Hearing nothing but bad news all day is scientifically proven to do much more harm than simply bumming you out, so Google has created a simple voice command for Assistant that brings you uplifting stories about progress, kindness and solutions. All you have to do is say, "Hey Google, tell me something good." Assistant will then surface a curated story for you that runs counter to the usual doom-and-gloom narrative that many mainstream media outlets work on, helping to broaden your world view and shift your mood up a little.
Google created this feature because of a psychological phenomenon called the Hope Gap. This refers to a divide between a hopeful, problem-solving mindset and a more survival-focused, wait-and-see mindset. The daily bad news cycle can easily push somebody into the latter and further away from hope, thus the name. According to Google, hearing about the good things going on in the world, the very real solutions being created and implemented for common problems, can help bridge that hope gap. People who have bridged the gap and are in the hope and problem solving mindset are more ready to tackle not only the daily issues they face in their everyday lives, but also bigger issues that may come their way or that they may feel passionate about. It is exactly this sort of mindset that fosters innovation and action, rather than the safer option, stagnation.
Google has been hard at work adding new features to all of its products and going through with major redesigns, but this feature is arguably the first in a long time that has a stated psychological goal for the populace at large beyond making Google's products easier to use or furthering Google's core mission of seeing more information shared and spread. There is no update, no app to download, or anything else that needs to happen on the device side; if your device has Google Assistant on board, or if you happen to be sitting near a Google Home or a compatible Chromebook, just ask Google to tell you something good, and you'll hear a quick blurb of good news.