For many people, Wednesday morning was not a happy moment. The internet became a scary place. News websites and social media sites became battlegrounds, better off avoided all together. But underneath all of the political headlines, there are still good, non-political news stories that can lift you out of the deep morass that your mood may have fallen into. Service dogs for veterans? A step toward restored movement for paralysis victims? Brad Pitt finally showing signs of recovery? There's so much there — you just have to dig a little to find it.
But have no fear. I've done the digging so that you don't have to. So if you're looking for something to lift your spirits, to remind you that it's a big and beautiful world out there, here are 13 stories for you. Have a look and be inspired by all the good work that people are doing in all sorts of realms. Let this good work remind you that you, too, are doing good work — and then go out and do more. Take a walk. Appreciate the sunset. Have a delicious meal, and then get the recipe so that you can have it again. Life is beautiful. Here are 13 reminders of that:
1. There Is Now A Blood Test That Can Diagnose Concussions
Concussions can be truly dangerous, especially if they go undiagnosed. However, scientists have now begun to address that problem with a blood test that can tell whether an athlete has suffered a concussion. This will help with diagnosing the problem and with setting a treatment plan, and it's relatively easy to perform.
2. A Program Pairing Veterans With Service Dogs
A WWII Air Force veteran who was captured by the Nazis and developed PTSD as a result has now helped more than 250 veterans and their families cope with PTSD by pairing them with service dogs. At 94, he runs the organization (Vets Helping Heroes) himself — with the help of his own two service dogs: Cash, a golden retriever, and Jenny, a corgi.
3. Destiny's Child Reunites For A Mannequin Challenge
Did anyone see this coming? No. Is it amazing? Yes. Does it signal that an actual reunion for Destiny's Child is coming? Jury still out.
4. Paralyzed Monkeys Have Regained Movement
The procedure is still years away from working fully (or even being tested) on humans, but it does show the possibilities for brain implants to help people who have been paralyzed to regain control of their legs.
5. The Cubs' World Series Victory Sent A 1984 Song Into Billboard's Top 25
Apparently Chicago's mass celebration has included buying the Cubs' victory song, "Go Cubs Go". This funny piece of news does have a sad tinge, though; the song's writer, Steve Goodman, died of leukemia the same year that he released the song.
6. The Biggest Supermoon Since 1948 Will Happen On Nov. 14
The world has an astronomical treat coming up on Nov. 14, when a full moon will occur at the same time that the moon is the closest point to Earth on its orbit. Supermoons happen fairly regularly, but this one in particular will be the brightest one since 1948.
7. The Williams Sisters Have Opened A Resource Center
Once again, Venus and Serena Williams have done something inspiring. In honor of their older sister who died of a gunshot wound, they've opened up the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, California. Its aim is to provide resources and counseling to families in the community who are struggling with the effects of gun-related violence.
8. There Is An 80-Year-Old Chinese Runway Model
Thought your runway dreams ended at 20? Not so for Chinese man Wang Deshun, who is now killing it as probably the world's only 80-year old runway model. Ageism, be gone!
9. Brad Pitt Emerges After Split With Angelina Jolie
If you were worried about Brad Pitt after his split with Angelina Jolie, you can breathe easily again. He appeared at the premiere of his new movie Allied and seemed to be doing OK. And in other good Brad Pitt-related news, he's also been cleared of the allegations of child abuse.
10. A Garden In Ireland Is Creating A Redwood Grove
The Birr Castle Gardens in Ireland is planning to plant the biggest grove of redwood trees outside of California, in an effort to protect the species. They aim to start in the spring of 2017, and if all goes well, the trees should be around for centuries — if not millennia. Talk about leaving a legacy.
11. Scientists Develop An HIV Test On A USB Stick
An important part of living with HIV is being able to test your viral load (the amount of the virus in your blood stream), and British scientists have now developed a much faster version of that test that can be done on a USB stick. Previously, the machinery used was the size of a photocopier and could take days, so this is a huge improvement.
12. There's A New Animal Protection Law
A new Massachusetts law passed by voters on Tuesday will protect pigs, cows, and chickens from intensive confinement throughout their lives. This is the most proactive law of its kind in the country, and possibly even in the world.
13. The Election Is Over And The World Can Breathe Again
So this is only half good news, and technically it's political. At least now that the election is over, the country knows who its next president will be. While this is certainly now a huge new source of stress for millions of Americans, what we do have now is certainty. And with certainty, you can make plans about how to move forward. In the run up to the election, the American Psychological Association said that the best way to get rid of election stress was to go vote because it meant you were doing something proactive — and now you can decide the best way for you to protect the country that you love and all of the people who live in it.
This is just a sampling — there will surely be more good news tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. There's no doubt that this is and will be a difficult time for many people, so make sure that you're finding ways to cope with it that work the best for you, whether it's going for a run, volunteering at an animal shelter, donating to Planned Parenthood, or just reading happy stories in the news.