What is #luckygirlsyndrome? 

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Lucky girl syndrome
Think back to the last day you had when everything just seemed to fall into place. Maybe you found a prime parking spot while running errands, snagged an item on sale that you’d been wanting for a while and got a call from your best friend inviting you out to dinner. Some people might say you were having a great day. But others devoted to what’s trending on social media would brand it as #luckygirlsyndrome Day. They’d post the details on Instagram or TikTok, with the hashtag #LuckyGirlSyndrome behind it. So, what’s the deal with this #LuckyGirlSyndrome that keeps cropping up online and in conversation? Here are the details.

How #LuckyGirlSyndrome got started

The branding centers around a 20-something influencer and entrepreneur from New York City who began growing her following on TikTok and Instagram by pointing out details of her amazing life and the cool things that were happening to her each day. Her videos struck a chord. She branded those good happenings the result of #LuckyGirlSyndrome. Others followed suit. This influencer’s TikTok following grew to more than 250,000 people, while her Instagram has another 20,000 fans. Between December 2022 and January 2023, TikTok videos tagged with #LuckyGirlSyndrome had been viewed nearly 150 million times, according to an article in The Washington Post.

What does #luckygirlsyndrome mean?

For its devotees, #LuckyGirlSyndrome is all about believing that your life will be filled with great things. A great job offer is coming. A fabulous trip awaits you. You spend your day knowing something unexpected and utterly cool is just around the corner.

New branding on an old idea

If you’re over the age of 30, the idea of #LuckyGirlSyndrome should sound pretty familiar to you. Those who have researched this recent trend say it’s just the latest incarnation of a positive-thinking movement. It’s a mental practice with some old roots. The difference is, #luckygirlsyndrome is branded for a Gen Z audience and is growing with social media followers. Some similar trends for different generations include:
It traces the thought line in “The Power of Positive Thinking,” a self-help book popular in the 1950s.
It mirrors more recent claims in books like “The Secret,” which was bolstered by airtime on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
It shares positive-thinking qualities with the trend of manifesting, which is the belief that you will something into being or happening just by the power of your own intense thoughts and actions. Manifestations typically revolve around finding love, improving relationships or getting a better job. It’s a mindset practice that remains popular in Gen X culture.

Will #luckygirlsyndrome work for you?

Since this trend started, a slew of doctors, scientists and therapists have weighed in on whether embracing a #luckygirlsyndrome mindset will help people achieve their goals – or lead to disappointment and self-esteem issues later. Several months into the trend, the results are mixed. The takeaway consensus seems to be that this philosophy is harmless if you’re using it for small things: Will you find your favorite ice cream at the store, or can you reach the food truck with the tasty tacos before it closes? Supporters say embracing a positive frame of mind is good for your mental health in that way. But where it gets tricky is applying #luckygirlsyndrome to important life decisions, like careers and relationships. It’s not likely you can reach the next steps on those big goals without doing the actual work it takes to get there.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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