Good news wanted: 4 in 5 Americans desperate to be cheered up after difficult 2020

NEW YORK — There’s no question 2020 has been a rough year for many people. A new survey finds eight in 10 Americans are desperate to hear some positive news before the year ends.

The study asked 2,000 people about ways they’ve coped with the stress of 2020 and COVID-19. The results find 75 percent said the constant stream of bad news has taken a toll. Seven in 10 respondents have made it a priority to do something positive every day as quarantine continues.

Finding Positivity 2020

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Vitamin Angels ahead of Giving Tuesday, the survey reveals the top goal for those polled is just to make at least one person smile every day. Another 34 percent are trying to make someone laugh daily as well as make it a priority to share positive news with their loved ones.

Common pick-me-ups

When respondents need some cheering up themselves, their recipe is turning on their favorite movie (46%) and eating their favorite snack (43%). Forty-three percent of respondents also go for a walk, four in 10 call a friend and 38 percent snuggle up with their pet.

One in four also shared they sing in the shower for a pick-me-up while 19 percent even have a solo dance party to get in better spirits. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed also shared they’re donating to local charities to foster positivity and 28 percent are finding a safe way to volunteer.

Nearly six in 10 Americans say the difficulties of 2020 and COVID-19 has led them to give back to their community even more. Two in three (66%) agree that their communities are closer than ever. Despite the stress of COVID life, 78 percent of respondents agree the pandemic has made it more important than ever to give back to their local communities.

Finding Positivity 2020

In fact, 42 percent of the poll have increased their donations to charities during COVID-19. For those who have donated to charities this year, they’ve donated to an average of four charities, making donations of $36.47 a month.

Half of those polled are also donating to charities that are currently addressing COVID-19. Nearly all of those Americans (87%) said they’re more likely to support causes that are specifically helping women and children impacted by the pandemic.

Fighting COVID with positivity

Over half of the respondents (57%) also plan to increase their planned holiday donations because of the impact of COVID-19.

“Communities in the U.S. and around the world were already vulnerable before COVID-19 and now is the time when they need us most,” says Vitamin Angels Founder & President Howard Schiffer in a statement. “Right now, we have an opportunity to come together and take what has been one of the hardest years in our lives, and turn it into one of our best, positive actions; to help the most vulnerable in our communities, the women and children most at risk.”

As Americans look to the new year, three-quarters are hoping to start off fresh and share positivity as much as they can. Another eight in 10 hope others will do the same. The top goals to share positivity in 2021 included having a more positive outlook in life (52%) and trying not to focus on the negative things as much (50%). Forty-eight percent of respondents are also aiming to take better care of their mental health, and a third of respondents want to donate more to charity and volunteer more.

“This holiday season is a great opportunity to connect with loved ones and share some much-needed positivity,” Schiffer adds. “Another way to share positivity is giving back to at-risk members of our communities, especially women and children.”