When you have a choice of taking good news or bad news, research says to grab the bad news first.
When both good and bad things happen, taking the hit of the painful “bad” first so you can recover from it and grabbing the pleasure of the “happy” afterwards, leads to greater happiness. The process here is about getting comfort after a painful event. So taking the bad first, then savoring the good thereafter leads to better well-being.
Studies in happiness then suggest to get connected to others to fend of sadness. Happy people stay resilient by creating meaningful connections with others, like meeting up with a close friend or talking with a cherished loved one after a bad experience. Depressed individuals, however, tend to use positive monetary events like shopping or gambling as buffers against negative events, rather than social ones, which aren’t as effective at combating feelings of sadness.
So, the take away here is:
1) Bad news first
2) Good news second
3) Remedy the bad with social connections.