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5 happy stories to start your Monday

Best read while munching on chocolate
Blog 306 positive news

Here’s a fun fact for you: scientists have proved that eating chocolate every day can improve your mood. It turns out that dark chocolate (specifically the kind that has a cocoa content of 85 per cent) restructures the gut microbiome, which has a flow-on effect to your mood via the gut-brain axis. Huzzah!

Know what else can boost your mood? Reading happy stories. Here are five that we love.

  1. The extent of some peoples’ generosity is pretty staggering. Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced last month that she had donated US$3.9 billion to hundreds of not-for-profits over the past nine months – and a grand total of US$12 billion over the past two years. It’s all part of her commitment to the Giving Pledge, whereby the mega-rich promise to give away at least half their wealth. What makes her donations quite unique is that they cover a broad spectrum of causes ­and they’re given without any rules or expectations about how the money should be spent. Impressive.
  2. In climate news, a recent report has revealed that wind and solar accounted for a record 10 per cent of global electricity supply in 2021 – and that 38 per cent of all supply came from clean sources. Uptake of renewables has had a political motive lately, with many European nations, in particular, wanting to sever ties with Russian energy suppliers. The Netherlands, for example, will double the number of offshore wind farms it had originally planned to build by 2030, while Austria aims to completely convert electricity generation to renewables by the same year. Everyone’s going for home-grown, sustainable options these days – whether inspired by climate change or national security. It’s a win for the environment either way.
  3. People can become quite passionate about their local pub – perhaps none more so than the 110 residents of Inverie, who hail from the remote Knoydart Peninsula on Scotland’s west coast. When their sole watering hole, The Old Forge, closed its doors last year, locals banded together to buy it. Now, it will be a community-run pub that reinvests profits back into the business, as well as other local projects. (We should point out here that The Old Forge is mainland Britain’s most remote pub, accessible only by boat or a multi-day hike through rugged mountains.) Community-run pubs are having a bit of a moment right now; locals in a tiny north-west Victorian town bought their pub a few years back, while in the UK, regulars are getting behind the bar at a rapidly growing rate. Is it the pull of community connection, or the pull of the beer tap that brings people together? You be the judge.
  4. How’s this for wildlife meets Wall Street: the World Bank is trialling a new conservation tactic, launching a scheme that will see investors contribute to a US$150 million ‘rhino bond’, which will be used to protect and increase black rhino populations in South Africa. If the critically endangered species’ population grows over a five-year period, investors receive a conservation success payment. However, if the numbers drop, they lose their money. It’s an innovative way to use private funds for the greater good, with all parties potentially benefitting. Watch this space.
  5. We’ve all heard the jokes about millennials eating away their home deposits, thanks to their predilection for avocado smashes, but it seems that they might be onto something. A new study reveals that eating two or more servings of avocado each week is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. As if this news wasn’t exciting enough, researchers have also found that drinking coffee – particularly two to three cups a day – may benefit your heart and help you live longer. Boom.

That’s it from us this fortnight. Now go and enjoy some chocolate (or avocado, or coffee – or all three!).

– The Coach Place Global

Image by Elena Leya

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