WATCH: This Is the Happiest Mayor Kenney Has Ever Looked

Mayor Jim Kenney usually looks sad.

Ed Rendell told him he needed to smile more, possibly appending “sweetie” onto the end of his advice. Philadelphia magazine’s Holly Otterbein spent the entire opening of an awesome profile she wrote examining how sad the mayor looks.

“But Kenney isn’t happy, at least not at the moment,” she wrote. “‘There are good days, and there are bad days,’ he tells me when I greet him. His eyes are bloodshot. His shirt and tie don’t match.”

If that wasn’t enough evidence, the mayor once tweeted, simply: “So sad sometimes.” That’s the type of emo away message I stopped using around the turn of the millennium. He must’ve been very sad to share it with the world.

But, yesterday, we found out there is at least one thing that makes Mayor Kenney truly, deeply happy: Assisting a Harlem Globetrotter on a trick shot at City Hall. Read more »

The Checkup: The Case for Embracing the Six-Hour Workday

• Go ahead and email this post to your boss with the subject line “Hint, hint”: Swedish companies experimenting with the six-hour workday have found that workers are more efficient, more productive (!!) and happier than when they worked eight-hour days, all of which leads to better outcomes for employees (hello, mental health) and — probably what your boss cares about a teensy bit more — the business. [Fast Company]

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The Checkup: The Brilliant Way to Eat an Underripe Avocado

• Sure, you could be a patient human who does things like waits for their avocados to be perfectly ripe before digging in and never reads spoilers before watching the episodes of The Walking Dead. Or you could be, well, the other type of person — the kind who wants an avocado now, even if it’s not ripe yet. And thanks to the brilliant trick Chef Carolina Santos-Neves shared for using unripe avocados to make avocado carpaccio (say whaaat?), you can have your avocado and be impatient too. [MindBodyGreen]

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The Checkup: The Argument for Going to Happy Hour Tonight — for Your Health 

• From the director of a 75-year study on happiness and health: “Over and over in these 75 years, our study has shown that the people who fared the best [health-wise] were the people who leaned into relationships with family, with friends and with community.” So instead of heading home and curling up on the couch tonight, grab some friends and catch up over happy hour (we have plenty of healthy picks here) or go get your dance on or, if you’re not into going out, have a Netflix and chill session with your BFF — for your health. [The New York Times]
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The Magic of Ditching Email 

At least once a day, as I watch a wave of email alerts come across my desktop, I think to myself, “I wish I could quit email.” Email is like a little kid pulling at your pant leg and begging for Cocoa Puffs while you’re trying to grocery shop: It’s distracting. And a nuisance. And not nearly as cute as a child. But I can’t give up email because I work on the Internet and, well, that’s just not how the life of someone whose livelihood relies on things that happen on the Internet works.

So, I check my email six trillion times a day and dream about what it would be like to give it up. But thanks to a new study, I don’t have to imagine what it would be like anymore: As Science of Us reports, a recent small study got 13 employees at a government facility to ditch email for a week to see how it impacted their lives. Turns out, ditching email works all sorts of magic.  Read more »

The Checkup: Why You Should Stop Trying So Hard to Be Happy

• It seems, in this day and age, we are all obsessed with the idea of achieving — and flaunting on social media, of course — happiness: Finding a job that will make us happy, or a spouse, or the perfect pair of fall boots — you name it. But research shows, thinking too much about finding happiness and constantly questioning whether or not we are happy can stop us from actually stumbling on actual happiness. [Medium]
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How to Laugh at Your Worst Days (and Why You Should)

Shane Burcaw | Photo by Jeremy Cohen

Shane Burcaw | Photo by Jeremy Cohen

Shane Burcaw, 22, suffers from a debilitating disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (it’s related to Muscular Dystrophy). Despite his illness, or maybe, because of it, the Moravian grad is internet-famous: he’s written a book, founded a nonprofit called Laughing At My Nightmare (LAMN), and is currently jet setting around the country on speaking engagements. His idea? Laughter as prescription, in all your worst circumstances and on all your worst days.

Burcaw’s nonprofit, LAMN, fundraises for kids with MD and SMA, to make their lives “more awesome.” Burcaw has a vision of helping people with illnesses lead better lives, but also, of helping everyone realize on a day-to-day basis that if he can laugh at his lot in life, they can too. We caught up with Burcaw at his house in Bethlehem where his team is preparing for world domination with their positivity and laughter movement. Burcaw, who has a wicked sense of humor, chatted with us about his (multiple) tattoos, the upcoming LAMN 5K , and Rainn Wilson’s bathroom.  Read more »

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