What’s Poppin?: Is “Lucky Girl Syndrome” the New Spiritual Movement?

Amy-Grace Shapiro, Online-Co-Editor-in-Chief

In 2020, TikTokers discovered “The secret” — the idea that you can make anything you want happen if you believe in it enough. Then, in the two years that followed, they tried to rebrand it into perpetual relevance. Its most recent makeover gave it the rather ominous title of “lucky girl syndrome” — almost as if it were a contagious disease.

To these TikTokers, LGS is the kind of disease everyone wants to catch. It is exactly what it sounds like: a state of being in which everything happens to work out for you and where opportunities miraculously fall onto your lap. LGS is characterized by the belief that affirmative mantras and positive thoughts will bend even everyday events in your favor.

This hopeful way of thinking started when 22-year-old influencer Laura Galebe posted a video on TikTok stating that the secret to her success was assuming that everything would work out for her. Since that initial post, the hashtag #luckygirlsyndrome has trended, amassing millions of views on TikTok and over 5,000 posts on Instagram. 

However, the question of “Can positivity become toxic?” soon follows. While some view it as a positive trend encouraging people to believe in themselves, LGS can potentially cause harm. On a positive note, this trend has accompanied a decrease in self-deprecation and public self-loathing as Generation Z has realized the drain of this mindset. On the contrary, a line must be drawn before LSG becomes toxic, and individuals need to accept that life will not always go the way they anticipated.

While it is good to think positively and expect positive outcomes, it is often an unrealistic practice as the target audience of the LSG trend is part of an impressionable and fragile generation, and when such mindsets are instilled, many may become oblivious to reality. One needs to embrace the harsh realities of life and love themselves through it. One variant of a more realistic LSG is positive thinking about one’s success coupled with hard work toward that goal.

Psychologists believe that LGS perpetuates toxic positivity and does not allow room for negative thoughts. When one forces themselves to remain uplifted all the time, they are not allowing themselves to process other more difficult emotions, often bottling those negative feelings. 

What many fail to understand is that LGS, in its essence, is based on the concept of the Law of Attraction – the philosophy that positive thoughts will only bring positive results and vice versa. 

In its totality, LGS is not inherently bad, however, it can lead to delusional thinking if not combined with the required work. There is a difference between belief in one’s ability because of past success or practice, and romanticizing the future by believing that with the right attitude, everything will work out.