Pop quiz: How many times this year have you watched the news, scrolled through Twitter, or read a news alert and thought, “The world is a dumpster fire”? More than you care to count, right? The year 2018 was far from picture-perfect: Families are being separated at the border, gun violence continues to be an epidemic, and our president cares more about impressing his Twitter followers (both real people and Russian bots) than protecting the citizens of our country. That said, there are some good things that happened in 2018.
Believe or not, the world wasn’t a total and complete dumpster fire the whole year. There were genuine moments of goodness that filled our hearts with love and light. So when you reflect back on everything that happened this year, while it’s crucial to acknowledge and learn from the bad, it’s also important to remember the good. Here are 25 feel-good stories from 2018 that will make you smile.
1We met the (new) Fab Five
2The Olympics were everything
We cheered for Adam Rippon, the first openly gay man to compete for the U.S. at a Winter Olympics. We screamed when Mirai Nagasu landed a triple axle. And we LIVED for the fact that Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal (just moments after tweeting about a breakfast sandwich, to boot).
3Portia de Rossi gave Ellen DeGeneres a birthday gift that made us sob
4Kids were surprised with Black Panther movie tickets
2018 was the year of Black Panther. The film broke a ton of box office records and touched the lives of many. But perhaps nobody loved it more than students who were surprised with tickets to Black Panther screenings.
5A ton of bad men were silenced
The world still has a long way to go, but more people are understanding the importance of believing women. #MeToo #TimesUp
6Orange snow blanketed parts of Russia and Eastern Europe
We can explain: The orange tint was the result of a sandstorm. Still, the photos were pretty unbelievable.
7Cardi B announced her pregnancy live on SNL
Pregnancy rumors swirled for months, but the rapper stayed mum. During her first number on SNL, she managed to hide her baby bump under some seriously styled fur, feathers, and fabric, plus some strategically-placed props. So when the camera slowly panned out to reveal Cardi B’s adorable baby bump, we weren’t only excited, but relieved. And even though she and her daughter’s father, Offset, have since announced their split, we’re still happy Cardi brought beautiful baby Kulture into this world because we know she brings her mama joy.
8The Parkland survivors inspired the nation to take action on gun control
After 17 people lost their lives in February’s tragic Parkland, Florida school shooting, the Parkland survivors-turned-activists refused to be silenced. They continue to hold lawmakers accountable for their actions and make a huge impact on the nation.
Please don’t forget that there was a Destiny’s Child reunion.
10Police arrested the suspected Golden State Killer
And it was largely thanks to the work of the late Michelle McNamara and her gripping true crime book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.
11Childish Gambino released “This is America”
The provocative music video can be hard to watch, but it sends an extremely important message.
12Lena Waithe wore the pride flag at the 2018 Met Gala
She made a fashion statement and a political statement.
13The Katy Perry/Taylor Swift feud ended
The singers squashed their remaining beef when Katy sent Taylor a LITERAL olive branch the first night of the Reputation World Tour. Maybe we’ll see a duet in 2019?
14NBC saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine from cancellation
After Fox gave the beloved show the axe, roughly 24 hours later, NBC swooped in and saved it. We were so excited, we danced like Sgt. Terry Jeffords after one drink.
15There were not one, but TWO royal weddings…
What a year to be a royal, or a royal enthusiast. The entire world watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said their “I dos” back in May. As if that wasn’t enough, we were also treated to the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
16…plus another royal baby…
Harry, Meghan, Eugenie, and Jack aren’t the only royals who had a great year. In April, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed Prince Louis (pronounced Loo-ee), their third child.
17…and another on the way!
Though Meghan is one of the newest members of the royal family, she’s the one on everybody’s minds. We swooned, cried, and started picking out baby names when she and Prince Harry announced in October that they’re expecting.
18Ava DuVernay set a major box office record
The director reached a major industry milestone with A Wrinkle in Time. She became the first black woman to direct a movie that grossed over $100 million domestically.
19A bear drank a margarita in a hot tub
BIG summer mood. Huge.
20Serena Williams got more real than ever
21Crazy Rich Asians took the world by storm
Don’t worry, there’s already a sequel in the works.
22More women ran for office during the midterm elections than ever—and a lot of them won
Big midterm wins include Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person elected to the Senate; Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Mulim women in Congress; Ayanna Pressley, the first black congresswoman from Massachusetts; and of course, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. We’re with them.
23Michelle Obama wrote the perfect memoir
In Becoming, our forever First Lady got super real about her marriage, her struggles with infertility, her time in the White House, and so much more.
24Office nostalgia hit an all-time high
Even though Steve Carrell said once and for all that he’s not interested in rebooting The Office, fans are still treated to MANY epic mini reunions. Most recently, Jenna Fisher gathered the Dunder Mifflin gang for brunch.
25Ariana Grande released “Thank U, Next”
The music video pays tribute to some of our favorite movies and is filled with SO many Easter eggs.