Economy Got You Down? Go Brightsiding

You can't control the stock market, but you can control your outlook on life.

ByABC News via logo
March 23, 2009, 8:28 PM

March 24, 2009 — -- In the face of recent economic news, there are some people who respond to the spirit-crushing and downright scary headlines with a cheerfulness that's almost inappropriate.

It's called "Brightsiding."

It's based on the belief that, though you can't control the stock market or your job security, you can control your outlook on life. So why not stay positive?

Tell us how you're looking to the bright side by clicking here.

The best online explanation of the Brightsiding concept comes from an original composition and animation called "Spread Joy." The composer, Mike Strickland said the idea just came to him.

"I was watching TV news one day thinking, 'There needs to be more positive messages being sent around the world,'" he said. "So I wrote a cheerful song called 'Spread Joy.'"

He posted the "Spread Joy" video on his Web site and on YouTube and exhorted people to forward it around. Click here to visit

Michelle DeAngelis is a corporate coach and author of "Get a Life That Doesn't Suck."

She cites studies that confirm the efficacy of the Brightsiding concept. "Smiling causes the brain to release chemicals that alter your mood," she said. "So, faking it until you make it has some basis in science."

Another proven technique to lift your spirits is expressing gratitude, and the Web offers a variety of ways to spread this upbeat message as people try to create a viral backlash to the Debby Downer mood that's cast a pallor over our collective moods.

There are no comprehensive numbers on who's joining this grass roots campaign, but Facebook boasts several groups touting the benefits of Brightsiding, like Rebel Against the Recession and Recession Survivors.

YouTube can make you laugh with 51 jokes in 4 minutes, or mellow you out with this homage to Bobby McFerrin's classic '80s tune "Don't Worry, Be Happy."