“I think what we really wanted to do was give people a moment [of happiness],” the TV personality says

By Rachel DeSantis
May 22, 2020 11:55 AM
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The Daily Smile
Credit: Wondery

Nikki Boyer knew from the get-go that The Daily Smile was right up her alley.

A podcast that shines a light on communities and people going the extra mile to help those around them? “I remember saying to [Wondery, the podcast company], ‘Oh my god, I love that idea, I want to host that show,’” Boyer, 44, recalls to PEOPLE.

And then, just weeks later, coronavirus hit, bringing with it not only a seemingly never-ending news cycle full of death and despair, but an even more urgent need for a daily boost of happiness.

“It’s already been a great response. People are like, ‘Yes, this is exactly what we need, thank you so much, I’m so tired of watching CNN and just looking at the numbers and the coronavirus,’” Boyer says. “This was already in the works, so it was kind of magical.”

The Daily Smile launched on Monday, ushering in a new series that promises to highlight the best of humanity in short, 10-20 minute segments airing each weekday morning.

Nikki Boyer Daily Smile
Nikki Boyer
| Credit: Wondery

The episodes — each of which Boyer calls “a little injection of goodness” — vary; the very first one featured an interview with a New Yorker who asked his neighbor out via drone while social distancing, and subsequent episodes have covered everything from Boyer giving her boyfriend a haircut to a funny chat about three British grandmothers quarantining together.

“I think what we really wanted to do was give people a moment [of happiness],” the TV personality says. “We know people have their habits and their rituals. But we wanted to add something to the beginning of their day.”

Stories are culled from all over, whether it’s her friends or things trending on social media, or submissions to smile@wondery.com from listeners who are proud of loved ones and want to show them off.

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“You’re going to get a little taste of everything on this show,” she says.

With the goal of boosting spirits in mind, Boyer says she hopes that listeners will tune in each morning, then bring the episode’s message with them through the day, turning it into a breakfast discussion or a point of conversation during a Zoom work meeting.

“Sometimes the way you start your day really does affect how the rest of your days go. If you’re listening to the news right off the bat, you absorb that stuff like a sponge, it gets into you,” she says. “This is just a nice alternative to that.”

She’s a testament to that attitude, as the host — who recently wrapped the podcast Dying For Sex, about her best friend rediscovering her sexuality after a terminal cancer diagnosis — says she’s already seen a positive effect on her daily life since the show started.

“I’ve seen a change in my mentality that yes, there are horrible things happening in the world, but if that’s what you decide to focus on, that’s what your feelings are going to be about,” she says. “I’ve experienced it first hand, because when I wake up in the morning, I’m immediately working on a positive news story, so I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

And though the timing was serendipitous, it’s worked out well, as for listeners stuck in quarantine, the show “does connect us, it makes people feel seen and people feel heard and people feel appreciated.”

The Daily Smile is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Wondery.com.

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