Things Are Good: Volunteering Improves Your Mental Health

Volunteering is good for others, and it’s good for the volunteers too. People all have difference reasons for volunteering in their communities and whatever motivates them clearly helps others too. What’s really interesting is that it turns out that volunteers are rewarded by better mental health. Yes, volunteering can help people deal with depression and ...

Things Are Good: The Best Interrogation Technique is to Listen

Over the course of the last decade interrogation techniques involved violence, yelling, and trying to “outsmart” the person being interviewed. Sadly that’s how interrogations were shown in entertainment and in reality at places like Guantanamo (which is still running). This bizarre approach to information gathering bothered psychologists Emily and Laurence Alison so they set out ...

Things Are Good: Boredom is Good for you

Too many people are afraid of boredom and that needs to change. Boredom can actually be really good for you and helps you develop as a human being. Getting bored means that you’re familiar with what’s going on around you, resulting in your mind looking for stimulus within itself (and there’s a lot going on ...

Things Are Good: Be Lazy About Happiness

Dan Buettner has travelled the planet looking for ways to make people happy and has found that the best thing one can do is be relaxed about the whole thing. He wrote a book, The Blue Zones of Happiness,  that basically says happiness is a journey, not a destination. To be happy keep striving to become ...

Things Are Good: Lessons on Dealing with Assholes

The Asshole Survival Guide is a new book by Robert Sutton, a specialist in dealing with assholes. No, he’s not a proctologist. Sutton’s research is about what makes someone behave like a jerk and what others can do about it. He’s a psychology professor at Stanford University where they actually have a no assholes policy. ...

Things Are Good: A Heavy Blanket Helps People with Anxiety and Insomnia

A good nights sleep can make a world of difference to one’s health, getting that sleep can be hard though. A simple solution can help those who need more slumber: a heavy blanket. Sleeping under a weighted blanket kind of acts like a hug for your whole body – and everybody likes a good hug. ...

Things Are Good: Positively Trolling Racists on the Web

Racists aren’t smart, and recently their stupidity has been taken advantage of to make the internet a little better. The popular online community Reddit has some parts of the site occupied by racists and the larger contingent of the community got sick of it. Some members started to infiltrate those hateful parts of the community ...

Things Are Good: Learn Economics for Free in the Most Effective Way

Economics is a large field filled with nuance – and assumptions. One of those assumptions is that environmental concerns and inequality are secondary to that of economic concerns. These assumptions are questioned in a new course prepared by an international team of economists called the core team. Their work is available for anybody around the ...

Things Are Good: Helping Addicted Loved Ones

The opioid crisis in North America damages countless lives every year, and we may be making it worse in the way we talk about addiction. FiveThirtyEight decided to look into the best ways of helping addicts using a scientific approach, they conclude that love and compassion is the best approach. Addiction is a problem for ...

Things Are Good: Capitalism Will End, Celebrate What Comes Next

The damage that wealthy bankers did to the economy back in 2007/08 is still with us, and that has led to a whole generation questioning the validity of modern hyper-capitalism. That same germination witness ongoing environmental destruction and the erosion of labour rights (amongst a litany of other ills) all for the goal of getting ...

Things Are Good: Saving Knowledge From Going Extinct

Ultimology is a new field of thought which may help is in the future when we need it the most and don’t realize it. It’s the study of of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning. The Department of Ultimology is an art project that has set out to interpret what the study ...

Things Are Good: Use Happiness Research to Maximize Vacations

Regular readers already know that going on vacation is good for one’s happiness and there are ways to travel while keeping a small carbon footprint. It can be hard to find time to travel and expensive too, so how should one go about thinking about vacations? Vacations aren’t things that should be “efficient” or viewed ...

Things Are Good: Removing Stigma Around Mental Illness Through Data

Mental illness is perceived by too many people to be the fault of those who suffer from it. This stigma has led people to not disclose that they are need in help, let alone seek it when needed. New research has revealed that mental illness is incredibly common and, more importantly, that it can be ...

Things Are Good: To Fight Inequality we Need to Fight Poor Perception

Inequality is on the rise throughout the developed world and there’s no better example of this increase than in the USA. The concept of the “American Dream” has led to an pervasive idea that anybody can become wealthy if they work hard, this concept is damaging because it ignores the plight of most individuals while ...

Things Are Good: How to Maximize Misery

Many people strive for happiness and think it’s the end goal of life – pro tip: it isn’t. We’ve looked at happiness quite a few times and if there’s anything to learn from these posts it’s to embrace what you have at any given time. Mindfulness is key. In the video above CGP Grey takes ...

Things Are Good: Forget NIMBYs, it’s All About YIMBYs

Anybody engaged with civic action knows the prevalence of NIMBYism, those people who say ‘Not in my Backyard’ and try to stop any progress good or bad. This attitude of blocking anything has led to some cities being left behind while other cities leap ahead. Recently Toronto has seen a rise of people who chant ...

Things Are Good: How Pressure from Pedestrians and Cyclists Make Better Cities

Depending on where you live you may think streets are for people or for cars. The correct answer is that streets are for moving people and not built for the need of inanimate objects. In an interesting series of videos the Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume examines the different urban design decisions between suburban and urban ...

Things Are Good: First Nations Reserves Across Canada to get Toronto Library Cards

A fantastic way to share stories and knowledge is through books and public library systems. Unfortunately too many indigenous reserves and communities in Canada don’t have access to a library, which is having a negative impact on knowledge sharing. The Toronto Public Library system will be extending their library services to indigenous communities as part ...

Things Are Good: 3 Things You Can do Now to Improve Your Life

Happiness is an elusive thing – one can never have enough and striving for it makes it unattainable. We all want happiness in our, so how can we achieve a happier life? The most obvious answer is to “live in the now” and be thankful for what you have, but there are other things you ...

Things Are Good: Cats Actually Like Humans

It might seem that your cat dosen’t care about you, but that’s not the case. After years of false allegations that cats don’t care about humans we know have empirical evidence that the opposite is true. Cats actually like humans! Researchers at Oregon State University offered 38 cats a choice between food, a toy, an ...

Things Are Good: New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

money Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off ...

Things Are Good: Get Rewarded for Supporting Civil Disobedience

If your idea to change the world is creative enough then you could get $250,000 from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Technically, it’ll be from MIT Media Lab with money from Hoffman. The Lab and Hoffman teamed up to ensure that creative civil resistance in the USA doesn’t die under the Trump presidency. With the increased ...

Things Are Good: Local Greenbelts can Reduce Depression and Obesity

Living near green space will make your life better. New studies coming out of Europe point out that proximity to nature has an impact on levels of depression, as in there is less depression. If you have the option to keep local forests (or any green space) then you should keep it! Not only are ...

Things Are Good: 2017 is the Year to Quit Your Job

Until we get something like universal basic income everybody will need to work. But why should you work in a job you don’t want? James Altucher argues that this year, more than any previous year, is the right time to quit your job. Why? Because the robots will make us all unemployed and that starting ...

Things Are Good: Move to the City for a Slow Life

It’s often thought that cities are buys bustling places where nobody slows down. Sure, the streets are busier and there is more activity, but the city is a slow place for living. Arizona State University researchers looked into the lifestyles of urban dwellers and discovered that they are slower than people who live elsewhere. The ...