Reasons to be Cheerful is a nonprofit online magazine 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. 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 nonprofit 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.


Editorial Independence and Donor Transparency

Reasons to be Cheerful is an editorially independent publication. As a nonprofit media outlet, we accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations. This support funds our activities and coverage of particular topics, but our editorial team maintains sole decision making power over what appears on our website. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content, and we will not accept donations from sources who present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

To learn more about our institutional funders, and see a list of individual donors who have contributed $5,000 or more, visit our Sponsors and Affiliates page. For more information about editorial independence, read our full Editorial and Ethics Policy.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are top priorities for Reasons to be Cheerful. As a publication focused on solutions, we believe these values should inform both our internal operations and our news coverage. We strive to ensure that our team, and the stories we publish, reflect this belief and the broad array of perspectives inherent to a DEI-oriented set of values.

Pitching Stories

We accept pitches from professional journalists covering all sorts of beats, all over the world. Please read our pitching guidelines carefully, as they detail the particular types of stories we publish. Journalists pitching stories must be transparent about conflicts of interest or any outside funding they are receiving to report their story.

Republishing Stories

Most of Reasons to be Cheerful’s content is published under a “creative commons” license, meaning it can be republished free of charge, with proper credit and a link back to the original. However, we ask that you obtain permission from our editorial team before republishing, as some stories may contain text or images from outside sources that we are not authorized to redistribute.

Our Parent Organization

Reasons to be Cheerful is overseen by Arbutus, a nonprofit founded by David Byrne in 2018 to re-present and amplify ideas found in surprising places, ensuring that our picture of the world contains the joy that it should, and is accessible to everyone. Learn more about Arbutus and its board of directors here.


Our Team

David Byrne - Founder

David Byrne is the Founder of Reasons to be Cheerful. He is also the Founder of the Arbutus Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to re-imagining the world through projects that inspire and educate. Reasons to be Cheerful is the Arbutus Foundation’s first project.

Will Doig - Executive Editor

Will Doig is the Executive 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.

Rebecca Worby - Editorial Director

Rebecca Worby joined Reasons to be Cheerful as Editorial Director in 2023. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Outside, High Country News, Orion, Guernica, Lit Hub and elsewhere. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University.

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

Mariel Lozada - Audience Engagement 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.

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.

Valeria Morales - Editorial Intern

Valeria Morales is Reason's To Be Cheerful Editorial Intern. She is a journalist from Puerto Rico, currently attending the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York with a focus on the Latinx community.

Christine McLaren - Founding Editor

Christine McLaren is the original 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]

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