There's no denying that positivity can be powerful. I know when I'm struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts, if I can hold onto an ounce of hope — that I'll make it through, that I'm not defined by my thoughts, that I'm not as bad as my brain is making me out to be — I can cope a little better.
The positivity we hold within ourselves, when we can manage it, makes it a little easier to get by.
That being said, perhaps counterintuitively, positivity isn't always the best way to help others. You can't make someone be positive. You can't sprinkle positivity dust on them and make their problems go away. And honestly, when people are seeking help and support, they're usually not looking for straight-up, inspirational poster positivity. More often, they're looking for validation that their negative feelings are OK.
I've always kind of known this but didn't think about it in a tangible way until I saw a graphic made by Whitney Hawkins Goodman, LMFT, owner of The Collaborative Counseling Center. She runs the Instagram account @sitwithwhit, and after she posted an image explaining "Toxic Positivity," I started seeing it all over social media.
The full graphic showing the difference between the positivity and the not so positive.
via Sitwithit / Instagram
The graphic shows the difference between supporting someone with validation and hope, and trying to support them with "toxic positivity." According to Whitney, it's the difference between, "This is hard… I believe in you," and, "Just be happy!" If you could never pinpoint why simple "inspiring" quotes didn't sit well with you, this could be the explanation.
It reminds me of a popular animated video about empathy, which uses the words of Brené Brown. If sympathy is shouting down at someone while they're stuck in a hole, empathy is getting into the hole with them. If "toxic positivity" is telling someone to just "look at the bright side," support is putting yourself in someone's shoes, and accepting their feelings for what they are.
Of course, when we throw around phrases like, "Think positive," or, "Stop being so negative," we're probably coming from a good place. You're spreading these messages because you want people to be happier, damn it! So what's wrong with reminding people to be positive?
The hard-to-face truth is, supporting people isn't about being "positive." In fact, when you force positivity down someone's throat, it can actually have the opposite effect. "Toxic positivity" can make people feel unsafe expressing their negativity, and negativity thrives in isolation. It can make people think there's something wrong with them for not simply "choosing" happiness, and shame is negativity's enabling best friend.
When we're supporting someone who's hurting, we need to leave room for positivity to grow. And you don't yell at a flower to "just" grow — you water it. In this case, you water it with listening, with validation, and with unconditional support. It's OK to experience negative emotions, and with support, we can help people who are stuck in negativity find their own way out. Simply telling them to "be positive" doesn't cut it.
Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”
The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.
In a compelling interview with Big Think, astronaut, author and humanitarian Ron Garan explains how if more of us developed this planetary perspective we could fix much of what ails humanity and the planet.
Garan has spent 178 days in space and traveled more than 71 million miles in 2,842 orbits. From high above, he realized that the planet is a lot more fragile than he thought.
“When I looked out the window of the International Space Station, I saw the paparazzi-like flashes of lightning storms, I saw dancing curtains of auroras that seemed so close it was as if we could reach out and touch them. And I saw the unbelievable thinness of our planet's atmosphere. In that moment, I was hit with the sobering realization that that paper-thin layer keeps every living thing on our planet alive,” Garan said in the video.
“I saw an iridescent biosphere teeming with life,” he continues. “I didn't see the economy. But since our human-made systems treat everything, including the very life-support systems of our planet, as the wholly owned subsidiary of the global economy, it's obvious from the vantage point of space that we're living a lie.”
It was at that moment he realized that humanity needs to reevaluate its priorities.
“We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That's when we're going to continue our evolutionary process,” he added.
Garan says that we are paying a very “high price” as a civilization for our inability to develop a more planetary perspective and that it’s a big reason why we’re failing to solve many of our problems. Even though our economic activity may improve quality of life on one end, it’s also disasterous for the planet that sustains our lives.
It’s like cutting off our nose to spite our face.
Actor William Shatner had a similar experience to Garan's when he traveled into space.
"It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered," Shatner wrote. "The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind."
“We're not going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality,” Garan said.
However dire the situation looks from the surface of Earth, the astronaut has hope that we can collectively evolve in consciousness and wake up and embrace a larger reality. “And when we can evolve beyond a two-dimensional us versus them mindset, and embrace the true multi-dimensional reality of the universe that we live in, that's when we're going to no longer be floating in darkness … and it's a future that we would all want to be a part of. That's our true calling.”
A viral video showing a woman preparing nachos for her "picky" spouse after he refused to eat the salmon dinner she cooked has sparked a contentious debate on TikTok. The video was shared on April 26 by Brianna Greenfield (@themamabrianna on TikTok) and has since earned over 2.5 million views.
Brianna is a mother of two who lives in Iowa.
The video starts with Brianna grating a massive hunk of cheese with a caption that reads: “My husband didn’t eat the dinner that I made…So let’s make him some nachos.”
“If I don’t feed him, he literally won’t eat,” she wrote. “This used to irritate me. Now I just blame his mother for never making him try salmon,” Greenfield wrote. The video features Meghan Trainor’s single “Mother” playing in the background.
At the end of the video, she hands her husband a huge plate of nachos while he lies on the couch under a blanket.
The video received over 11,000 comments on TikTok, primarily people saying that she shouldn’t have made a second meal for her husband and that he appears to be entitled.
Moral of the story: always serve your kids allllll the food, even if they say they dont like it after the first time. 25 years from now your child’s spouse will thank you. 😉 #momsoftiktok #momtok #momlife #workingmom #sahm #marriedlife #marriage #marriagehumor #wifelife #wivesoftiktok #happywifehappylife #pickyeater #pickyhusband #nachosfordinner #wivesoftiktok #cuisinartairfryer #humpday #guesswhatdayitis🐪 #guesswhatdayitis #eattherainbow
"If my husband came home after I cooked dinner and told me he wasn’t eating it to make something else I’d laugh in his face," Rebecca Rose wrote. "This ain't a marriage it's a caretaker internship," Ad Trèz added.
"It got worse with him wrapped in the blanket being served," Lauren Becker wrote. "Ohhh...now I know what people mean when they refer to 'the ick,'" Tara Townsend commented, referencing the moment when people realize that their attraction to someone has turned to repulsion.
However, Brianna believes that people are missing the point of her video. "Moral of the story: always serve your kids allllll the food, even if they say they don't like it after the first time. 25 years from now your child’s spouse will thank you," she captioned the post.
Brianna wasn’t trying to paint her husband as infantile but call attention to the fact that when parents don’t expose their children to different types of food, they can wind up with a relatively unsophisticated palette. She knew he didn't like salmon when she made the dinner for her and her kids, so it wasn't a surprise that he didn't want it.
“If you have parents who don’t really like to try anything new, you will also be exposed to fewer new foods,” Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D. told Self—adding that the reverse is also true. When we have positive experiences with new foods, we are more likely to try unfamiliar tastes in the future.
Even though many took shots at Brianna and her husband, they took it all in stride and aren’t bothered by people who don’t know them.
"Thankfully, my husband and I have an excellent sense of humor and know the truth (that he is a wonderful husband and even better father), so we just think the reaction is genuinely entertaining,” she told Newsweek. “Some of the rude comments are hilariously clever!"
After the first video went viral, she posted another where she serves him macaroni and cheese, while he lays on the couch, under a blanket with numerous electronic devices around him.
It should go without saying that it’s not cool to steal from your Airbnb. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen.
However, when one Airbnb host recently discovered a guest had—for some strange reason—stolen one of her paintings, then replaced it with a completely different painting, she decided to make the best out of a very uncool situation by sharing the story on TikTok.
As a result, viewers got to witness an continuously unraveling, truly bizarre modern-day art heist.
Okay, let’s get into it.
"OK the weirdest thing just happened," host Amy Corbett says at the beginning of her video.
She then shows what the living room in the listing normally looks like—with a painting of a map hanging on a wall over a couch.
But when Corbett shows up to the unit, we see that it is definitely not a painting of a map hanging on a wall over a couch. Instead, there’s a painting of an orange airplane.
“I have never seen the picture before in my life!” Corbett exclaims in the video.
Creeped out, she looks around the apartment to see if the oil painting is anywhere to be found. Nada. Zilch.
Needless to say, commenters had their theories. Several mentioned hearing similar stories involving the same painting, leading them to believe this was all part of some long and involved paint-swapping prank. Others went the more traditional route of assuming this guest was trying to cover up some damage inflicted to avoid fees. Others still thought this person was an artist trying to do some sort of clandestine self-promotion.
In a follow-up video, Corbett debunked those theories, saying that not only could that airplane image be found “all over the web,” but the wall it was hanging on was “pristine,” not to mention the fact that the original artwork was next to impossible to accidentally damage.
As for whether or not this person had swapped out other paintings, Corbett has reached out to one of the guest’s previous hosts, who confirmed that it had not taken place there.
Corbett kept audiences in the loop with several follow-ups, including actual security footage of the guest caught in the act.
The video shows a man (now dubbed the Airbnb Bandit) walking from his car carrying the airplane painting. Next, he’s seen in a different-colored hoodie carrying out the map painting, which is bundled up in a blanket.
As if things couldn’t get any stranger, when Corbett sent an official claim through Airbnb about the artwork, the Airbnb Bandit did pay, but only a portion of what was asked. Then when she asked when he could pay the rest of it…he asked for a 5-star review.
While the actual identity of this unusual art thief remains a mystery, Corbett is being reimbursed by Airbnb. Plus, she has decidedly made her “negative story into a positive one” by hiring a local artist to create a new painting to hang above her couch, one that features a waterfall view and the Jamestown River visible just outside the listing. Plus, she’s raffling off the airplane painting to raise funds for affordable housing in her area.
This might be one of the weirder Airbnb stories out there, but at least it has a pretty happy ending.
Let's be real—buying secondhand allows us to save a few bucks, which is great. But the real thrill is the possibility of snagging that ultra-rare, one-of-a-kind item that’s worth a bajillion times more than we originally paid for it. Yes, that kind of shopping is a lottery unto itself. But man, what a jackpot, should you win.
And of course, it’s not a totally far-fetched fantasy. Costly things get thrown out or donated all the time, ready to be procured at the nearby thrift store, garage sale…
…or, in this case, Facebook Marketplace.
In February 2023, Los Angeles-based designer and container creator Justin Miller posted a TikTok sharing a listing he found for a dark tan leather wingback chair going for $50.
Miller immediately felt the piece was “unique” and dove into some online research. The brand, he discovered, was Frits Henningsen, with the design dating back to the 1930s. Miller would later discover (thanks to a helpful commenter) that the same chair showed up during Kirsten Dunst’s hour tour for Architectural Digest, where the actress mentioned that only 50 of the chairs were ever made.
With all that info, the prices for the chair were expectedly “insane,” ranging from $9,634 to $60,000, to even a whopping $223,943 for a pair of the exact same chair in the listing—meaning that, theoretically, one chair would be worth around $100,000. Yowza.
Of course, with a few scratches in the leather, Miller knew he wouldn’t be getting anywhere near $100,000. But still, he seemed in for a pretty penny. So he of course bought the chair and has documented the ongoing journey in subsequent TikToks.
As he explained in an interview with Insider, the seller, located in Beverly Hills, gave Miller a quick heads up that the chair was potentially worth a lot of money. They had been tasked with selling a family friend's unwanted items in exchange for a percentage of the profits and had set up a yard sale, only to have to quickly pack everything up again after finding out that the city didn’t allow them. At that point, the only goal really was to sell everything as quickly as possible.
“She knew, she just wanted to get rid of it,” he said.
After procuring the chair, Miller submitted it to auction houses, and, according to Sotheby’s, it is estimated at…drumroll please…between $30,000-$50,000.
Miller is still waiting to get the final price for his chair, but he is undoubtedly patting himself on the back for trusting his gut. And he’s sure to post how much it ultimately sold for on his TikTok, which you can find here.
Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be perusing Facebook Marketplace.
Adrienne Bailon-Houghton talks about the reality of surrogacy.
No matter how you become a mother, the journey is worth it. But oftentimes people omit the negative parts for many reasons, whether it's a desire to not make people feel bad for them or to not appear ungrateful. Thankfully, the taboo around the hard topics of infertility and pregnancy have been lifting, and people are feeling more free to express themselves.
Recently, Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, former co-star of "The Cheetah Girls" and co-host of "The Real," revealed her own struggles with infertility and the mixed feelings that came along with it. While we know Bailon-Houghton eventually welcomed a son, Ever James, via surrogate, this is the first time we've heard the unexpected revelation of the new mom feeling frustrated by the surrogacy process.
During the time leading up to finding a surrogate, Bailon-Houghton and her husband, Isreal Houghton, tried to conceive for six years.
When people dream about having a baby, the thought of an extended infertility journey likely isn't something that's top of mind. It seems like a lot of people get pregnant just from sitting near someone on a city bus, so the idea that it may take years to finally welcome your own child feels unbelievable. But for some, that's a reality, and Bailon-Houghton is sharing what that has been like for her.
The actor has been open more recently about experiencing eight miscarriages and attempting IVF, which turned out to also be unsuccessful. Bailon-Houghton told Today.com that she didn't know that infertility was going to be part of her journey.
"I mean, I should have known initially when I did my (first) egg retrieval. My girlfriend was doing it at the same time as me and she got 18 eggs. When I did my retrieval, I got four," Bailon-Houghton shared with the outlet.
The former talk show co-host went on to explain that up until that point in her life she had never heard of a failed cycle, but sadly, all four of Bailon-Houghton's fertilized eggs were not viable to be transferred. After multiple failed IVF attempts, the couple was told that they had one fertilized egg left, and their doctor suggested surrogacy, according to People.
The surrogate got pregnant on the first attempt at implantation and the countdown to her son's birthday began. But for Bailon-Houghton, she was having some unexpected emotions around surrogacy. The actor told Today.com that she felt robbed of the experience of carrying a child.
"It sounds so stupid—so superficial," she said to Today.com. "But I felt robbed of maternity photos. I wanted to feel the movement of a baby inside me. I wanted my husband to experience my pregnant body. I imagined my son being born, and now had other people in this room that were not a part of what I imagined."
Feeling frustrated or even angry about the journey of surrogacy is likely more common than people realize, so it's refreshing to hear someone talk about those complicated emotions. And it turns out, Bailon-Houghton wasn't down to just one egg as her doctor believed. After more testing, it was discovered that she had five more eggs left, according to People, and she plans on trying to carry them herself.
The star had some words of encouragement for moms who may be experiencing infertility.
"Your journey to motherhood is your journey," Bailon-Houghton told Today.com. "No one can rob you of that—infertility can't even rob you of that. Ask yourself: 'Why do you have the desire to be a mom so deeply?' Ultimately, it comes down to love. So if your ultimate goal is motherhood, keep your eye on that and don't worry about what happens during the process."
But her encouragement didn't stop there. The new mom and her husband started the Faith and Familia Foundation, which helps other couples struggling with infertility with money for IVF so they can start their families.
Editor's Note: Upworthy earns a percentage of revenue from items purchased on this list.
Mother's Day is just around the corner, and it's time to get shopping. And if you’re looking for the perfect Mother's Day gifts for the incredible moms in your life, we've got you covered! Our curated selection of thoughtful and unique presents will make any mom feel special and loved. From cozy pajama sets and smart mugs to personalized pet jewelry and heartfelt books, these gifts cater to a variety of interests and preferences. Our handpicked choices are the perfect way to express your gratitude and love.
Treat your mom to the ultimate relaxation experience with the RENPHO Eye Massager. This cutting-edge device uses built-in heating pads to provide a soothing temperature between 104 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit, helping to relax the skin around the eyes. Its oscillating pressure and rhythmic percussion massaging further enhance the calming effect, making it perfect for unwinding before bedtime or after a long day at work. The 180° adjustable and portable design ensures a comfortable fit for all users and makes it easy to take on the go. To create an even more immersive experience, the eye massager features Bluetooth customizable music, allowing users to play their own playlists.
Pamper your mom this Mother's Day with
the luxurious La Chatelaine Hand Cream Trio Tin Gift Set, a favorite of customers around the world, including Oprah. This beautifully designed set features three one fl. oz. tubes of hand cream formulated with 20% organic Shea Butter, Vitamin E, and Argan Oil for deep moisturizing, nourishment, and protection. Made with plant-based ingredients, La Chatelaine's cruelty-free hand creams are free from phthalates, SLS, parabens, GMOs, and BHT, making them an excellent choice for daily use.
Show your mom how much you care with this beautiful "I Love You Mom" candle. It’s the perfect gift for Mother's Day or any special occasion. Scented with calming lavender and sage, this 9oz candle creates a soothing atmosphere that any mom will adore. Featuring a crackling wooden wick, the candle offers a unique touch and fills the room with a comforting ambiance. Handmade with 100% soy wax, this stylish candle is free from harmful chemicals and additives, making it an ideal gift for environmentally conscious moms. Made in the USA, each candle is hand-poured in small batches to ensure quality and perfection.
Elevate your mom's style with these iconic Ray-Ban RB1971 Square Classic sunglasses. Crafted from high-quality metal, these sunglasses are both stylish but durable. Designed with 100% UV protection, the lenses will shield your mom's eyes from harmful rays while offering a clear and comfortable view. The scratch-resistant glass lenses are prescription-ready, making them a practical and fashionable choice.
Featuring 70 printed yoga poses, this non-slip exercise mat offers guidance for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Made from durable, BPA-free, and phthalate-free PVC padding, the mat is moisture-wicking, making it ideal for hot yoga or sweaty workouts. The NewMe Fitness Yoga Mat is 5mm thick and 68 inches long and provides ample space for stretching, posing, and working out, ensuring comfort and stability during practice. Suitable for yogis of all levels, this mat makes a thoughtful and practical gift for moms looking to improve their practice and overall well-being.
Give mom the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation with the Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine. Designed to increase blood flow circulation and provide deep kneading, this versatile machine offers heat therapy for deep tissue relief, making it perfect for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, diabetics, or neuropathy. The adjustable base allows users to comfortably target their feet, ankles, or calves, ensuring a customized massage experience. With three intensity levels and five massage modes, including rolling massage, compression therapy, sway function, and heat therapy, this foot massager caters to individual preferences and needs.
Upgrade your mom's bedside table with the multifunctional SZELAM Digital Alarm Clock, featuring a makeup mirror, alarm clock, and time display. The high-definition mirror display allows for convenient makeup application while keeping an eye on the time. Designed with a mirror surface that resists staining, it's easy to clean and maintain. The clock can be positioned upright, flat, or hung on the wall to suit any preference. Boasting a quiet design that won't disturb sleep, it also features a luminous function for easy nighttime viewing without turning on the lights. And for heavy sleepers, the snooze button provides an additional 5-60 minutes of rest, customizable to individual needs.
Indulge in the luxurious comfort of the Eberjey Women's Gisele Long PJ Set, designed with sublimely soft stretch jersey fabric that feels divine against your skin. Available in solid hues, this phenomenal sleepwear set offers both style and relaxation for a restful night's sleep. The long-sleeve top features a rounded notched collar, chest patch pocket, button front closure, and front button placket, all adorned with beautiful contrast piping for a touch of sophistication. The pajama pants have a lower rise and relaxed leg, ensuring comfort, while the covered elastic waistband and cute contrast bow at the center waist add a charming detail. Made from a blend of 95% modal and 5% spandex, this high-quality set is airy, cozy, water-absorbent, and durable, providing easy and unrestricted mobility throughout the night.
This innovative mug makes an ideal gift for mom, ensuring every sip of her favorite drink is enjoyed at the perfect temperature. The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 is a 10 oz, rose gold coffee mug that maintains your drink's temperature between 120°F - 145°F for up to 80 minutes on a full charge or all day when placed on its redesigned charging coaster. Enjoy the convenience of app-controlled customization, or simply use the mug without the app, as it remembers your last-used temperature (135°F out of the box). The smart mug's auto sleep feature intelligently senses when to turn on and off, activating sleep mode when empty or after 2 hours of inactivity, and waking up upon sensing movement or liquid.
This year, let mom indulge in the luxury of the ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, designed for optimal hair and skin health. Crafted from the highest grade 6A organic silk, this pillowcase boasts a 600 thread count and features both sides constructed from 19 momme Grade 6A mulberry silk. Unlike satin and other petroleum-based imitations, this eco-friendly, hypoallergenic silk pillowcase is gentle on your skin and hair, minimizing morning lines, wrinkles, acne, and hair breakage. With its amino acids, it effectively stimulates your skin cells' metabolism, ensuring a nourishing and rejuvenating sleep experience.
Upgrade you mom’s listening experience with Kim Kardashian's Beats Fit Pro collection, featuring true wireless noise cancelling earbuds in three neutral shades that complement any outfit or activity. These earbuds offer a flexible wingtip design for all-day comfort and stability, along with a custom acoustic platform that delivers powerful, balanced sound. Immerse yourself in music, movies, and games with Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking, and enjoy Active Noise Cancelling, Transparency Mode, and Adaptive EQ for personalized listening. Powered by the Apple H1 chip, these earbuds support Automatic Switching, Audio Sharing, and "Hey Siri" functionality.
Capture and print cherished memories instantly with the HP Sprocket Portable 2x3" Instant Photo Printer in Blush. Designed for iOS 10+ and Android 5+ devices, this compact, wireless printer connects via Bluetooth 5.0, allowing you to print 2"x3" photos directly from your smartphone or social media accounts. Utilizing ZINK Zero Ink technology, the Sprocket eliminates the need for costly toner or ribbon replacements. At the same time, the glossy sticky-backed photo paper boasts incredible resistance to water, smudges, and tears. You can also personalize your photos with the free HP app's editing tools.
Put your mom’s skincare routine into overdrive with + Lux Unfiltered N°12 Bronzing Self Tanning Drops. They’re designed to provide a natural, customizable, and glowing tan all year round. Infused with hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract, coconut water, passion fruit oil, and vitamin E, these fragrance-free tanning drops not only bronze your complexion but also keep it hydrated and radiant. Suitable for all skin types and packed with antioxidants, the vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free formula is free from harsh ingredients like parabens, paraffins, phthalates, sulfates, and silicones. To use, simply add the desired number of drops to your moisturizer, mix, and apply to clean skin for a tan that's as subtle or deep as you like.
Showcase your mom’s love for her furry friends with personalized custom pet jewelry. This unique 0.7-inch diameter pet photo disc, featuring a sketchy-style portrait of your pet's face and their name underneath, is accompanied by a 17.5-inch chain. As a long-lasting, tarnish-resistant piece, it's perfect for everyday wear and keeps your beloved pet close to your heart. Ideal as a heartfelt gift for Mother's Day, the necklace comes in a cute box for easy storage or gifting.
$29 on Amazon
So why wait? Make this Mother's Day truly special for the incredible moms in your life. Give the gift of joy and make lasting memories with these unique, thoughtful Mother's Day gifts.