50 Posts From The “Wait This Is Wholesome” Facebook Group To Restore Your Faith In Humanity
Everyone needs a little wholesome content in their life. (Or maybe a lot, we don't judge!) Whether you know it or not, some adorable photos of cats and stories of the sweetest parents on this planet will do your soul some good. So allow us to introduce you to the “Wait This Is Wholesome” Facebook group. With over 33k members, this group is becoming one of the warmest places on the internet.
Although the group was created less than a year ago, it has quickly grown in popularity due to the uplifting nature of its content. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite posts from the group, so you can take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a few minutes of positive stories. Then, if you want to continue the celebration of sweetness after reading these posts, you can check out another wholesome Bored Panda list right here.
While many of us experience wholesome moments in our every day lives, we often don’t think to share them online. Maybe we smile to ourselves in the moment and tell our roommates when we get home, but it’s easy for the joy of an unexpected sweet moment to be fleeting. “Ah, that was nice,” we think. Then two minutes later we're back to being stressed and yelling at other drivers while stuck in traffic. But making an effort to actually share the good things that happen to us can help elongate the joyful feelings and spread them along to others.
Aside from the initial warm feeling we get from reading uplifting stories, consuming positive news can actually be good for our health. According to child psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Nehrer, the simple act of smiling can lead to more positive thinking and act as a coping mechanism for whatever issues we’re battling at the moment.
"People were clowning this man because he had a pizza and flowers for his lady, riding on the subway. Calling him lame because he couldn’t afford something better... Half of you dudes wouldn’t even go this far for your lady, effort is way more valuable than the price of material things. Salute to him, and | bet you he has a very happy woman at home"
While many of us know the negative effects of consuming too much disheartening media and getting stuck in the cycle of “doomscrolling”, we can easily shift our mindsets into more positive places by consuming happier content. In fact, mainstream media outlets are getting on board with the desire for positivity by introducing “good news” sections. These can be found on the Daily Mirror, Today, the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the BBC and more. Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier, told The Washington Post, “While I don’t recommend burying our heads in the sand and ignoring what is going on around us, we should certainly limit our consumption of bad news and expose ourselves to uplifting content.”
The Washington Post even features an experiment on their website where readers can turn on their computers’ cameras and watch a series of “positive and neutral videos” while the camera tracks their facial expressions. They call it the “joy-o-meter” and its goal is to measure viewers’ happiness through emotional recognition technology. “For the positive videos, the average viewer expressed happiness throughout 39% of the video,” the website states. And in one video featuring a “camera-ready dog, participants smiled throughout 80% of the video”. You can try the joy-o-meter for yourself right here if you’re interested.
In terms of what makes people smile the most, the joy-o-meter found that pet videos yielded the most positive reactions. But light-hearted memes and sweet videos aren’t the only resources online that can be beneficial. Exposure to constructive journalism can also be helpful for inspiring readers, compared to most news which tends to discourage audiences. Jodie Jackson, author of You Are What You Read, told The Washington Post that constructive journalism “makes us feel more empowered because it gives us three key psychological ingredients: optimism, hope and self-advocacy”. “It helps build resilience,” she went on to say.
If you’re looking for a book to read to help convince you of the impacts positive media can have on your life, I recommend checking out The Power of Good News: Feeding Your Mind with What’s Good for Your Heart by Hal Urban. The book likens how we nourish our minds to how we nourish our bodies:
“Urban explains why, due to neuroscience as much as economics, the media—left, right, and center—focuses mostly on negative stories. And he describes the psychological toll this takes on our mental health. But he’s not suggesting we ignore these stories, just that we vary our diets…We can find countless signs of progress and acts of kindness all around the world if we know where to look. And there are positive aspects in our own lives—family, friends, beauty, generosity, and progress—that we take for granted. Offering techniques he road tested as a teacher for thirty-six years, Urban helps readers become a conscious consumer of information, balancing sources like food groups.”
While the internet is an amazing resource for just about everything, when we’re looking to boost our feel-good hormones in ways that don’t involve screens, Henry Ford Health has got us covered. First, let’s break down the four key "happiness-boosting hormones”: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. Dopamine is the “happy hormone”, which provides the high feeling we get from falling in love, being praised for a job well done, and countless other pleasurable experiences. Serotonin, aka the “feel-good hormone” is needed to ward off anxiety and depression. Easy ways to boost serotonin are getting a good night’s sleep or enjoying the great outdoors. Endorphins are famous for providing that great feeling we experience after working out, and they act as a natural painkiller. Lastly, oxytocin, or the “love hormone”, is known for creating bonding and attachment and spikes when we experience intimate touches like cuddling or kissing.
There are plenty of easy ways to get a spike in these hormones, including exercising, going for a hike or swimming in nature, and experimenting with aromatherapy. If you’re looking for more relaxing options, try taking a nap, getting a massage, meditating or listening to music you really love. As Dr. Farvah Fatima of Henry Ford Health shares, “There's no right way to boost any of these feel-good hormones. Instead, the key is to tune into your body and notice how different activities make you feel, both in the moment and in the hours afterward.”
During recent years, largely due to the pandemic, many of us have become acutely aware of how constant exposure to bad news can negatively impact our mental health. However, one famous actor realized this issue and decided to use his massive platform to spread some positivity. On March 29th, 2020, John Krasinski, famous for playing the role of Jim on The Office, launched a web series called Some Good News. The premise of the series was “a news show dedicated entirely to good news”, and it featured Krasinski at home during the pandemic, inviting various celebrity guests to join in on the conversations.
Some Good News ran for 9 episodes, featuring a long list of celebrities including Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Malala Yousafzai. Krasinski also used the show to raise over $2 million for various charities including Direct Relief, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Trauma Free World, World Central Kitchen, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Toys for Tots and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Despite being produced for and uploaded to Youtube, Some Good News received over 72 million views and 2.58 million subscribers during its first eight weeks.
We tend to associate finding sources of positivity with something to do in our personal lives, but why not incorporate it into the workplace as well? Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, CEO and founder of People.Culture.Drive. Consulting Group, wrote a piece for MITSloan Management Review sharing tips for how employers can boost employee morale through sharing good news. She mentions that employees tend to imitate the behavior of their supervisors, so it’s important to set positive examples and encourage sharing uplifting news. Paola also mentions the value of regular social bonding opportunities to help employees enjoy their work environment. Lastly, she shares that guiding workers towards mental health resources can help reduce anxiety, and helping employees develop start-and-stop rituals at work can make it easier for them to find a healthy balance between work and personal life.
Wholesome content is infinite; it just takes a little effort to find sometimes. Thankfully we have resources like “Wait This Is Wholesome” to help us find positivity online, so be sure to join the Facebook group if you’d like to add a little more joy into your feed. Enjoy the rest of this uplifting list, and don’t forget to upvote all of your favorite posts. Then let us know in the comments what heartwarming encounters you’ve experienced recently; spread that positivity with your fellow pandas!
"I thought you guys would appreciate that when I got married instead of doing the garter belt/bouquet toss we decided to have everyone (regardless of gender identity and marital status,) try to catch a Pusheen to see who would be next to adopt a cat"
"I can't believe I sent my dad a picture of me at Santa Monica Pier and his response was his GTA character at the same place.. "