"What a great idea!" I __.
I searched for synonyms for blurt. Exclaim comes close, but it doesn't have a positive tone, I think. Any suggestions?
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You can use the word exclaim because it can have either a positive or negative connotation depending on the context in which it is used.
Also, keep in mind that the tone of your voice is very important as it can express different feelings.
Please also understand that behind the words there's a certain informatic and energy load. Information is the transmission of the message to the cognitive level whereas the energy is the inner feeling of whatever we want to convey.
Cheer or Whoop can be used in such contexts.
Also, words that depict sounds, referred to as Onomatopoeia(s), such as Yipee, Hurray can also be used to show such expressions, if the sentence-structure allows.
One thing to note, Exclaim does not only conveys a negative feeling, such as of fear etc., but it can be used for to convey Excitement.