The Best Greater Good Articles of 2016

By Greater Good Editors | December 27, 2016 | 0 comments

We round up the most-read Greater Good articles from the past year—and our editors pick the best of the rest.

In many ways, 2016 was, for Greater Good, a continuation of the previous year. In 2015, we spread our editorial wings, increasing our publication frequency and our scope to address the issues of the day, whenever we thought the science of a meaningful life could be helpful. In 2016, our articles generated some controversy, but we hope that they also brought some peace and understanding to readers. Here are the most popular we published, followed by the pieces that our editors liked best.

Readers’ Picks

Here are the 10 most popular Greater Good articles from the past year, according to Google Analytics.

10. How Humility Will Make You the Greatest Person Ever, by Vicki Zakrzewski: It’s so hard to be humble. Here are three tips for taming your ego.

9. How Nature Makes You Kinder, Happier, More Creative, by Jill Suttie: We are spending more time indoors and online. But recent studies suggest that nature can help our brains and bodies to stay healthy.

8. What Happens to Kids When Parents Fight, by Diana Divecha: Conflict between parents is inevitable—but it doesn’t have to hurt kids. Here’s how to turn a disagreement into a positive lesson.

7. The Subversive Power of the Kiss, by Jeremy Adam Smith: A new wave of studies suggests that the rise of romantic kissing is linked to the changing roles of women.

6. How You Can Find the Good in a Nasty Election, by Kelly McGonigal: The elections this year were stressful. Kelly McGonigal tries to help readers turn that stress into courage and compassion.

5. What if Schools Taught Kindness?, by Laura Pinger and Lisa Flook: Lessons from creating a “kindness curriculum” for young students.

4. The Four Keys to Well-Being, by Richard Davidson: Dr. Davidson explains that well-being is a skill that can be practiced and strengthened.

3. Ten Habits of Highly Creative People, by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire: How to develop creativity as a habit and a style of engaging with the world.

2. Five Science-Backed Strategies to Build Resilience, by Kira Newman: When the road gets rocky, what do you do?

1. Why It Doesn’t Pay to be a People-Pleaser, by Christine Carter: Carter always tried to meet other people’s expectations—until she realized how out of sync with her own wants and needs she’d become.

Editors’ Picks

We polled our staff and editorial advisors on their personal favorites from the past year—and came up with more you might also consider reading.

Six Ways to Get More Happiness for Your Money, by Kira Newman: More than a decade of research looks at how our spending choices can make us happier—or leave us disappointed.

How to Stop the Racist in You, by Jeremy Adam Smith and Rudolfo Mendoza-Denton: The new science of bias suggests that we all carry prejudices within ourselves—and we all have the tools to keep them in check.

Three Lessons from Zootopia to Discuss with Kids, by Allison Briscoe-Smith: The movie Zootopia wasn’t just entertaining—it also revealed scientific insights about prejudice and raised tough questions for parents to explore with children.

How to Talk with Your Kids about Donald Trump, by Allison Briscoe-Smith: The GOP candidate is creating fear and confusion in children, especially kids of color. Here are three suggestions for talking with kids about race and racism in the media.

How to Talk with Boys about Trump’s Attitude Toward Women, by Jeremy Adam Smith: The president-elect’s “locker-room talk” points to a problem that is bigger than one election. How can parents and teachers build a culture of consent and healthy communication?

Why We Need Empathy in the Age of Trump: In a Q&A, sociologist Arlie Hochschild explains why we need to understand people on the other side of the political divide—and how empathy can be a force for positive change.

Eight Ways to Stand Up to Hate, by Elizabeth Svoboda: Hate crimes and hateful language are on the rise. What are you going to do about it?

Why Don’t Students Take Social-Emotional Learning Home?, by Vicki Zakrzewski: New research suggests we need to take account of how diverse groups of students view and apply SEL skills.

How Mindfulness is Changing Law Enforcement, by Jill Suttie: Meditation is helping police officers to de-escalate volatile situations, improve community relations—and improve their own well-being.

Do Feelings Look the Same in Every Human Face?, by Jill Suttie: A new study sparks scientific debate about emotional expression—and raises questions about what we all have in common.

The Science of the Story, by Jeremy Adam Smith. We know in our gut when we’re hearing a good story—and research is starting to explain why.

Teens and Depression: In the spring of this year, Jill Suttie published a series of articles covering new research into adolescence and mental health, which turned out to be among the best and most important we published this year.

Did you have any favorite Greater Good articles? Please do nominate your own favorites in a comment.

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