What Is Lucky Girl Syndrome?

A girl looking happy

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Key Takeaways

  • Lucky Girl Syndrome is TikTok’s latest viral self-help trend that’s similar to manifesting or the law of attraction.
  • This positive mindset practice includes chanting mantras like “everything always works out for me.”
  • It doesn’t always work, experts say, but remember it’s normal for anyone to encounter obstacles and failures in life.

TikTok’s latest trend, Lucky Girl Syndrome, isn’t a medical condition; it’s a mindset.

This practice works like manifesting or the law of attraction. In a viral video, TikTok influencer Laura Galebe said that she constantly repeats this mantra: “Great things are always happening to me unexpectedly.” And it works.

“Try being delusional for a month and tell me if your life doesn’t change,” Galebe said.

Studies have shown that optimism is linked to better health outcomes, and it might make you more proactive in making health-conscious decisions. Ultimately, Lucky Girl Syndrome is rooted in optimism, but this mindset could turn problematic if it transforms into “irrational optimism,” according to Tim Bono, PhD, a lecturer in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

For example, you might avoid going to the dentist or push yourself to continue running a marathon despite knee pain just because you think “everything will be fine,” Bono said.

“It’s important to approach things with optimism, but realistic optimism,” he added.

Mental health experts also say that naming this mantra practice a “syndrome” is misleading. It might perpetuate the idea that Lucky Girl Syndrome is something you’re supposed to catch, and you might blame yourself if the outcomes don’t align with what you want, according to Arielle Smith, MSW, DSW, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker in the Chicago area.

“What if somebody doesn’t get the Lucky Girl Syndrome?” Smith told Verywell. “Sometimes you’re not that lucky person, and that’s OK.”

It's OK to Embrace Failures and Rejections

The videos about Lucky Girl Syndrome can be inspiring, but Smith said to pay attention to creators who also post about their failures. Social media might not show the full spectrum of everyday reality, she said, and things aren’t always going to happen the way they appear online.

Research has also suggested that fantasizing about the future might end up exacerbating depressive symptoms.

Gabriele Oettingen, PhD, a psychology professor at New York University, has spent over two decades researching about how positive fantasies affect people’s goals and emotional regulations. She found that the more people fantasize about the future, the less likely they are to implement their goals. This is because manifesting or thinking everything will work itself out might make people feel like they’ve already accomplished their dreams.

“It’s better to understand where I want to go and what is in my way and then take the effort to overcome that obstacle,” Oettingen told Verywell.

Using “mental contrasting” can help, she said. Essentially, thinking about what you want for your future and contrasting this with the obstacles in your way will help you build up the energy necessary for turning these dreams into a reality.

“We’re not living in paradise yet,” Oettingen said. “Everybody has had and will have obstacles in their life, even if they are the luckiest girl in the world.”

Smith also suggested a possible reframing of the Lucky Girl Syndrome with an alternative mantra: “I’m not entitled to getting everything that I want. I can accept rejection. I can accept failure. And what makes me lucky is I pick myself back up and I try again.”

What This Means For You

Lucky Girl Syndrome is the belief that repeating affirming mantras and keeping a positive mindset will bring about good outcomes. It doesn’t always work, experts say, but remember it’s normal for anyone to encounter obstacles and failures in life.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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