122 Times Situations Turned Unexpectedly Wholesome (New Pics)

Sometimes we need to brace ourselves before hopping online. Reading the news and scrolling through social media can be unexpectedly distressing experiences. You never know what tragic event has occurred since the last time you checked in with the world, but we can expect one thing: the news is usually filled with more upsetting stories than uplifting ones.

For a refreshing change of pace, many people turn to the Unexpectedly Wholesome subreddit. With a community of over 170k members, r/UnexpectedlyWholesome is a warm, safe place where users share situations they’ve experienced or seen online that end in an uplifting twist. From parents being surprisingly supportive to animals acting as adorable as ever, enjoy this list of reminders that our world still has plenty of positivity left to go around. Then if you’re in need of even more heartwarming content after finishing this piece, we’ve got you covered with another Unexpectedly Wholesome Bored Panda list right here.

#1 Grandmas Are The Best

Image credits: Manntias

You know that saying “out of sight, out of mind”? I think that idea rings true for a lot of us. And this day in age, where we’re dealing with, or at the very least witnessing, a pandemic, war and the destruction of our planet due to climate change (that we caused!), it can be easy for uplifting stories to fade right out of sight. And it’s not our fault. When all we see in the media is upsetting reports, it's an understandable reaction to feel like nothing good ever happens anymore. But with pages like Unexpectedly Wholesome, we can bring positivity back to the front of our minds, even for just a few minutes each day.

Writer Emily Torres published a piece last year titled “Why Are We Craving ‘Wholesome’ Things In 2021?”, and she hit the nail on the head by saying, “In a year that’s left nothing but holes in our hearts, we’re all trying to find some way back to our whole selves.”

#2 Hopefully This Hasn't Been Posted Yet, Its A Goldmine

Image credits: AdGloomy1444

Emily went on to liken the holes in our hearts to nutrient deficiencies that we can help fix with regular supplements like “smell[ing] the clean fur of a sun-drenched puppy”. “Wholesome moments are everywhere,” Emily notes. “If only we’ll pay attention to them.” She recommends readers become more observant in their daily lives and, instead of rushing through things, stop to appreciate the little things. It’s hard to describe the feeling one gets when experiencing or witnessing a purely wholesome moment, but it’s sort of a rush of warmth that almost does give the sensation of a hole being filled.

Emily also notes that being uplifting doesn’t have to be a temporary state. “Being ‘wholesome’ is not a performance; rather, it’s a state of being that is sustainable and life-giving to us and those around us.” It’s natural to feel a longing for wholesomeness, and we owe it to ourselves, and those around us, to feed that desire and allow positivity to blossom.   

#3 I Mean, We Were All Thinking The Same Thing

Image credits: zclcghr

#4 Who Wouldn't Love Rodger?

Image credits: mr_swagster

So how do we find positivity in our daily lives? Aside from a few minutes on the Unexpectedly Wholesome subreddit each day, a doctor might also prescribe you a healthy dose of positive-thinking content through books or podcasts. Luckily, the internet has unlimited resources to help you boost your serotonin levels. One book on this topic is The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by New York Time’s best-selling author Shawn Achor. Achor is the author of 5 successful books, but The Happiness Advantage is his most popular and is described as “the happy secret to greater success and fulfillment in work and life—a must-read for everyone trying to flourish in a world of increasing stress and negativity”.

#5 Major Respect To The Manager Of The Bar

Image credits: SadSenpai420

#6 Wholesome Arnold

Image credits: rheameg

As far as podcasts are concerned, the world is your oyster in finding positive content there as well. One popular research-based positive podcast is “The Science of Happiness”, which is hosted by award-winning psychologist Dacher Keltner. The show, which has been running since 2018, now has 115 episodes, with each one featuring tips for leading a more joyful life. Topics the show has covered include “How to Find Your Spark in Life”, “How Gratitude Renews Us”, “24 Hours of Kindness” and “Scheduling Time to Feel Awesome”. Listeners also give the podcast glowing reviews. One fan wrote, “It’s wonderful to learn about yourself through other people’s experiences. It takes the pressure off and allows the listener to be inspired without being deterred by one's own insecurities. These stories are entertaining and thought-provoking.”

#7 This Is The Most Wholesome Thing That Ever Wholesomed

Image credits: subtleaccordions

#8 Bill Skarsgard Scaring Hader By Naturally Making His Eyes Go Sideways

Image credits: ashlyrind7

#9 Football Coach Cancels Practice...

Image credits: BDeLallo

Everyone’s definition of wholesome may be slightly different: some people are thrilled by the sight of babies while others only melt when they see adorable animals. Even virtual encounters and memes can be incredibly wholesome for some people. In 2017, Time magazine published a piece titled “How the Internet Is Getting a Little Nicer, One Meme at a Time” detailing the story of how Twitter user @JonnySun gave the Sad Kermit meme, which was viral at the time, an uplifting twist by challenging his followers to turn “a virtual punch line into a symbol of hope”. Some of the captions submitted were “when you remember how much someone loves you" and “when you’re so proud of how far you have come, and excited for how far you have to go". While memes often have a more cynical twist, they can be used to promote a little positivity online as well.

#10 Taking Time To Love One Another

Image credits: memezzer

#11 Supporting Your Daughter No Matter What

Image credits: aissaanali

#12 Stupid Idiots And Their Cute Pets

Image credits: DonutOperator

One of the reasons the posts on this list are so enjoyable is because the endings are unexpected. But why do our brains always jump to the worst case scenario? Why do we start reading something and begin to brace ourselves for bad news? According to Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, our brains are actually wired to expect the worst. “When early humans were wandering the Earth, underestimating what was around the corner (or in the bushes or the forest) could be deadly,” Meg explains in a piece for Harvard Business Review. “This is why the most primitive parts of our brains take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to uncertainties, both big and small.”

#13 Bet Its A Good One

Image credits: iamravive

#14 My Heart!!

Image credits: Chamndler

#15 Tears Running From My Eyes

Image credits: TTwelveUnits

Apparently jumping to the worst case scenario, or catastrophizing, is incredibly common, especially for young people. Meg explains that we’re most likely to have a mindset that assumes the worst between the ages of 18-35, because those are typically the most unsettled years of people’s lives. She goes on to note that the development of the prefrontal cortex that’s happening during our 20’s doesn’t help the situation. “That doesn’t mean young adults can’t cope. Rather, it means that now is a great time to hardwire new habits, such as slowing down and thinking things through.” 

#16 The Earth Sandwich

Image credits: Lokimonoxide

#17 So .... Perfect

Image credits: christie_123

#18 F**k Cancer

Image credits: shannonhar95

Meg then goes on to share tips on how we can stop catastrophizing situations and develop healthier habits. Her first tip is to “stop time traveling”. Most of our fears include future events, perhaps months or years from now. But worrying about the future is not conducive to tackling the tasks we need to complete in the present moment. Next, Meg recommends to focus on whatever it is you’re scared of. “Catastrophizing is based on fear rather than on facts,” she explains. Recognizing the actual facts of a situation often helps us realize that we have little to fear at all.

#19 You Deserve The Money!

Image credits: MinuteJuice

#20 We Need This Right Now

Image credits: NotStyxx

#21 How Proud This Racoon Is Of Their Art

Image credits: TonySkratchere

Next, Meg recommends fearful individuals to play out their worst case scenario in their heads. Although it’s probably not the most likely outcome, imagine what would actually happen. Your life will probably still go on. After realizing the worst case, play out your best case scenario. Meg notes that the best and worst case scenarios are often “simply childlike fantasies” with reality falling “somewhere in between”. She explains that catastrophizing is a way of looking at issues as black and white, but what we need to do is see the grey. There is nuance to every situation, and it’s best to avoid fixating on the ends of the spectrum. 

#22 The Family That Brushes Teeth Together, Stays Together

Image credits: Luciuxness

#23 Unorthodox Hater Strategy

Image credits: Advil

#24 They Stay With Us In Unexpected Ways

Image credits: andrewkelly87

Lastly, Meg notes that, “The real cure for catastrophizing is confidence, and confidence comes from experience.” While it may feel like we hear bad news everywhere we go, there is plenty of news worth celebrating as well. We just need to know where to look. Our instincts are there to protect us, but what would happen if we started challenging them and viewed our lives through a more optimistic lens? What’s the worst thing that could happen? Okay, now imagine what the best outcome would be. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle...

#25 Halloween Potato!

Image credits: VeganSmoothie

#26 8 Year Old’s Rebellion

Image credits: mcnees

#27 This Is A Real Christian

Image credits: SadSenpai420

After reading some of this list, I'm feeling more wholesome already. It has inspired me to bake some brownies and deliver them to my neighbors just for fun. We hope you're enjoying your daily dose of wholesome content as much as we are, and don't forget to upvote and comment on your favorite posts. Then let us know in the comments what wholesome situations you've recently found yourself in to keep the positive vibes flowing!

#28 Postgirl Pippa

Image credits: flopsychops

#29 Had Me In The First Half

Image credits: couch_commando_989

#30 This Little Girl's Rock Displayed In A Local Museum

Image credits: Kran3lis

#31 I Felt Like This Belonged Here

Image credits: Xceiles

#32 Santa Comes In Many Forms

Image credits: Frau_V

#33 My Heart..

Image credits: rishabh0402

#34 Sharing This Giggle I Had Today

Image credits: softt-ee

#35 I Just Saw This On Fb I Don’t Know If It’s Been Posted Here But I Had All Sorts Of Feels!!! I Definitely Smiled Tho

Image credits: theheliumkid

#36 Gaming Friends Are Real Friends

Image credits: makdorsen

#37 This Was My Straight, Conservative, 60 Yr Old Grampa's Response About A Year Ago When I Came Out As Trans (Ftm)

And I completely forgot about it until today since it's his birthday. It was nice to see again since I didn't get a lot of support when I came out.

Image credits: dickcheese5346

#38 Nice Job Pal

Image credits: prasaadii

#39 People Helping People

Image credits: boutchuur

#40 Can’t Imagine How This Happened

Image credits: mysticalodds

#41 I Just Thought This Should Be Here

Image credits: Scarface091

#42 That's Right, Kid. Nobody

Image credits: sylvar

#43 People Will Always Remember How You Treated Them

Image credits: Reallynoreallyno

#44 Your Job Is To Help Others

Image credits: JadenYuki15

#45 It's The Most They Got

Image credits: JadenYuki15

#46 Awwwww

Image credits: MrWheeze1

#47 This Guy Found A Message Written In A Bottle While Fishing

Image credits: udumslut

#48 Orangutan Thinks That This Man Has Fallen Into The River And Offers His Hand But He's Really Staff Who Removes Snakes From The River

Image credits: Throwawayiea

#49 My Heart Is Melted

Image credits: artngbubu

#50 Giving A Lift To Everyone This Year

Image credits: mehchinegun

#51 Suddenly, Happiness

Image credits: ThoriumBloodHoun

#52 Apologies If This Has Already Been Posted

Image credits: pjpotter14

#53 ???

Image credits: Ches_Skelington

#54 Future Wife's Painting

Image credits: Reallynoreallyno

#55 "I Personally Don't Like Gay People..." But There's A Plot Twist

Image credits: Dena_Roth

#56 Til

Image credits: dianses

#57 He Deserves Some Serious Celebration

Image credits: jobedeyo

#58 Your Move, Media!

Image credits: makdorsen

#59 A Rare Instance Of A False Karen

Image credits: CR1MS4NE

#60 Whether I'm 30, 50, Or 100, I Will Never Stop Playing Video Games. They Make Me Happy

Image credits: makdorsen

#61 Hey There, Fellow Redditors!

Image credits: Ill_Earth8585

#62 We Need A Big Strong Woman To Take Care Of Us

Image credits: DozyDrake

#63 Love Is The Best!

Image credits: deepinthoughts77

#64 Blessed Rain

Image credits: JadenYuki15

#65 Absolutelynotme_irl

Image credits: mwuannah

#66 Meirl

Image credits: rishabh0402

#67 Wholesome Grandpa

Image credits: NoseIsNoseIsNotToes


Image credits: yoyu232

#69 Beware!

Image credits: absurdly_pathetic

#70 Wish That Was My Boss

Image credits: Hurt_then_skrt

#71 Wholesome Level 9000

Image credits: Lightnin_chicken1

#72 True

Image credits: reddit.com

#73 How To Argue

Image credits: TryingTimesComics

#74 Beauty And The Beast

Image credits: SaniMani42

#75 Always Works

Image credits: P1TPAT

#76 An Emotional Rollercoaster From Start To Finish

Image credits: Hamish_french

#77 Did Not Expect This

Image credits: FrostyFroZenFrosTen

#78 Sometimes "I Love You Mum" Can Come Out In Unexpected Ways

Image credits: BeepBopBippityBop

#79 It Warms My Heart To See People Who Are Often Stereotyped As Violent Be Caring And Companionate

Image credits: claytations

#80 Future Self

Image credits: Lejimuz

#81 That's Dedication

Image credits: WillowKimba

#82 Such A Great Thing To Do

Image credits: oska77rs

#83 Respect Towards Janie

Image credits: dianses

#84 We Gamers Have A Duty To Make Others Feel Welcome, In Times Like This

Image credits: makdorsen

#85 Just Wow

Image credits: nattalands

#86 The World Needs More People Like This

Image credits: SniperGhost_huntress

#87 Something About This Just Makes Me Smile

Image credits: AdGloomy1444


Image credits: Firestar1732

#89 At A Gas Station In Minnesota Or Canada

Image credits: B99fanboy

#90 Two Online Best Friends That Played Gta Together Everynight Met Up To Have Lunch And Take A Few Pictures

Image credits: dianses

#91 What A Feeling. Back In October My Wife And I Were Placed With A Sibling Group Of 3 Kids, Ages 5, 3, And 10months. After Feeling Overwhelmed And Wondering If We Were Doing The Right Thing, The Oldest Kids Teacher Sends Me This

Image credits: someone3lses

#92 Delighted To Share This Wonderful News!

Image credits: DoctorTurkelton

#93 Hit Me In The Feels....

Image credits: SojourningTruth

#94 Wife Sending A Message To Her Husband Through A Reddit Post

Image credits: euivbgdfgrtretre

#95 Someone's Father:

Image credits: JayantVermaYT

#96 Annoying People

Image credits: That_5_Something

#97 As A Trans Ftm, This Really Made My Day

Image credits: GeorginaEspinosay

#98 When You Get Messaged Post Game

Image credits: ManuelusSteinus

#99 This Just Warmed My Heart

Image credits: dianses

#100 Awww

Image credits: ManicMolotov

#101 If You Give Sea Urchins Tiny Hats, They Will Wear Them

Image credits: BusinessPuggo

#102 This Is The History Our Kids Will Learn About

Image credits: dianses

#103 Gamer Girl : )

Image credits: butcherrboy

#104 Wholesome App

Image credits: lazygeekboy

#105 A Lifetime Of Lessons Learned In A Few Hours Of Gaming

Image credits: nattalands

#106 This Made Me Smile

Image credits: chauhan_14

#107 Who Knew The Life Of An Ant In A Jar Would Captivate Both Boy And Cat?

Image credits: Weezebabea

#108 That’s Some Heart Warming Stuff

Image credits: dianses

#109 Spiders Get A Bad Rep

Image credits: Djinnyatta1234

#110 That Caught Me Off Guard

Image credits: StewartS2007

#111 Unexpectedly Wholesomeness In A Youtube Comments Section

Image credits: aerologies

#112 Wow, Feels Like Home

Image credits: lindsaminds

#113 Public Nudist Turns His Life Around

Image credits: bazonggabazinga

#114 Gaming Is Everywhere

Image credits: dianses

#115 Unexpectedly Wholesome Shower Talk

Image credits: ThorinSmokenshield

#116 Got A Hero Necklace From My Employer For Working During Covid. Woke Up To This!

Image credits: sarcasticengineer369

#117 A Silver Lining

Image credits: Jnrajiv2002

#118 I Told My Internet Friend That I Had Trouble Sleeping Recently. So She Stayed Awake Till 4am For Me

Image credits: Sufiyanshaikhp1

#119 I Like My Knife How I Like My Wife....

Image credits: talltsdance

#120 That’s So Cute

Image credits: JadenYuki15

#121 Well This Just Makes For A Perfect Group Hug!

Image credits: MoneyAintGotNoOwners

#122 Sure, S*x Is Cool And All, But Has Your Math Tutor's 2 Yr Old Daughter Ever Randomly Approached You And Handed You A Flower While You Worked??

Image credits: The-cloud-of-curls