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Journalism researchers find positive stories boost readers’ moods

Melanie GrayA university’s journalism department has declared a link between positive stories and positive feelings for readers after conducting new research.

A study by Bournemouth University found 79pc of respondents felt higher levels of enthusiasm and 73pc saw their happiness levels increase after engaging with positive content.

Over a three-week period, 36,000 individual pieces of feedback and data was collected by researchers for the project.

The study was undertaken in association with Hearst UK, publisher of magazines including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

Melanie Gray, pictured, head of the communication and journalism department at Bournemouth University, said: “We took a novel research approach to get ‘in the moment’ feedback from audiences engaging with media content.

“This allowed readers to give their immediate reflections and offer an honest appraisal of the mood the articles and content created.

“We were really struck by the relationship between positive stories and positive feelings, which developed as a core thread of this research with a very large sample size.

“It allows us to say, with confidence, that positive storytelling can have positive benefits to your mood.”