Do you need more good news in your life?

Does the daily news get you down?

Do you watch or read a lot of it? Too much, maybe?

If you want a change, it seems you have two choices:

Consume less bad news and/or seek out more good news.

Does the daily news get you down? Here are some great sources of good news! Click To Tweet

Are you addicted?

I know people who watch several hours of news and commentary each evening. And it seems (based on personal observation) that the ones who do are often depressed and anxious. Or maybe they check social media several times a day — half the time hoping, and the other half dreading, that something has happened while they weren’t watching.

This short Psychology Today article explains why overexposure to disturbing news can keep you in a constant state of fear and alert, affect your sleep, and even make you physically ill:

Are You a Negative News Junkie?

Staying informed

Meanwhile, have you seen this quote before?

“My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.”

(It’s from a cartoon by David Sipress. Here’s the cartoon and an article he wrote about it. The article is very political, but also very interesting. The cartoon dates from the Clinton administration and has applications in all political eras.)

There are times when I sure can relate to that sentiment! You too? The quote goes back decades, so it’s not like anything has changed in that regard. Whether it’s world, national, or local, the news tends to be bad. In fact, it’s been mostly bad news, most of the time, since the dawn of television.

Sidebar:

Now I’m thinking of newspaper stories I find on Newspapers.com in the course of my genealogy research. And the book by Paulette Jiles, which was made into a Tom Hanks movie, News of the World. It features a Civil War veteran who travels on horseback from town to town reading newspaper stories to local residents for an admission fee of ten cents. Old newspapers included plenty of bad news, like when several of my relatives were killed or injured in a train wreck in 1876 Cincinnati (honestly, it seems like a lot of folks were killed or injured in train wrecks, or on train tracks, back then), but also stories like who visited whom from out of town — genealogy gold! Here’s one about my own 8th birthday party in Cayuga Indiana, which I found in Mom’s Boxes. But I digress.

Here are my suggestions:

Consume less bad news

Sounds simple, but I know it can be difficult for those who are “addicted”. I can’t tell you how much is “too much”. But I can tell you that sometimes it’s just that you’re in the habit of turning on the TV at dinner time and neglecting to turn it off until bedtime. If you are a TV-on-in-the-background person — and if you’re stuck in a rut, as per Julie Bestry, Paper Doll Says: Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut — Take Big Leaps — it’s easier to consume bad news than not to.

So, a degree of mindfulness and intention are required to control your exposure to bad news. You can either consciously turn the TV on for less time each day; watch something else during some of those hours (ala Guilt-Free TV); and/or you can seek out more good news.

Seek out more good news

Again, the premise is simple: Good news helps balance out bad news.

And, again, it takes an effort to find good news.

During the COVID lockdown a lot of my internet friends and I were enjoying SomeGoodNews with John Krasinski, which was a short-lived but welcome reprieve. (Hard to believe there were only nine episodes!)

Mostly animal-related good news:

Lately I am following @thatgoodnewsgirl on TikTok. “I’m Jenn and I post something positive every day.” Look for her on other social media platforms as well. Her news is largely — but not exclusively — about animals. And who doesn’t love a good, heartwarming, cute animal story?

Which reminds me of @weratedogs’ Top 5 Dogs of the Week, which I also see on TikTok. The episode I just linked to ranged from the winner of the annual Cincinnati Running of the Wieners (all purebred or mixed breed dachshunds, all in hot dog bun costumes), to Ivar, the dog who has rescued 27 people from the flooding destruction in Libya. WeRateDogs sells merch and donates a percentage of the proceeds to sponsor shelter dogs with medical needs.

I also like Odd Couples by The Dodo, a Facebook page about interspecies animal friendships. Awww!

Other types of good news:

If animal news isn’t your cup of tea — what’s wrong with you? — here are a few more:

I’ve long seen social media posts from Upworthy, so maybe you have too? They “share the best of humanity with the world” and “spread joy through positive storytelling.”

And two of my organizing colleagues, Susan Lannis, and Carol Jones, recommend the following sources, respectively:

The Optimist Daily — A newsletter curated from a repository of good news from around the world. “Our mission is to provide a daily dose of optimism in the form of solutions-focused, good news that you can enjoy and share with those you care for.” Topics include environment, science, business, politics, education, health and lifestyle.

Good News Network — “An antidote to the barrage of negativity experienced in the mainstream media.” From Wikipedia: “Its purpose is to share positive and encouraging stories, as well as breakthroughs in technology and health.” Take your pick of website, app, social media, book, podcast, and email newsletter.

Inspiration

High fiveOne thing always leads to another when writing a blog post: I wasn’t thinking of this until just now, but I guess High Five Friday, my weekly Facebook thread, could be considered good news to those who participate. I, for one, find that reading about others’ accomplishments makes me feel uplifted and inspired!

Shout out to Julie Stobbe, who suggested creating a “Happiness Stop Doing List” in her contribution to the most recent Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival (POBC). Each month  my Canadian website caregiver and designer, Janet Barclay, curates a collection of blog posts on a different theme. Julie didn’t have “stop watching bad news” on her list (I added it in a comment), but it nonetheless triggered the idea for this blog post, as well as a number of other things going on lately in conversations I’ve had. The whole September POBC issue —  The Stop Doing List — is great! (Note that the image aptly depicts a choice between balance and burnout.) I loved seeing how each blogger approached the topic from a different angle. (My contribution was Just say no. Here’s how and why.)

Do you suffer from too much bad news?

Do you have a source of good news that you’d like to share with us in the comments?

Might you try one of the sources I have listed?

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10 Comments

  1. Seana Turner on September 25, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    Okay, here is what I do when it gets to be too much bad news. I stop watching things altogether and turn on the Hallmark channel. It usually hits me around Thanksgiving, and I just don’t want to spend my holidays feeling depressed, so I watch those silly, predictable movies. Alternatively, I put on Turner Classic Movies. There are some great old movies out there, and I love the depth of the stories.

    I also love a good animal video. Or those videos of guys helping out the homeless or people hard on their luck (e.g., Jimmy Darts). Love them!

    I love all your ideas! Intentionally seeking out content that makes us feel warm inside can really make a difference. I think sometimes we don’t even realize how much “bad news” is getting in, perhaps subconsciously.

    • Hazel Thornton on September 26, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Some people (including me) like to make fun of formulaic Hallmark movies. But at the same time, I think their predictability is part of why people (including me, on occasion) find them so comforting!

  2. Janet Barclay on September 25, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for including my project as a source of inspiration. That means a lot to me!

    • Hazel Thornton on September 26, 2023 at 12:01 pm

      Well, seems to me that “your project” (the monthly Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival) has inspired MANY organizing bloggers over the years! It’s such a fun way to share many perspectives on one topic to our own readers.

  3. Jonda Sue Beattie on September 27, 2023 at 8:59 am

    I handle news in an old-fashioned way. The younger crowd make fun of me. I have a newspaper delivered everyday to my driveway. I like that I can leaf through the paper and see the headlines and by-lines and decide if that is enough to let me know what is going on in the world or do I want to read the article. I can choose what to read. Our newspaper also has a section of feel-good stories.
    Like most of us, I have little free time, so I do this in the morning before I start my day. I never have the TV on until evening when my husband and I might watch a program or sports.

    • Hazel Thornton on September 29, 2023 at 11:14 am

      Ha! I almost forgot there was even such a thing. Sounds like it works for you, though!

  4. Janet Schiesl on September 27, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    When it’s constant bad news I just stop watching. I like to stay informed in general, but sometimes enough is enough.
    I loved all your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Julie Bestry on September 28, 2023 at 12:32 am

    What a fabulous, upbeat post! (And thanks so much for linking to me!) And while I’m not an animal person, and while it’s not really news, per se, it’s news-adjacent and all about animals. Check out the Twitter (X) account for @buitengebieden, an account in the Netherlands that’s all about animals doing adorable things, often with other animals of other species. And I definitely need to spend more time reading The Optimist Daily; every time Susan mentions it, I open a tab…and then when I have too many tabs open, I forget about it.

    Thanks for this delicious look at ways to lighten everything up!

    • Hazel Thornton on September 29, 2023 at 11:20 am

      Thanks, Julie! You may have just inspired a new blog post — Do you have too many tabs open? — which I’m thinking of as a euphemism for many aspects of life.

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