Last Updated on July 6, 2020
A game that can make you happier and healthier while making the world a better place? Check out The Good Cards!
This post is proudly sponsored by The Good Cards. All opinions strictly my own.
Did you know doing good for others can make you healthier?
If you’ve ever experienced that great feeling when you help someone else, you already know first-hand about the health benefits of doing good. It turns out that when we do acts of kindness we don’t only make the recipient happy, but we ourselves produce oxytocin, that same feel-good hormone that we get when we snuggle a baby or get a hug. Some researchers have found that good deeds also cause us to produce dopamine, creating what they call a “helper’s high.”
Being altruistic actually makes US happier, while also conferring all kinds of health benefits, from improved cardiovascular function to lessened mortality. It can even help you manage pain and boost your immune system.
I don’t know about you, but I find it’s easy to get so wrapped up in all the stuff that needs to get done every day that I lose sight of other important things, like being a force of good in a world that needs all the good it can get. Think for a minute about the difference in the way you feel when you’re scowling at your to-do list and when you’ve just helped a stranger carry something to her car. One feels icky and the other feels awesome, right?
Want to reduce stress, be happier, and live longer? Challenge yourself to do good in the world!
Guess what? There’s an app for that!
An organization with a vision for a better world has a new strategy for making the world a better place: They’ve gamified kindness!
Imagine if all the energy people put into Pokemon Go was channeled toward helping those around you!
The nonprofit Better World International is committed to making the world a better place by incentivizing acts of kindness with a new game called The Good Cards, which uses technology to gamify kindness.
The Good Cards has a simple premise: Combine a physical object that you can carry around in your pocket with technology, add a dose of fun, and paying it forward becomes a game!
I really appreciate the thinking behind this game: By encouraging people to do good in the world, The Good Cards aims to restore faith in humanity’s inherent goodness and ability to change the world for the better. If millions of people pay it forward, not only do they feel better, but the recipients of their kindness benefit and are more likely to treat others better as well.
Makers of The Good Cards hope that starting a trend to make altruism cool will rebuild social trust and help us work toward solutions to the many pressing problems of the 21st century.
How Does it Work?
Once you get a Good Card, you use The Good Card mobile app on your smartphone to scan the QR code. From there, you’re given a challenge aimed at making the world a better place. You can also make up your own challenge.
When you complete the challenge, the recipient of your good deed gets the card and continues the game. They do something good for another person and challenge that person to pay it forward when they pass on the card. You can track your card and see just how many lives have been touched. One card can travel through the hands of hundreds of people. (You can see one in action in this video.)
The Good Cards folk understand sustainability is a key piece of that better world, so they even made the card out of biodegradable material instead of adding to the plastic problem.
I got a Good Card to try for myself. I scanned the code, and was prompted with my first challenge: To do something good for myself. When we take care of ourselves, it’s soooo much easier to do good for others.
For my birthday a few months ago I got a real camera so I can have something besides smart phone pictures to share here on the site. But I really haven’t figured out how to use it yet. It came with some free classes that I haven’t made time to get to, so I decided to schedule a day off from work (wow! that’s something great in itself!) to take the class and then spend some time outside photographing beautiful plants. Just the thing to put me in a happy place and make me more likely to make others happy as well.
So good to finally have that on my calendar! Just thinking about it makes me instantly happier!
I submit my story so it can be tracked by the app, together with all the other stories of doing good in the world. People all over the world have been buying total strangers a cup of coffee, volunteering at animal shelters, passing along the kindness.
Next, the app challenged me to go do something anoymously for a friend or family member. I immediately thought of a friend down the block who’s always spreading happiness to others. One hot day she made homemade shaved ice and invited all the kids on the block over. She seemed like the perfect person to show some appreciation for — and also someone who would totally get into the game.
I left her a thank you note for all she does, plus some of my favorite chocolate (organic & fair trade of course — we’re trying to make a better world here!), which has its own health benefits and makes you happy!
I gave her the card and invited her to play the game so she can pay it forward also. I can’t wait to check in on my card to read about what other acts of kindness it sparks in its travels around the world! I’ll add updates here and on Facebook as they come in.
You can see some of the good already done with these cards on this map. Mine is that lone blue bubble in Minnesota 🙂
I can choose to take on further challenges and pass additional cards throughout the year. What a great reminder to make kindness and good deeds a regular habit!
Do some good for yourself and the world and join in the game!
The Good Cards is now available to the public for the first time. To support the better world we all want and start a movement spreading good, head over to The Good Cards’ Kickstarter page and support this campaign!
Two lucky readers will win cards to start their own kindness chains ~ congrats to Kris M. on winning the first one!
Enter the next giveaway by visiting The Good Cards and sharing this post on social media!
You can also give the game a try for free using the QR code below. Scan the code with your phone and download the app. Please leave a comment and share what you thought!
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Thanks to The Good Cards for creating an amazing world-changing game!
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.