Is Looking on the Bright Side Actually Good for Your Mental Health?

Friday Fix: Episode 107

Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 107

There are many undisputed benefits of being a positive, optimistic person. And if you aren’t naturally a positive person, you can learn to become one. 

Part of being a positive person might involve looking for the silver lining even in hardship. Perhaps you can even recognize times in your life when you were able to see how something good came out of something really bad.

Like maybe a breakup allowed you to meet someone better. Or perhaps a job loss helped you discover an inner strength that you never even knew existed.

You’ve likely also encountered people who encourage you to look on the bright side. For example, maybe your mom reminds you that “Something better will come along” when you don’t get hired. Or maybe your friend says, “Well, at least he’s in a better place,” when your dog dies. 

Should you listen to these attempts to remind you about the silver lining? Should you go looking for a silver lining when the benefits aren’t obvious? These are some of the questions I address on today’s Friday Fix.

I reveal what the research says about looking on the bright side and how doing so might affect your mental health and your physical health.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.