It’s common advice for people managing grief or other times of stress: “Stop reading or watching the news.” Most news outlets focus on the negative. After all, what’s more exciting than a disaster? Wars are always interesting. So are scandals, crimes, and business collapses. News outlets know that the quickest way to get our attention is to plug into our strongest emotions: fear, sorrow and mistrust. Watching or reading the news, it’s easy to imagine that the world is a dismal place.
There is another side to the news, though. Interesting, surprising, and genuinely happy things are happening around the world every day. Here are a few web sites that feature well-written, genuine news articles, all focusing on people doing good, and ways the world is getting better:
- Good News Broadcast
Their stated mission is “to find, receive, create and broadcast to the world, life-affirming, thought-provoking, educational news, entertainment and events; content that is non-violent, non-sectarian, non-political.” It includes audio and video content, as well as text stories. As of this writing, the front page features a story on Temple Grandin, a highly respected agricultural engineer, college professor, and animal welfare activist who has won awards for her inventions, which make the handling of livestock more humane. Grandin was diagnosed with autism at age two. She attributes her success to the sensitivity and unique view of the world that autism has given her. She is an outspoken advocate for early intervention and education for children with autism.
This site (and daily e-newsletter, with free subscription) collects news stories and videos from sources like USA Today, The Washington Post, and local newspapers from around the US. Top stories on the site include: A 3-year-old girl left her house alone, walked two blocks to a fire station, and calmly explained that her daddy had collapsed in their home, saving her father’s life. A new type of sidewalk paving brick can help clean toxins out of the air. And a random act of kindness at Trader Joe’s grocery store started a charitable movement that, one year later, has raised over $100,000 for hunger-fighting charities.
- The Happy News Network
This site also collects good news video and text from sources like CNN and MSNBC. Recent headlines include the regrowth of the tourism industry in New Orleans, rebuilt schools in Haiti starting classes for the new school year, and celebrations in India for Mother Theresa’s 100th birthday.
We don’t have to avoid the news in order to keep a balanced view of the world. We only need to see that sometimes the most exciting and surprising news is that many things in our world really are getting better.