10 Facts That Make You Smile

The Actors Who Played Minnie and Mickey Actually Fell in Love and Got Married


Cuddling Heals Wounds and Fights Depression


cuddle hug

Cuddling releases oxytocin, which you may know as the happiness-boosting, stress-busting hormone. But recent research indicates that the staff can do a lot more. One study in Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews showed that the oxytocin released from a quick snuggle session can significantly cut back on feelings of depression. And another study in PLoS One showed that oxytocin can even have a physical effect on your body, by helping to speed up wound healing.

The best part is, You don’t need to have a human to cuddle—a pet (or three!) will do just fine. Cuddling with pets can cause the release of the same hormone for love and happiness, and it even releases the same feel-good hormones in the pets being cuddled.

Neuroscientists Say Love Is as Strong as Illegal Drugs


Love Is as Strong as Illegal Drugs

When you fall in love, the same part of your brain is stimulated as when you take mind-altering substances like oxycodone and cocaine. Your serotonin levels increase, raising confidence; your dopamine levels increase, enhancing pleasure; and your norepinephrine levels increase, boosting energy. But the real change that makes you feel like “love is a drug” happens in the reward circuit.

The reward circuit controls “risk versus reward” behavior. Basically, when you fall in love—or take mind-altering substances—the receptors in the “reward” part of your brain fire on overdrive.

Times Square NYE Confetti is Literally Made of Dreams and Wishes



Every year, toward the end of the year, the Times Square Visitor Center puts up a “Wishing Wall” where people write their hopes, wishes, and dreams for the New Year on post-its and stick them on the wall. When it’s time for the ball to drop and confetti to fly, these post-its are included in the confetti that showers the city. And if you can’t make it to New York, but still want your wishes to soar, you can submit them online by the December 28th print deadline every year.

Penguins Propose and Stick Together for Life



Male penguins will search for the smoothest, shiniest pebble to court a female penguin. If she accepts, she’ll use it as the first stone that builds the nest in preparation for the eggs that will lay in it. Some male penguins will even steal pebbles from other males if they have trouble finding their own. Talk about commitment!

Forcing a Smile Actually Makes You Happier


Forcing a Smile Actually Makes You Happier

Even if you’re down in the dumps, putting a smile on—even if you don’t feel like it—can literally trick your brain into thinking there’s something to smile about, which then will improve your mood. There’s even a study was done that used Botox injections to literally keep people’s muscles from being able to frown, and they were markedly happier than the control group that did not have the injections! Smiling doesn’t just improve your mood, it also improves your heart rate, immune system, and general wellbeing. So go ahead: fake it ’til you make it, even on the worst days.

There’s Valentine’s Day for Single People in South Korea



South Korea clearly believes in romantic equality: Where most of us only celebrate the regular Valentine’s Day on February 14th, where men societally cater to women, South Korea also has White Day a month later. On March 14th: women give chocolates and romantic gifts to men. Then, there’s Black Day on April 14th, where singles rejoice in their singledom, most often celebrated by wearing black and eating a special noodle dish called jajangmyeon.

A Group of Bunnies Is Called a “Fluffle”



A group of bunnies is called a fluffle; baby bunnies are called kittens; and, when a rabbit jumps and squirms in the air, that move is called a binky. That means, at kaninhoppning events—a popular competition in Sweden about rabbit jumping—you could find a fluffle of bunnies and kittens working on their binky skills.

Sundaes Really Are Named After Sundays



Yes, sundaes did actually get their name from the best day of the week. In the 1890s, a few states passed laws prohibiting the sale or consumption of ice cream sodas on Sundays: it was considered immoral and improper for religious reasons. But ice cream lovers found a loophole: simply serve ice cream with toppings.

The dessert came to be known as the Sunday and, eventually, the sundae.

Cows Have Best Friends



Cows have dedicated friends that they spend the day in and day out with, and they get stressed when they are separated; once reunited with their bestie, their heart rates significantly drop (back to normal levels). These findings could greatly benefit the dairy industry, as it’s also been proven that happier cows really do make more—and more nutritious—milk.

The Actors Who Played Minnie and Mickey Actually Fell in Love and Got Married



Talk about soul mates! Wayne Allwine started as a mail clerk in Disney Studios and worked his way up to be Mickey’s voice in production in 1977. In 1986, Russi Taylor joined Disney Studios as Minnie’s voice, and at the time, Allwine and Taylor were both (unhappily) married. They met in passing in the halls, and slowly became great friends… and eventually left behind their previous marriages to live happily ever after, with each other.


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