You know how it can often feel like nothing good ever happens? Reading the papers or watching the news – even going on social media – it can feel like everything’s war, death, disease, crime, poverty… It really can be pretty depressing.
Well, who knew? It turns out good things are actually happening all the time. And how do I know this? Because of The Happy Newspaper.
The Happy Newspaper is an initiative from designer Emily Coxhead (who also created the Little Box of Happy Things that I mentioned a few weeks ago). Essentially it’s a 32-page publication packed full of good things, without any of the horrible news we’re so used to hearing on a daily basis. And that means it’s a great resource to dip into any time you’re feeling a bit gloomy with the state of the world, and you don’t have time to go and sit by the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.
The first edition of The Happy Newspaper came out a few weeks ago, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since – but I kept getting distracted by things like Christmas. But now that we’re into a new year, I think it’s important to start it off in a good mood, by taking a little look back at all the lovely things that went on in 2015.
The paper’s broken down by month, with each getting its own summary of good news stories. Things like the 109-year-old Australian man who knits tiny jumpers for injured penguins, or Ireland legalising same-sex marriage, or the firefighters who went back to finish mowing a man’s lawn after he had a heart attack. Whether it’s a huge, life-changing event, or something that really only affected one or two people, it has the same impact when you read it here: a warm glow inside, and the reassuring knowledge that the world isn’t always a horrible, dangerous and unkind place.
Besides the monthly summaries, there are sections devoted to showbiz, travel, poetry, recipes and New Year tips. And there’s an article by Gabrielle from The Green Gables, who you may remember ran the Choosing Happiness e-course I took last year, about the importance of feeling and expressing gratitude.
But possibly my favourite section is the Everyday Heroes double-page spread, made up of people nominated by their friends, family, colleagues or just casual acquaintances, for being brilliant. Whether it’s a story about a specific event or just their general awesomeness, it’s impossible to read these tributes to amazing people without a smile, and a moment’s reflection on the everyday heroes in our own lives (because we all know at least one).
It’s clear from the moment you open The Happy Newspaper that it’s an absolute labour of love for Emily and the team of volunteers that helped put it together. I hope they’re all really proud to have been part of something so inspiring; I know I would be. And I hope also that there’ll be future issues, because I think this is exactly what the world needs right now.
You can still purchase the first issue of The Happy Newspaper – it costs just £3.50 and is worth every penny. I know I’ll keep coming back to it again and again, safe in the knowledge that I’ll always find something in there to cheer me up if I’m having a bad day. Or even if I’m not.