select good news

The Happy Sensitive

Tools and coaching to go from Highly Sensitive to Happy Sensitive

Hi there,


If you've been following my blog for a while - or binged on it recently, chances are you will have come across this article:

Why the News is Bad News for HSPs

For years, I mostly ignored the news. And I would recommend that strategy if you feel scared, overwhelmed, stressed out and powerless from everything you're hearing. The article explains why.

More recently, I've come to a new position on the news for myself.

I still pick and choose what I expose myself to, but I also:

  • wanted to be somewhat (more) in the loop
  • wanted to build my understanding of world affairs

In other words, I do want to know about some of what is going on.

Plus, as a person who always asks WHY I realised that part of the reason why I didn't enjoy most news was because it's so darn superficial.

So, a while back I subscribed to a newspaper that is known for in-depth background stories on current affairs. (Actually, to two. Nationally: De Volkskrant. As well as The Atlantic)

Plus, I'm on a few topic-specific lists. Like (in Dutch) Trump Weekly  (on US politics) and Brussel Inside (on the EU)

I pick and choose what I read, but when I read something, I actually feel like I spent my time wisely (and didn't just waste it on getting myself stressed out)

I also find that a regular email digest is a great way to pick and choose. Somehow, it's way less intimidating than a physical newspaper.

(For the few Dutch people reading this: THIS is exactly what I am talking about)

Basically, getting a whole new pile of printed news to wade through DAILY feels like an incredible commitment.

Throwing it away without reading it feels like a waste, and somewhere deep inside there is that sense of obligation that you "should" read it now.

Which is ludicrous of course, but I know I am not alone in this.

Back when I had an online membership community on Facebook, members regularly commented that they felt "behind" in reading everyone's updates. Like, once you joined the community, it was your DUTY to read every single post.

Of course it wasn't. And of course it isn't my job to read every printed page of a paper. 

But still, it feels hard sometimes.

So anyway, I noticed that email feels WAY easier.

Sometimes I skip the daily digest alltogether. Sometimes I read just one article. Sometimes a few. But I never feel like I should have read everything.

Pfew. So anyway, if you relate, that is my tip to you. Swap out physical papers for email subscriptions.

I'm also subscribed to a superficial daily paper that focuses more on local news. The not-so-dramatic things that are happening nearby. The kind of stuff people talk about. Mostly, I just read the headlines and excerpts. 5 minutes, done.

Local news - when it's not stressful, can keep you connected to your area. You discover that you are not the "only one who".

And if you really want to make things very local and interactive - see if there is a neighborhood app you can sign up for. We have the "Nextdoor" app, and for the first time, I feel like I actually have some idea of what is really happening in my neighborhood. Plus, most people on it are of the "can do" type, trying to make things better and organising local projects. So, it boils down to a lot more good news.

So anyway, I felt like an update was due for my stance on watching the news. 

Once you've given yourself permission to ignore it alltogether first, it's much easier to create a new, mindful relationship with the news. 

One where you choose what you read and your priority is to not allow it to get you stressed out. (Because how does getting stressed out about things you can't fix help anyone?). So for that reason, if I spot a topic I know I'll get worked up about - I skip it.

To that end, I also follow people doing inspiring, needed things. Like The Ocean Cleanup. (You can join their newsletter at the bottom of the page)

That's news too, even if too often, it doesn't make the papers.

So, once you've done a news-detox, you can create your own news subscription. Just subscribe to people you want to hear from, and pick subscription styles that feel easy to be selective in.

Here's two articles that landed in my inbox recently that I feel are worth sharing. 

(No worries, they are current, but not political and they are very relevant in the context of news and being HSP)

Care Deeply, Not Passionately

We Need to Talk about "The Giving Tree"

In other good news. Kiva - the microlending initiative has a special "sale" this week. When you lend a woman looking to improve her life $25, you will get another $25 to lend for free.

I just think Kiva is a really good idea. If you were thinking about getting involved, this is the week to do it.

Now, I don't know what the savings interest is like in your country. I hope it's magnificent, but down here, it's basically dropped down to 0.0000000000001 percent. O.k. that's a slight exaggeration. It's actually 0.02 percent. AKA NOTHING. I don't know why they bother giving anything at all. ("Here's the 5ct we owe you good madam")

So, rather than keeping all my savings in a savings account with no interest, I think it makes sense to let some of that money work for me in a different way: by making the world a better place.

A loan through Kiva means that you help someone and you get your money back. Your interest is the good you've done. You can make a difference with just a small amount. No need  to be a philanthropist.

So, it's a total win win, especially this week. Check out the Kiva offer here.

Because, this is actually something simple you can do that creates more good news, for many people.

But hey - before giving, make sure it feels good. No point feeling resentful or obligated. And if you have little cash on hand, it makes sense to save it for yourself, so it's accessible whenever you need it, and not a year later or so when a loan is paid back.

I have no problem saying no to a charity, I just like the way Kiva is set up, for everyone involved.

They're not about saving poor victims. They're about empowering people who take responsibility for their life.

to good news,


The Happy Sensitive

Unescostraat 80, Heerlen