Five Things to Make You Happy
Need some cheering up? Ruby Naldrett spotlights the digital content that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
When you turn on the telly and all you see is negative story after negative story, it can be a little overwhelming and sometimes you just need a break from it all. So, whether you need a new TV show to binge-watch or an undiscovered online magazine to take your mind off things - we've rounded up a selection of content to inject some positive energy into your life.
Social Media gets a lot of bad press for spreading negative vibes and making us feel, well a bit rubbish about ourselves. If you're thinking of disabling your accounts and retreating back to the days of the Nokia Brick (where the internet was a mere figment of the imagination...) hang fire for a second. Instagram doesn't have to be a bad place, in fact, there are so many good things to find there.
Take @thehappynewspaper for example, founded by Emily Coxhead in 2015, this Instagram account is dedicated to only spreading positive news, from whole schools learning sign language to support a deaf student to the nine-year-old amputee who made her fashion week debut.
If you're more of a traditional inspirational quotes kind of person, there's @quotesbychristie - possibly the most aesthetically pleasing collection of motivational mantras perfect for those days when you're feeling down and just need a positive pick-me-up. Not keen on these two options? when all else fails there's always @puppiesofinstagram.
Online magazines don't just have to a place for bad news and political think-pieces; there's a whole world of light-hearted but brilliant journalism that's bound to cheer anyone up. Take Man Repeller for example - what once started as a fashion blog by Leandra Medine-Cohen has now grown into a fully-fledged online publication, full of daily content. No where else will you be able to find a definitive ranking of frozen dinners alongside a deep-dive into the costumes of the newest period drama.
Other great online hubs include The Blonde Salad and SheerLuxe for all things fashion and lifestyle, The Good News Network for... yes you guessed it... good news stories, and Buzzfeed for quizzes that include 'Would You Date The Same Disney Princes As Everyone Else'... great stuff.
Fancy a slice of positivity in your inbox? Look no further than the humble email newsletter. What was once a spammy annoyance is now something you can look forward to, and whether it be daily, weekly or even monthly, there's a huge amount of well-curated newsletters to choose from. Sunday Duvet Reading is brought to you by What Olivia Did's Liv Purvis. A cosy companion to your Sunday morning, it covers everything from bookmark-worthy articles to the best pieces to shop now. Other great newsletters bursting with positive-vibes include Domestic Sluttery - a one-stop-shop for fashion, books, lifestyle and food, and Quartz: a daily newsletter delivering weird and wonderful facts you never knew that you needed to know, straight to your inbox.
Podcasts have been exploding in popularity with a huge section of the podsphere dedicated to feel-good content. Whether you're a total novice or a seasoned podcast fiend, a great place to start is Desert Island Discs. With a catalogue stretching back to the 1940s and guests including everyone from Stella McCartney to Princess Margaret, there's endless content to keep you entertained. Despite a fairly simple premise (guests are asked to pick the eight songs they would take with them to a desert island), you often learn more about a guest and their life than you ever would in a 'normal' interview. It's impossible not to smile whilst listening to Louis Theroux talking about the moment he fell in love with his wife or Yoko Ono picking The Cheeky Song as the tune she would listen to every day on the island.
Other uplifting podcasts are Love Stories with Dolly Alderton, in which guests are asked to talk through their greatest loves (very few people actually choose romantic relationships); the Sharon Horgan episode is a particularly great listen. Finally, Table Manners with Jessie Ware is a wonderful food-based podcast where guests are invited for dinner with Jessie Ware and her hilarious mother Lennie to talk about all things gastronomy, life and love. Particular highlights include the episode with former Skins co-stars-come-Hollywood stars, Joe Dempsie and Daniel Kaluuya and the Christmas special with real-life ray of sunshine, Emilia Clarke.
We all love a gritty thriller and an eight-part crime documentary to keep us up all night, but sometimes it's nice to have some light relief. Netflix is a total haven when it comes to mind-soothing content - a break for the brain, if you will. Reality TV is a great place to start if you need something to distract you from all the horrible goings-on in the world right now. If you haven't already - Love is Blind is a must-watch and of course, re-watching old seasons of Love Island is always a good idea.
If that's not your thing, a light-hearted comedy such as The US Office (Amazon Prime), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (All 4, Netflix) and The Good Place (Netflix) are the TV show equivalents to a nice, warm, scented candle.
Words by Ruby Naldrett