2020 was quite the year, for the world and for the Greater Good Science Center. In the face of a global pandemic and political instability, roughly one million readers turned to Greater Good Magazine every month, the most ever. Here are the 10 most popular Greater Good articles from this momentous year, according to Google Analytics.

1. Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine, by Brooke Anderson: If you’re sheltering in place, be sure to check in with yourself.

2. How to Help Teens Shelter in Place, by Christine Carter: Teens are not made for isolation. Here’s how to help your teenager see the bigger picture during COVID-19.

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3. How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak, by Jill Suttie: In the midst of our panic around COVID-19, we must look to each other to help us get through it.

4. Five Surprising Ways Exercise Changes Your Brain, by Kelly McGonigal: Moving your body is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your mind.

5. How to Form a Pandemic Pod, by Jeremy Adam Smith and William Winters: Here are some questions to ask as you expand your circle of care and cooperation during COVID-19.

6. Five Ways Hiking Is Good for You, by Jill Suttie: Hiking in nature is not only good for our bodies, it’s good for our moods, our minds, and our relationships, too.

7. How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling on Everyone, by Rebecca Branstetter: A school psychologist offers advice to parents on how to support their child during school closures.

8. Seven Ways to Cope with Uncertainty, by Christine Carter: What should we do when everything feels so out of control?

9. Twelve Films That Highlight the Best in Humanity, by Jeremy Adam Smith, Alicia Crawford, Andrea Collier, Zaid Jilani, Maryam Abdullah, Amy L. Eva, Elise Proulx, Jill Suttie, Emiliana Simon-Thomas: It’s time for the Greater Goodies, honoring movies from the past year that exemplify human strengths and virtues.

10. Four Things to Do Every Day for Your Mental Health by Elizabeth Markle: Make time in your schedule for these core human needs.

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, listed by number of votes they received. And the two videos embedded with this piece were the ones voted best by our staff!

1. Why Your Sacrifices Matter During the Pandemic, by Jeremy Adam Smith: Tired of living with coronavirus restrictions? You’re not alone. But here’s why we need to persevere.

2. How to Speak Your Opponent’s Language in a Political Debate, by Zaid Jilani and Jeremy Adam Smith: Recent research suggests that to have better political conversations, you should first explore the other person’s values.

3. How Can I Stay Positive for My Kids When I’m So Overwhelmed?, by Allison Briscoe-Smith: Even for a psychologist who studies how kids understand racism and violence, talking to her own children about it is difficult.

4. 11 Questions to Ask About COVID-19 Research, by Jeremy Adam Smith and Emiliana Simon-Thomas: How can you tell if a scientific study about the pandemic is valid and useful? We have some tips.

5. Seven Ways the Pandemic Is Affecting Our Mental Health, by Kira Newman: You’re not alone—people around the world are depressed, anxious, and stressed, some more than others.

6. Is Funding Police the Best Way to Keep Everyone Safe?, by Jill Suttie: The call to “defund the police” may make sense, according to research. But to understand why, we need to go beyond the slogan.

7. Will the Pandemic Have a Lasting Impact on My Kids?, by Diana Divecha: Research on wars, natural disasters, and other crises reveals how to protect our children’s mental health.

8. Family Conflict Is Normal; It’s the Repair That Matters, by Diana Divecha: Research on wars, natural disasters, and other crises reveals how to protect our children’s mental health.

9. How the Pandemic Can Teach Kids About Compassion, by Maryam Abdullah: What if this crisis became an opportunity for children to deepen their sense of care?

10. Eight Keys to Bridging Our Differences, by Scott Shigeoka and Jason Marsh: 
There are many misconceptions about bridging differences, so we consulted with researchers and practitioners to clarify what it is—and what it isn’t.

11. Why Is COVID-19 Killing So Many Black Americans?, by Andrea Collier: The answer, according to researchers, is racism. But the Black community is fighting back.

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12. How Humility Can Help Us Bridge Our Political Divides, by Jill Suttie: With so much political division, we may need to practice more modesty to communicate and cooperate.

13. What Can We Do Now?, by Ashley Quarcoo, Crystal Clarke, Niobe Way, Caroline Hopper, Kayla DeMonte, Eboo Patel, Scott Shigeoka, john a. powell, Dacher Keltner, Maryam Abdullah, and Jeremy Adam Smith: While votes for the 2020 election are counted, our contributors weigh in on what we as individuals can do now to preserve our well-being and our democracy.

14. Eight Questions That Can Help You Survive Election Stress, by Jeremy Adam Smith and Jill Suttie: Americans are stressed out by their presidential election. These questions will help you check in with yourself—and perhaps boost your resilience.

15. How Purpose Changes Across Your Lifetime, by Kira Newman: Purpose is not a destination, suggests research, but a journey and a practice.


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

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