Why Getting Mail Is Such a Mood Boost—and How to Pass That Feeling Along to Others

There’s really no better feeling than opening the mailbox to find a letter or package. Sure, I completely fuel those weekly mood boosts through online shopping (a new book is coming today, and I can hardly wait!). But when you receive something totally unexpected from a friend, significant other, or family member, your happiness levels reach an all-time high.

In a survey conducted in 2015, 41 percent of Americans of all ages said they look forward to seeing what’s in the mailbox every day. And of those people, 94 percent said they love getting letters from someone they know, and 83 percent said they love getting packages. With technology, dropping something off at the post office has become less of a norm. But with the United States Postal Office being horribly underfunded, there’s never been a more important time to buy a book of stamps to show your support. With the election right around the corner and millions of people voting by mail, people’s lives and rights quite literally depend on it.

While you can support the USPS by sending letters and packages to the people you love, making them feel good and letting them know you’re thinking about them, U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has another fun way to help save the USPS, too. On her Instagram story, she got her followers’ interest in starting up a national progressive pen pal program—something that has the potential to majorly boost stamp sales and provide the post office with some much-needed funds.

“One of the best ways to support the post office is to buy stamps. Would you guys be down and excited if I set up a national progressive pen pal program?” she said. “We’ll do all the work of connecting you to somebody else, we would offer maybe some conversation prompts or postcard prompts, and even a printable postcard format.”

And you don’t have to wait for AOC’s program, either: Start a pen pal program of your own amongst your college friends, family members who live on the opposite coast, Instagram friends—whoever. Your mailbox will be filled with fun goodies on a regular basis, and the post office will be that much closer to turning its dire financial situation around.