20 good things that happened in 2017

1 of 21

HIAWATHA, KS – AUGUST 21: The sun is seen in full eclipse over a park on August 21, 2017 in Hiawatha, Kansas. Millions of people have flocked to areas of the U.S. that are in the ‘path of totality’ in order to experience a total solar eclipse. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

At the end of the year, many recall the disasters of the past months. However, it wasn’t all bad. Here are 20 good things that happened in 2017.

This year has been, for many, a pretty bumpy ride. Whether you’ve experienced personal challenges or have quailed in the face of every national and international conflict (or both, you poor thing), everyone’s had to deal with it.

For one, this was the first full year of Donald Trump in the White House. That meant that the ACA was assailed, corporate-friendly tax reform passed, and the United States has had to deal with a decided shift in politics and culture.

Internationally, things got rough, too. There’s the developing drama in the Korean peninsula, thanks to North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear program. The U.K. is undergoing its own upset, with Prime Minister Theresa May’s crumbling support and the still-ongoing Brexit process.

Meanwhile, a humanitarian crisis seemed to rear its head every couple of months. These include the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and our own home-grown devastation on the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico.

The positive side of 2017

But, hey, it’s not all bad! For one, humans are hardwired to remember negative things more than positive ones. You’ve probably noticed it in your own experience. Some of your most immediate and colorful memories may center on things that went terribly, while the comforting memories are decidedly hazy.

That focus on the bad events worked decently well as a survival technique in our species’ early history, to be sure. Alas, in today’s modern societies, that’s also a recipe for steadily mounting anxiety.

So, let’s take a few moments to remember some of the good things that happened this year. Between the natural and political disasters, there were also some truly bright spots. They ranged from silly movies to advances in medical science, to awe-inspiring astronomical events.

If you need a pickup after this year, read on for 20 of the best things to come out of 2017. Take heart, and draw on your own strength and goodwill as we head into the new year.