Life is hard. There are deadlines. Irritating customers, clients, co-workers. Someone’s always trying to sell you something (or scam you out of something). Your girlfriend or boyfriend just dumped you. And your parent/boss/teacher rides you like you’ve got a target on your back. Oh, what to do?

If you’re like many of us, you hit that keyboard or touch device and start indulging a little escapism. There’s no shortage of online distractions these days, and everyone’s activity of choice varies. But when you’re in high need of a little pick-me-up and don’t know where to turn, try one of these happy-making sites. Enjoy.


When things don’t go your way and you’re feeling kicked in the teeth, it’s only natural to seek some comfort. Unfortunately mom’s not always on call to protect you from that big bad world, but with “The Nicest Place On The Internet,” you can still hug it out. The site offers a never-ending stream of virtual embraces (via video) from total strangers. And there’s no creep factor, unlike physically cuddling a stranger. It’s like the Web en masse throwing open its arms and giving you a little squeeze. Mom would approve.


The name says it all. It’s a complete overload of everything that can possibly get you to go “Awwwwww.” Cute babies, cute pets, cute wild animals, all curated by the site’s cuteologists and contributors, who have been delivering the world’s most adorable imagery for years, so put yourself in their expert hands when you need a little mood brightener.

Kindness and generosity are not dead. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof positive: People from all over the world come to Gives Me Hope to read or share inspirational experiences via uplifting, and sometimes heartbreakingly touching, stories — like the kid who was embarrassed by the baldness that chemotherapy left behind. “When I walked in [to school], everyone was bald — the popular kids, people I didn’t know, my friends, the teachers. Everyone. Their kindness GMH.” 


There’s a reason “I Can Has Cheezburger?” is a classic. I defy you to check out a page or two of this “Lolcats n Funny Pictures” and not find something that makes you snort chuckle.


George Takei’s Facebook Page

Why? Because it’s freaking George Takei, and it’s his Facebook page. That alone should be enough reason to check it out. The funny, clever and oh-so likable Starship Enterprise veteran shares some of the best comedic images on the webs. (And he’s never mean.) C’mon, try it — 3.5 million Facebook fans can’t be wrong.


It takes a heart of stone not to melt at the sight of a baby animal. And pups, kittens and other household pets have been hogging the spotlight for way too long. Enter Zoo Borns. It is exactly what the name suggests — a compilation of newborns from zoos all over the world. This one’s a little newborn deer mouse from the Berlin Zoo. Ain’t he precious? 


Not saying you should ditch CNN, Fox, BBC or whatever your favorite news outlet may be, but when you need some relief from the world’s ills, there are places you can go — like Happy News. These reports focus on stories of kindness, generosity and everyday heroism that often get overlooked in the race for sensationalism. Caution: Your faith in humanity might get restored.

[Note: Happy News ran the story of a homeless Good Samaritan who gave back a diamond engagement ring that was accidentally dropped in his cup. And now, with the grateful couple going out their way to help him, one act of kindness has begotten another. See below for more.]


Sometimes, the best way to help yourself out of a funk is to help someone else. GiveForward is similar to Kickstarter, but instead of getting startup capital, contributions go to the aid of individuals in need. The site is designed so that people can raise funds for loved ones to help with things like medical expenses or other hardships, like in the case of Billy Ray, the homeless man in the paragraph above. After he returned a diamond engagement ring, the grateful couple set up a GiveForward page for Billy Ray, which has generated more than $170,000 in donations to date.

Where do you go online when life gets you down? Let us know what your best funk-breaking tactics are down below.