The news is stressing out half of all Americans. Here’s how this TV host found a solution.
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Extra Chewy Mints

Keeping up with the news is a good way to stay informed — but it’s also a pretty effective way to stress yourself out.

So much of what we see in the news today is negative: natural disasters, violence, and polarizing politics.

If you’re feeling drained from it all, you’re not the only one. In fact, more than half of Americans report feeling stressed out from watching the news.


So what’s the antidote? Disengaging from the world completely? Isolating yourself from other people’s lives and problems?

At times, it might be tempting to just turn off the news, curl up on your couch, and forget about the world around you. But if you did that, you’d be cutting yourself off from the good news in the world that, believe it or not, exists among the bad.

Isolating yourself isn’t the solution — in fact, the solution might be just the opposite.

Image via Upworthy/Extra.

Just ask Amy Paffrath, a TV host, actress, and philanthropist who you might recognize from Jersey Shore: After Hours and Dating Naked. Like most of us, she found herself falling down the bad-news rabbit hole a lot, too.

“I was getting caught in these loops of despair and feeling hopeless about the world, hearing all the negative things that were happening,” says Amy.

Knowing she wasn’t the only one feeling this way, she decided to do something about it: She began hosting What’s Good?! News.

“What’s Good?!” — a talk show Amy co-hosts with travel content creator Justin Walter — is a positive, uplifting source for good news.

The idea behind the show is simple: By bringing some positivity to people’s lives, maybe it will help them remember that the world is made up of more than just negativity.

Amy Paffrath and Justin Walter on “What's Good?! News.” Image via Focus TV Network/YouTube.

They feature people on the show who make a positive impact on the world around them, such as Jessica Blotter of Kind Traveler, and amplify positive stories that don’t always make the mainstream news, like Chance the Rapper’s $1 million donation to the Chicago Public School System.

Helping people feel a little less stressed with What’s Good?! was how Amy decided to give back to others. But it’s far from the only way.

She recommends that everyone try their own version of what she did, which was channeling her existing skills and passions into something positive.

“You just have to see where your interests lie,” she says. “Use your talents and your gifts, and put your energy toward that.”

Can you write an attention-grabbing social media post? Are you good with kids? Are you a fab event organizer? Whatever your skills and interests, they just might represent your first step toward creating some good news in this world.

Amy on set with Monique Coleman for Extra Chewy Mints. Image via Upworthy/Extra.

Amy also says that you shouldn’t be afraid to start small.

If there’s a cause that’s important to you, but you don’t have a ton of time to donate, that’s OK! Even if volunteering once a month is all you can manage right now, that’s enough — because with that small start, you can find your motivation to keep doing more.

Amy says, for example, that when she performs improv for hospitalized children with an organization called The Art of Elysium, she feels her spirits lift, making her more likely to keep paying positivity forward to others.

Volunteer work helps her build a habit of looking out for others, even in the smallest ways. A gesture as simple smiling at a stranger on the train or sharing a mint with a friend can tap into the positive spirit of giving and receiving.

“It’s just interacting with people in a different way,” Amy says.

If, like Amy, you spend your days surrounded by people making the world a better place, it can become a little easier to shake off the negative impact of bad news.

By helping tell the stories of people who are making life better for those around them, she hopes “What’s Good?!” viewers will learn that when you give to others — even in small ways — you get a whole lot in return.

“People underestimate the power of giving,” Amy says, “and how you don’t do it to get back — but you always receive way more.”

She adds, “It changes your influence on people right around you, and then those people are going to go out and share that energy with even more people.”

If we all pay a little more attention to the good news and pass that positive spirit onto others, then maybe the world won’t seem so terrible after all.

For more from Amy Paffrath on giving to others, check out this video:

Extra Episode 2: Amy Paffrath

With all the negativity in the news, this actress decided to give back by focusing on the positive.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, April 30, 2018
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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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