Words by Abi Scaife
TikTok is well known for its popularity but, like any form of social media, it can also be home to negativity and stress.
That's why one woman is hoping to change that; one TikTok video at a time.
Meet Victoria Cardenas, better known as A Positive Take. Sick of negative news bringing her, and others, down, the 24-year-old Canadian-turned-Londoner is on a mission to spread good news. Her TikTok channel is a force of positivity in a world where much of the news we read is doom and gloom – and she has more than 50,000 followers on the journey with her.
“I originally started this channel when Covid-19 started, because I was fed up with only reading really bad news,” she tells Smiley News. “I started focusing on the good and thought others would want to read it too.”
However, she got shy about posting and stopped after just a few videos. Then, in 2021, she decided to give it another go, with a newly-formed ‘100 days of good news’ project.
“It was a way to force myself to stick with it because I had already started a countdown,” she says.
Victoria would scour the news each morning to find uplifting stories to share with her followers – including animals coming back from extinction, brands moving towards pre-loved fashion, and the “super grannies” taking some serious climate action.
The 100th day – back in July 2022 – captured Bill Gates donating $20 million to a foundation, and a Barbie made out of recycled plastic.
Although those 100 days are over, Victoria hasn’t stopped her quest to bring positive news to your FYP.
“There have been so many positive comments from people on every single video,” says Victoria, whose videos have accumulated 1.5 million likes. “Some of the comments I love reading the most are when they say, ‘Wow this really made my day,’ or ‘Never stop making these!’ It's incredible to see how just three good news stories can make a change in someone's day.
“I know it can change mine, but clearly, it's not just me who feels happy after hearing the stories.”
These positive stories aren’t just a way to keep up with the best of the world – they may have a much more important role to play in our lives. Studies have shown that happiness has a positive effect on our physical and mental health, which goes far beyond a daily pick-me-up.
Good news makes you happy, and, as multiple experiments have shown, happiness equals health. Research has found happiness has a positive effect on you in a variety of different ways, from heart health to your immune system, and even the length of your life.
“I noticed a great change in myself,” admits Victoria. “Good news is still dramatically outnumbered by regular news stories, but I will say [that] even reading one or two good news stories a day can really change my mood and spark a different outlook on the world.”
Though there’s been a push to ‘break the bad news bias’, particularly in the UK, it can still feel as though the negative news still reigns supreme in mainstream media. This is just one of the reasons content creators like Victoria are making such a huge difference in people’s lives – people need good news.
“I think creating a better balance can inspire more good in people because it can be very overwhelming to only be exposed to negative stories,” explains Victoria. “So if people are subscribed to newsletters, subscribe to a good newsletter or magazine as well, like Smiley Movement, that can only be a good thing.”