Reasons to be Cheerful is a non-profit editorial project that is tonic for tumultuous times. 


We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful. Many of these reasons come in the form of smart, proven, replicable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re here to tell you about some of them. Through sharp reporting, our stories balance a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic rigor, and find cause for hope. We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world.

Reasons to be Cheerful was founded by artist and musician David Byrne, who believes in the power of approaching the world with curiosity—in art, in music, in collaboration and in life. Under the banner of Byrne’s non-profit organization, Arbutus, Reasons to be Cheerful embodies this sensibility, applying it now to the future of our world. Through stories of hope, rooted in evidence, Reasons to be Cheerful aims to inspire us all to be curious about how the world can be better, and to ask ourselves how we can be part of that change.

Want to work with us? We’re hiring an Editorial Director. Learn more here.

Our Team

David Byrne - Founder

David Byrne is the founder and in-house headline writer of Reasons to be Cheerful, and the founder of the Arbutus Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to re-imagining the world through projects that inspire and educate. Reasons to be Cheerful is the Arbutus Foundation’s first project.

Christine McLaren - Editor

Christine McLaren is co-editor of Reasons to be Cheerful. Her work has appeared in Monocle, Metropolis, the Globe and Mail and other publications. She co-founded Discourse Media, an acclaimed solutions-journalism project. She was the resident writer of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, and the lead researcher for the award-winning book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design. She lives in Vancouver. [email protected]

Will Doig - Editor

Will Doig is co-editor of Reasons to be Cheerful. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Foreign Policy and NPR. His book, High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia, was published in 2018. He lives in New York City. [email protected]

Peter Yeung - Contributing Editor

Peter Yeung is a Paris-based journalist who writes for publications including the Guardian, the LA Times and the BBC. He’s filed stories from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Michaela Haas - Contributing Editor

Michaela Haas, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and solutions reporter. Her recent books include Bouncing Forward: The Art and Science of Cultivating Resilience (Atria). Visit

Jose Reyes - Designer

Jose Reyes is the founder and Creative Director of Misterfreek. All design, including ideation, strategy and branding/user experience come from his belief that successful conversions lie in branding that is simple, transparent and accessible. His work has been recognized by the Wave Festival and Cannes Lions.

Mariel Lozada - Digital Content Manager

Mariel Lozada is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Engagement Journalism program. Her work explores the relationship between journalism and technology. Mariel has worked with a variety of publications in Chile and Venezuela reporting on gender, health and politics, as well as with the Global Investigative Journalism Network. [email protected]

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