6 Things You Need To Know Today (February 16, 2018)


1. A new study shows that running may sharpen your memory.

Science has shown that chronic stress adversely affects memory. Simply put, connections between neurons in the hippocampus, a brain structure dedicated to forming and storing memory, are weakened when we're stressed. Without strong connections, it's more difficult to make and store new memories. Scientists put two groups of mice in stressful situations over the course of four weeks and found that those who used the running wheel regularly were able to undo negative effects on memory, but those that stayed sedentary suffered. It's yet another study that shows how the benefits of daily movement reach far beyond physique. (Science Daily)

2. What's the money and happiness "sweet spot"?

While previous research has found that $75,000 is the ideal salary for feeling day-to-day positive emotions, recent research finds that $95,000 is an ideal salary for "life evaluation," meaning it makes it easier to take long-term goals into account. They also saw declines in happiness after the $95,000 mark, suggesting that more money does not, in fact, mean more happiness. (Time)

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3. Wellness is starting to take center stage at music festivals.

This March, the Okeechobee Music Festival in Florida will team up with group meditation movement The Big Quiet to attempt the largest mass meditation at a U.S. music festival. Various band members will gather to play tunes that turn the audience's focus inward. How's that for proof that the healing power of sound is going mainstream? (mindbodygreen)

4. California could be on the cusp of yet another drought.

A dry start to 2018 could foreshadow another extreme drought across the state. Californians from the Central Valley to the Sierra Nevadas are already paying for these dry conditions. (mindbodygreen)

5. Packaged food may be officially linked to cancer.

According to a new study, packaged and processed food, desserts, drinks, and snacks may be associated with higher risks of cancer. Believe it or not, this is the first official study conducted that explores the link between cancer and ultra-processed foods. (Time)

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6. Yesterday was an eco-friendly holiday, thanks to this teenage activist.

Fifteen-year-old Hannah Testa worked with her state representatives in Georgia to declare February 15 "Plastic Pollution Awareness Day" last year. This year, environmental organizations gathered to raise awareness about how everyday citizens can reduce their plastic use. (Earth 911)

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