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Soda, Happiness, Music & More

15136567685_1ba4491551_zIn the last few years, we all learned that sitting is the new smoking. The new smoking for 2014? Soda. Here’s the story: A study of 5,300 adults published in the Journal of Public Health compared the cells of people who drink soda every day to those who do not. Reporter Kiera Butler explains the findings, “In the soda group, the ends of the chromosomes—known as telomeres—were shorter, a sign of their cells’ diminished ability to regenerate. Our telomeres naturally shorten as we age, but scientists have discovered that a few behaviors—including smoking—can shorten them prematurely … People who drank a 20-ounce soda every day experienced an additional 4.6 years of telomere aging—the same amount observed in smokers.” Just one more reason to think of soda as a treat and stick with water as your everyday beverage of choice.

Where in the world are the happy people? The Gallup World Poll recently released its quality of life rankings and has determined which countries are currently thriving in its Global States of Mind 2014 report.

Abandon your goals! Call a half-empty glass half-empty! Watch this video of author Oliver Burkeman sharing his counterintuitive take on how abandoning goals and allowing for some negativity can actually help you achieve success.

Most of us have had this experience: We’re running or biking and feeling like we’re about to give up when a song comes on that changes the game. Suddenly, we’re back in it. New research suggests that music may actually have the ability to change how people feel about high-intensity workouts.  A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that intensity was more tolerable when participants listened to music.

It’s hard not to like this (and we tried): Meet Jiff and watch him shake to Taylor Swift.

Image: Konstantin Stepanov

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