Genetics might account for up to 33 percent of our happiness (or lack thereof), but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless to improve our own moods. Sometimes all it takes is a change in mindset — no matter how small — to turn a crappy day into a better one. To help you shift into a happier gear, we’ve rounded up five things from around the web that inspire and delight us, and we hope they’ll do the same for you. We’ll be sharing our favorite happiness-boosters each week, so be sure to check back — and please share your own either in the comments or the community!
1. This Pandacam at the San Diego Zoo
Take the most delightful work break known to humankind by checking out the pandacam at the San Diego Zoo. Can't get enough? Check out this video of panda cub Xiao Liwu’s first snow day.
2. This livestream of videos of people doing nice things for other people
Feel-good news site HooplaHa is on a mission to spread kindness, and to that end they’re livestreaming submissions to their #givingvine campaign, in which people film themselves performing acts of kindness for others. Watch the stream and feel your faith in humanity returning.
3. This horse who is a professional painter (seriously!)
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Retired racehorse Metro has found a new career — in painting. And his works are in high demand. (Follow the link for the video!).
4. This, the world’s friendliest restaurant
Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, New Mexico doesn’t just serve classic diner food — Tim (the restaurant’s owner, who also has Down’s Syndrome) is also committed to giving each of his visitors a hug. So far, more than 32,400 customers have been served delicious food alongside a friendly, calorie-free squeeze.
5. This story of a homeless man who won the lottery and is giving his winnings away
Dennis Mahurin is a homeless man who recently won $50,000 in the lottery. What does he plan to do with his earnings? Get some dental work done, visit his son, and give $100 to each of the people in his homeless community. Dennis is planning to remain in his tent. Why? Because he's happy there.