“If it bleeds, it leads,” has long been a saying used in the media to describe how news stories featuring violence, death, and destruction grab readers’ attention and, thus dominate the news media. We are hardwired to sit up and take notice of these kinds of stories; this ‘surveillance mode’ is thought to be an evolutionary hangover from a time where survival odds were increased when we attended to threats in our environment. Research shows that bad news can have a negative effect on our mental health and now it also shows that stories of kindness can counteract the ill-effects of seeing negative news stories. In a recent study, participants who were shown bad news stories followed by stories of kindness experienced less decline in their mood than those shown only negative stories and reported feeling uplifted. They also held more positive views of humanity generally. Other research has also found that positive news stories make people feel better and want to do good things, such as voting or donating. This suggests there may be both personal and social benefits to showing positive news. So, let’s let the good news roll!

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