Shootings. Natural disasters. Terrorism. Disease. Melting Ice. Rising oceans. War. Famine. Martin Shkreli getting the Wu-Tang album. To any frequent consumer of the news, the past year followed a pretty grim storyline. But The Atlantic’s Charles Kenny explains why, “by many measures, humanity is in better shape than it’s ever been.” 2015: The Best Year in History for the Average Human Being.

+ The Quartz Chart of the Year shows the consistently falling percentage of people living in absolute poverty around the world.

+ And the editors at Slate found one inspiring, funny, or touching story for each day of the 2015: The Year of Good Things. (Reminder: The sharing of these links should not be seen as an endorsement of optimism.)