Pandemic Positives Part II

Get Creative, Get Happy @ChrisDStaples

Engaging in small daily acts of creativity may influence overall well-being.

Tamlin S. Conner (Univ. of Otago, NZ), Colin G. DeYoung (Univ. of Minnesota)  & Paul J. Silvia (UNC) 

If you’re looking at the calendar and scowling that we still don’t seem to be done with 2020, psychology tells us adding a little bit of creative energy in the day not only makes us feel better in the moment, it can influence overall well-being and put us on a path to flourishing. 

Chris Staples is proof that living positively helps you live well. This charming and sublimely cheerful Internet star, student, singer-songwriter, and substitute teacher has learned that impacting lives is good medicine for life. 

If you have not seen Chris on Facebook or TikTok, you are missing his 1,000+ videos, mostly of him dancing on his front porch or sharing life wisdom he acquired as a youth minister and caretaker for his father. 

Chris explains; “I’ve had many losses in my family, and I didn’t handle them well. I also recently found out I have an autoimmune disease; it’s not curable but it’s treatable. But it’s all okay. I still have a blessed life, wonderful friends and family. It all got turned around when I found I was having an impact by telling people who I was and about my depression. Now, when I’m feeling sad, I try to make the world a better place by making people smile.” 


Chris started dancing and kidding around on TikTok in 2019 as a joke, and turned serious when people began reaching out to him between his dance mix performances. If you’re wondering how watching a man dance on his porch can cure some COVID blues, consider he grew up in a world where MTV doesn’t play music, but he masters every song you ever loved—Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Salt-n-Pepa, or Garth Brooks. It is guaranteed he has posted at least one video bite that will make you smile to remember high school, your boombox, or singing into your hairbrush. That smile is his mission, 30-60 seconds at a time. Bottom line, 500,000 followers can’t be wrong about his humor, good vibes, and infectious smile.

“I’m actually pretty shy,” he says. “When I see a video getting thousands of likes per hour, or how many followers I have, I think it’s crazy. But I love music, I love Jesus, and this is all for fun. Outside of my live chats with followers, I am excited to become a teacher when I graduate, and would love to make a difference with my music. I want to write music that has meaning.” 


His advice for people looking to elevate their mood, or just find their inner Chris; “Creativity doesn’t have to be dancing—it might be cooking or writing code. Be yourself, because true friends and family will love you for you! I’ve been bullied all my life and it took forever for me to come out of my shell. Now I’m encouraging everyone to ‘Be you and love yourself’ because life is too short to let what others say define you, or for you to conform to any norms of society.” Good advice for his future students and, likely, anyone who ever was one.