4. Medical advances are helping millions
The FDA cleared an earpiece that may help block symptoms of opioid withdrawal. And Portal Instruments, a private medical device company licensed from MIT, has made a needle-free drug injection device.

5. The economy is booming
13 states saw record-lows of unemployment this year; nationally, the unemployment level is at the lowest it has been since 2000. And financial satisfaction hit a 24-year high this year.

6. We’re becoming more tolerant
Support for allowing same-sex marriage is at its highest point in 20 years, according to a Pew Research survey. For the first time, a majority of Baby Boomers (56%) favor allowing same-sex marriage, and almost the same amount of Republicans favor allowing it (47%) as opposing it (48%).