The Quick Report

What Is Lucky Girl Syndrome… and Does It Work?

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“Lucky Girl Syndrome” is going viral on TikTok. Everything old is new again, and this is a fresh spin on a way of thinking that goes back to the early 19th century. Is Lucky Girl Syndrome just magical thinking, or does it work?

What Is Lucky Girl Syndrome?

Old ideas get dressed up in new clothing and paraded out constantly. Lucky Girl Syndrome, going viral all over TikTok with Generation Z, is no exception. The inspiration originally came from various TikTok creators. The video trend began by showcasing people those creators knew in life who were “always lucky.”

So, what is Lucky Girl Syndrome?

Simply put, it’s the idea that if you believe you’re lucky – you will be. Put another way, if you believe you’ll have good fortune, good things will come your way.

Essentially, Lucky Girl Syndrome is the use of positive affirmations. The emphasis is on constantly reminding yourself that the universe is working toward making good things happen for you because you are a lucky person. Further, the belief is that by radiating positive energy, others will pick up on it.

Not Just for “Girls”

Specifically, the moniker Lucky Girl Syndrome is a little inaccurate. It’s not a syndrome per se. 

“I would say a more appropriate name is the ‘The Lucky Girl Effect’ or ‘Phenomenon,'” said psychologist Doctor Susan Albers, PsyD of the Cleveland Clinic, who adds it can be more inclusive without the “girl” specification. 

“This is not specific to gender,” Dr. Albers adds. “Anyone can use this mindset.”

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Does Lucky Girl Syndrome Work?

Plenty of people will scoff at the notion that luck will manifest by simply thinking you are lucky. To doubters, this is simply magical thinking.

However, some psychologists believe it works. Psychologist Dr. Samantha Weld-Blundell is one of them. 

“The trend is essentially a lot of positive thinking, positive self-talk, and affirmations,” Dr. Weld-Blundell said. “When we change our thinking, it changes our mood, our emotions, and then it changes our behavior.” 

However, the doctor states, “To create lasting positive change you must practice for at least 30 days.”

Psychologist Dr. Susan Albers agrees.

“Research has shown that it helps to boost people’s confidence, their self-esteem, reduces their stress level and helps their motivation,” Dr. Albers stated.

“When we tell ourselves that we’re lucky, the brain starts to look for examples to confirm that belief,” Dr. Albers added. “And because our brain likes to be right, if we tell ourselves that we’re lucky, that part of the brain is going to start filtering in the information that backs that up.”

Is Lucky Girl Syndrome Helpful or Harmful?

Some psychologists believe that Lucky Girl Syndrome is a helpful practice. They view Lucky Girl Syndrome as a phrase that tries to turn negative thinking around, especially for people struggling with negative self-talk. It can be a helpful mindset that can turn negatives into positives. Psychologists believe positive thinking can be used in different ways to improve your mental well-being.

“You can describe it in any way, but when we look at some of the professional approaches to negative thinking it’s the same,” Dr. Weld-Blundell added. “To combat stress or anxiety, we try to change thoughts to more positive ones, and that in turn changes the way we feel.”

“By closing our eyes and imagining what being lucky would look and feel like, we can train our brains to recognize lucky situations when they occur in real life,” Dr. Albers notes. 

“Your mind doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality sometimes,” Dr. Albers said in explaining visualization as a powerful self-help tool. “…You can trigger some of the positive neurochemicals like serotonin – the feel-good chemical in the brain – by just imagining being lucky.”

Lucky Girl Syndrome Is a Reinvention

The idea of manifesting good things in your life through positive thinking goes back to the late 19th century. The ideas of healer and mesmerist Phineas Quimby are considered to have inspired the New Thought Movement. This movement encompassed a wide range of spiritual beliefs and practices based on the idea that the mind played a vital role in well-being. The idea is that thoughts can directly influence one’s life experiences.

The Law of Attraction evolved from the New Thought Movement and might be considered a key and simpler principle. It posits that like attracts like. This means that positive thoughts bring positive experiences in one’s life, while negative thoughts bring negative consequences.

The Law of Attraction played an important role in the self-help industry that was to follow. Some of the most important books based on the law of attraction include:

  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (2006)
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937)
  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy (1963) 
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (2013)
  • Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks (2004)
  • Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain (1978)
  • The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol (1948)