Why We Need Good News

And how to find it.

Celia Abernethy
Jan 30, 2017 · 5 min read
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We want to be well informed but it is taking a toll on our well-being

On the other hand, good news has been proven to increase our ‘good mood hormones’ and even strengthen our faith in humanity.

So why isn’t there more good news out there? Let’s first look at what’s happening…

The quality of news

Readers preferred the following

Disaster news 39%
Money news 34%
Conflict news 33%

In addition, we are are also faced with fake news. Fake news is popular because it pulls in the bucks. One single online article could bring in up to $10,000 in advertising revenue. You may have clicked on the article thinking it is a real news scoop, but then in the right margin you catch a glimpse of your favorite movie star looking like hell. Who can resist clicking on the sidebar feature “15 Hollywood Stars Addicted to Drugs”? This is called “click bait”, stories to peak our curiosity and make us click, thus generating income for the site owner. 23% of users say they have believed and shared a fake news story!

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Cartoon by David Sipress, The New Yorker

Attention span shorter than a Goldfish

While factors such as social media usage and the use of multiple-screens impact our ability to stay focused, age and gender also play a part. Not surprisingly, the users over 50 were able to sustain focus longer than participants under 30 years of age.

Negative effects of bad news

In his book The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions, Rolf Dobelli PhD, states his reasons why news is bad for us. Here is a summary of 3 reasons:

It disrupts our thinking — news items distract and engage us in something other than what we are supposed to be doing. Our ability to focus diminishes the more often we engage.

It changes our brain — our nerve cells are constantly at work and the more interesting the story the more we want to follow up, so our brains are working overtime (and not always in a good way). This too, decreases attention span.

It’s stressful — upsetting stories release cortisol keeping our bodies in a state of stress which can cause anxiety.

So what are we to do?

Do a media detox

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By staying away from news and social media our brain gets a chance to regenerate and relax. Dobelli even suggests it can help increase creativity. So when it’s not necessary, stay away from the tv, internet and other sources of media.

Read good news

Human-interest stories increase trust and hope in humankind. Stories about improved living and health conditions are uplifting and encouraging. Lastly, no one can dispute the power of laughter; a good, clean, humorous story will leave a smile on your face every time you think back on it.

Positive Psychology

Prof. Ben-Shahar gave his opinion on one of the leading sources for Good News, he said “The Good News Network is an extremely important initiative. I recommend that each person makes it a habit to visit the website at least once a day. Positive information benefits us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It can contribute in a meaningful way to a happier and healthier life.”

Major publications such a Huffington Post, the Guardian and MSN understand the need and benefit of positive stories and have started “Good News” sections.
Arianna Huffington sold her online enterprise and started ThriveGlobal, which is “committed to accelerating the culture shift that allows people to reclaim their lives and move from merely surviving to thriving.”

Make it a habit

How to find Good News

· Huffington Post Good News http://www.huffingtonpost.com/section/good-news

· Reddit.com Uplifting News https://www.reddit.com/r/UpliftingNews/

· MSN Good News https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news

· CBS MIAMI Good News http://miami.cbslocal.com/tag/good-news/

· Good News Broadcast on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/GoodNewsBroadcast

International good news

Good news resources around the world

· Ireland http://www.thejournal.ie/good-news/

· U.K. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/good-nws/

· Finland http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/

· India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/good-news/goodnews.cms

Get into the habit of looking at the ‘Good News’ section of your favorite publication. If your favorite publication doesn’t have a ‘Good News’ section, ask for one! Everyone will greatly benefit from an uplifting, feel-good story.

About the author
Celia Abernethy is a teacher, writer and best selling author living in Italy. She is passionate about life, creativity and being human. Read more: www.travelpostrepeat.com

Thrive Global

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