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

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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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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via Hollie Bellew-Shaw / Facebook

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

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Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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