The Year’s Most Read

The stories you read, clicked and spent the most time with.,

The stories you read, clicked and spent the most time with.

The most-read New York Times story of 2021 captured the ennui that many people felt during the second year of the pandemic. “There’s a name for the blah you’re feeling,” as the article’s headline put it. “It’s called languishing.”

In the article, Adam Grant, a psychologist and author, described languishing as “the neglected middle child of mental health” and “the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being.” He concluded: “By acknowledging that so many of us are languishing, we can start giving voice to quiet despair and lighting a path out of the void.”

This year was not an easy one, and you’ll be reminded of that as you look through our lists of the most popular Times stories of 2021. But we think there is value in looking back — and we expect that you will also find some moments of joy.

We’re adding a couple of twists to this year’s rankings. First, you’ll find the classic most-read list — the 10 Times articles with the largest number of page views. (The list does not include election-result pages, Covid-19 maps and some other standing features.)

Next you’ll see a list of 10 articles that people spent a particularly long time reading.

Finally, you’ll find a list of the 10 most-clicked articles from this newsletter.

The most-read

1. There’s a name for the blah you’re feeling: languishing. (April 19)

2. Alec Baldwin was told his gun was safe. (Oct. 21)

3. Mike Pence reached his limit with Donald Trump. (Jan. 12)

4. Oakland Raiders coach resigns after emails. (Oct. 11)

5. “A Total Failure”: The Proud Boys now mock Trump. (Jan. 20)

6. Long before divorce, Bill Gates had a questionable reputation. (May 16)

7. Harry Brant is dead at 24. (Jan. 18)

8. Outage shakes Facebook. (Oct. 4)

9. J. & J. vaccinations were paused after rare clotting cases. (April 13)

10. His lights stayed on during Texas’ storm. Now he owes $16,752. (Feb. 20)


Martina Navratilova at the French Open.Credit…Pete Kiehart for The New York Times

Deep engagement

The following articles were among those with which readers spent the most time this year:

Martina Navratilova has plenty to say. (June 6)

Katie Couric’s memoir includes family skeletons. (Oct. 14)

When Dasani left home. (Sept. 28)

Four secrets about “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” (June 11)

Maureen Dowd interviews Cindy Adams, gossip’s G.O.A.T. (Aug. 7)

A Madonna who shows the beauty in going overboard. (Aug. 13)

How to survive a bear attack. (Aug. 28)

Fifty reasons to love Joni Mitchell’s “Blue.” (June 20)

David Sedaris knows what you’ll laugh at when no one is judging. (Oct. 24)

What happens when elemental forces clash in Chicago? (July 7)

What you clicked

These were the 10 articles that Morning readers visited the most in 2021:

1. Coronavirus in the U.S.: Maps and case counts.

2. How vaccinations are going in your county and state.

3. How safe are you from Covid when you fly?

4. Masks, travel, hugs? Advice for the vaccinated.

5. Fifty-two places to love in 2021.

6. The 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results.

7. Girl, wash your timeline.

8. Which Covid vaccine should you get? Answers from experts.

9. This is how you get the best scrambled eggs.

10. Do we still need to keep wearing masks outdoors?


The Virus

New York City schools will reopen on Jan. 3 with ramped-up testing. Several universities have delayed the start of classes.

Average daily new cases in the U.S. topped 267,000, a record. Hospitalizations and deaths are up, but they remain below the peaks of early 2021.

Hospitalizations among children have increased, but Omicron does not seem to be more severe for young people.

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde have racked up more than $100,000 in fines for not wearing masks on the House floor.

Harry Reid


Harry Reid in 2014. He oversaw the passage of landmark legislation.Credit…Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Harry Reid died at 82. The Nevada senator led a Democratic majority during Barack Obama’s presidency and steered the Affordable Care Act into law.

“The world is better cause of what you’ve done,” Obama wrote in a letter to Reid. “Not bad for a skinny, poor kid from Searchlight.”

In 2019, The Times spoke with Reid about Washington, Trump and fighting dirty.


Record flooding in northeastern Brazil killed at least 20 people.

How do you rewrite a constitution for the climate change era? Chile is the first country to try.

Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the closure of a human rights group that chronicled persecutions in Stalin-era labor camps.

Hong Kong police arrested seven people connected to a pro-democracy news website, another crackdown on the city’s once-vibrant independent press.

Other Big Stories


John Madden in 2006.Credit…Matt Sullivan/Reuters

John Madden, who coached the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl title and became one of football’s great broadcasters, died at 85.

How “stacking” — piling tax breaks on top of one another — allows rich families to avoid paying millions.

Historians hoped to find a century-old photo of Abraham Lincoln in a time capsule in Virginia. (Spoiler: It wasn’t to be.)


Homelessness isn’t just traumatic, it’s also expensive, Lori Teresa Yearwood writes.

Poland’s government has co-opted the courts, muzzled the media and restricted women’s rights. It could be a vision of Europe’s future, Karolina Wigura and Jaroslaw Kuisz write.


Games: The world’s best Tetris player is 14 years old.

Drumroll, please: The Times asked readers to pick the best book of the past 125 years. We’ve got a winner.

Icons: Nicole Kidman on playing Lucille Ball: “I’ve got to be funny, and funny’s hard.”

Science: From thieving birds to dexterous elephants, these were the year’s best animal discoveries.

Ask an ethicist: What to do if you’re invited to a wedding at a plantation.

Lives Lived: Thomas Lovejoy spent decades trying to preserve the Amazon rainforest. He also helped create the public TV series “Nature” and popularized the term “biological diversity.” Lovejoy died at 80.


The N.F.L. playoff picture

With two weeks left in the N.F.L. season, fans may be wondering whether their teams can make the playoffs. Wonder no more: The Upshot has once again rolled out its N.F.L. Playoff Simulator, which simulates the season thousands of times to figure out each team’s odds of making the postseason.

A few takeaways:

Six teams are officially in the postseason. But several others can probably start celebrating early: The Bills, Patriots, Titans and Colts all have a greater than 90 percent chance of getting in.

A few other teams are on the cusp — the Dolphins and Raiders in the A.F.C., the Eagles and 49ers in the N.F.C. For each of them, the path is clear: Win both remaining games and their playoff odds shoot up to 100 percent.

The Falcons and the Saints play in the same division, and they have the same record (7-8). But the simulator gives the Saints a 34 percent chance of making the playoffs, and the Falcons a lowly 2 percent.

Try the tool for yourself. Each team has its own page where you can choose who wins the remaining games and see how it changes the odds. — Tom Wright-Piersanti, a Morning editor


What to Cook


Credit…Sang An for The New York Times

These skillet poached eggs aren’t perfect. (And that’s OK.)


A Coco Chanel ballet slipper, Beethoven’s hair, Andy Warhol’s painted ticket: See delightful objects at the New York Public Library.

What to Read

“Brown Girls” by Daphne Palasi Andreades is a “brash and talky first novel.”

Now Time to Play


The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were gyrating and tarrying. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Looks ___ everything” (five letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

P.S. Jack Nicas, who has covered tech for The Times, will be the next Brazil bureau chief.

Here’s today’s front page.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” revisits a conversation with a Dogecoin millionaire.

Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti, Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at

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