We look back at the our most popular Positive News stories in 2016, from exploring rewilding human nature and working less, to inspiring words collected from endangered languages around the world. What lessons can we take into 2017?

1. What went right in 2016

Although 2016 proved to be a tough year by many measures, it also saw some reasons for celebration. We delved behind the headlines to find 20 things that went right

The fact that some conflicts have ended has helped reduce world hunger. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

The fact that some conflicts have ended has helped reduce world hunger. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

2. Rewilding human nature

Positive News editor Lucy Purdy explores how the concept of rewilding can be applied not just to the natural world, but also to ourselves. “It’s reconnecting to that wildness dormant inside you; the amazing, rich thing that’s there waiting to be engaged with,” says one interviewee

Rebecca Hosking, who has helped transform Village Farm into a wildlife haven. Photo: Village Farm

Rebecca Hosking, who has helped transform Village Farm into a wildlife haven. Photo: Village Farm

3. Work less play more

The 40-hour working week is an ingrained part of our culture, but does it actually serve us? This article explores alternative models that do away with the idea of the nine-to-five. Though published in 2015, it proved a popular read in 2016 too

How do we better devote our energy and time to the areas of life that work – and money – cannot reach? Image: Mike McCune

How do we better devote our energy and time to the areas of life that work – and money – cannot reach? Image: Mike McCune

4. Choosing happiness

Happiness organisations have emerged from being unGoogle-able to forming an international movement. Can the likes of Action for Happiness help us create a more joyful existence?

The Dalai Lama, a patron of the Action for Happiness, says that he joined because he wants to promote ‘secular ethics’ that are not based on any religion or tribal affiliation. Image: Action for Happiness

The Dalai Lama, a patron of Action for Happiness. Image: Action for Happiness

5. How the US election result could trigger a society of empathy

For those shocked by the US election result, anger and blame were convenient ways to make sense of it. But Charles Eisenstein, who predicted Trump’s victory, has a different theory – that this time of uncertainty holds an opportunity for empathy to drive a new political story

Democrat supporters in London react to the US election results. Image: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

American democrat supporters in London react to the US election results. Image: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images


Reasons to support Positive News

#14: Ethical partners
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6. Why now is the time for serious optimism

With 2016 characterised by political tumult, reactions to monumental events proved that the ‘doom and gloom’ news narrative no longer serves society. Our editor-in-chief Seán Dagan Wood explains how a more inspiring lens on the world may help heal division and empower people to bring about change

“There’s an urgent need for a better story about ourselves, our world, and what’s possible” says Positive News editor-in-chief. Image: Lucy Purdy

7. 10 inspiring words you may never have heard

The cover feature of the last Positive News issue in 2016 focused on protecting endangered languages. During our research, we discovered that some 7,000 unique tongues are spoken around the world. To celebrate this rich diversity, we collected 10 of our favourite inspiring words, from Hózhó to Hoʻoponopono

Yolngu people preparing for traditional ceremonies at the Garma Festival in Arnhem Land, Australia. Image: Wayne Quilliam Photography/Yothu Yindi Foundation

8. The value of discomfort

In this article from our The Dark Side series, Jamie Catto explores what he calls ‘the new alchemy’. We can proactively use anxiety and discomfort to shed emotional baggage, he explains

Jamie Catto on why we feel discomfort, what our body is trying to tell us and how we should deal with it. Image: Sam Kelly

Jamie Catto on why we feel discomfort, what our body is trying to tell us and how we should deal with it. Image: Sam Pelly

9. Hold the drink

British culture has long been associated with hedonism, and alcohol-fuelled takeovers of our towns after dark are nothing new. But, quietly, a movement is building towards a different relationship with booze

More and more people in Britain are ditching booze in favour of clearheaded fun. Image: Paul Taylor/Getty Images

10. Life time: A yurt for winter

In this photography-led piece, part of our regular Life Time section, we meet Francesca Cassini who swapped the comforts of home to live on a yurt on a 50-acre farm in the Welsh Cambrian Mountains

Francesca Cassini in her winter yurt in Cumbria. Image: Alex Walker

Francesca Cassini in her winter yurt in Cambria. Image: Alex Walker

Main image: Flickr user Gabriel Garcia Marengo


Reasons to support Positive News

#15: The original positive publication
Everyone knows the world needs more positive stories, so there are plenty of imitators. But Positive News was the first media organisation to take good news seriously. Having been in print since 1993, we are the longest-established publication for quality journalism that inspires.