Science Suggests the Secret to Winning at Life Is Embracing Anger

Photo: Ana Suntay-Tanedo via 

Among modern-day self-help books, podcasts, and , there's a resounding message about how to lead a successful and fulfilling life: Be positive. It's understandable why the Shonda Rhimes mantra is so popular; research suggests looking on the bright side can . But according to ., positivity isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you can't stand being told to "lighten up" and are suffering from a case of positivity fatigue, a string of studies suggests grumpy people have a surprising advantage:

  • They earn more: The Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany reveals that self-employed pessimists earn more than optimists. If you're an employee, a 2011 study in the found that those who use anger and threats during negotiations are also more effective. 
  • They're healthier: People who repress negative emotions are at a higher risk of cancer, hypertension, and coronary heart disease, according to research in
  • They live longer: Another study found that  and are more satisfied in the long run, potentially thanks to their low expectations. 

Are you part of the anti-positivity camp? Add  ($11) to your reading list—the New York Times bestseller debunks some common psychology myths.