was in for a physical and he said to me: 'You know, the first symptom of a heart attack is a heart attack.' It was what caused me to change my life at age 54 and lose 110 pounds in 16 months and I became a runner. I have run a race in all 50 states, 26 Halifax marathons and 2 full marathons, Chicago and Boston. That one thing he said to me kicked off my decision for better health! That was 15 years ago." — BlueJasper27