Our 10 Most Popular Articles in 2012—and 15 More You Might Like!

By Jeremy Adam Smith | January 7, 2013 | 1 comment

We round up the most-read Greater Good articles from the past year—and point to 15 more you ought to consider reading.

Here are the 10 most popular Greater Good articles from the past year:

10. An Awesome Way to Make Kids Less Self-Absorbed, by Vicki Zakrzewski: Research suggests that experiencing awe helps kids focus less on themselves and more on the world around them.

9. The Power of Self-Compassion, by Jason Marsh: Kristin Neff discusses how self-compassion differs from self-esteem, why self-compassion can be hard for Americans, and the transformative effect it had on her own life.

8. Greater Good Sex Tips for Guys, by Jeremy Adam Smith: Three science-based sex tips for the emotionally intelligent gentleman.

7. When Are You Sacrificing Too Much in Your Relationship?, by Amie M. Gordon: Close relationships require sacrifice. Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you give up too much.

6. Ten Steps to Savoring the Good Things in Life, by Stacey Kennelly: We get plenty of advice for coping with life’s negative events. But can we deliberately enhance the impact of good things on our lives?

5. 12 Steps to Happiness, by Stacey Kennelly: A slideshow illustrating a dozen research-tested happiness activities you can start practicing today, based on the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky.

4. Smile! It’s Good for Your Heart, by Stacey Kennelly: A new study suggests smiles—the more genuine, the better—help you bounce back from stress.

3. Six Habits of Highly Empathic People, by Roman Krznaric:  We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives—and use it as a radical force for social transformation.

2. Four Ways Happiness Can Hurt You, by June Gruber: Can feeling good ever be bad? New research says yes—and points the way to a healthier, more balanced life.

1. Can Science Make Facebook More Compassionate?, by Jason Marsh: Facebook is confronting cyberbullying and online conflict. Can a team of researchers help boost kindness among the site’s 900 million users?

Editors’ Picks

What makes an article become popular?

Some pieces are just awesome, of course. But quite often, the answer has to do with how people navigate the Internet. Some articles have a built-in audience or distribution mechanism, as with our number one—people kept sharing Jason Marsh’s piece about Facebook over Facebook, and Facebook shared it over Facebook! Other pieces contain popular search terms and are thus likely to draw googling readers.

To help correct for those structural biases and highlight great content you might have missed, we polled our staff and editorial advisors on their personal favorites from the past year—and came up with fifteen more you might also consider reading, in roughly chronological order:

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About The Author

Jeremy Adam Smith is producer and editor of the Greater Good Science Center’s website. He is also the author or coeditor of four books, including The Daddy Shift, Are We Born Racist?, and The Compassionate Instinct. Before joining the GGSC, Jeremy was a 2010-11 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. You can follow him on Twitter!


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The amazing documentary “I AM” could be added to this list if it were a book! Though it was made a few years ago!

Kristin Sturdevant | 10:51 am, January 15, 2013 | Link

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