33 things that will make you happy…and 7 that definitely won’t

A weekend relaxing, reading a book or playing with the children might seem like the perfect recipe for contentment but none of those things actually make us very happy, scientists have concluded.

Researchers asked more than 20,000 people to download an app which sent them a ‘ping’ at various times of day, and invited them to record their happiness levels and what they were doing at the time.

The team then analysed more than one million responses. And here are the results:

The 33 things that definitely make us happy (% increased happiness)

  1. Intimacy, making love 14.20%
  2. Theatre, dance, concert 9.29%
  3. Exhibition, museum, library 8.77%
  4. Sports, running, exercise 8.12%
  5. Gardening, allotment 7.83%
  6. Singing, performing 6.95%
  7. Talking, chatting, socialising 6.38%
  8. Birdwatching, nature watching 6.28%
  9. Walking, hiking 6.18%
  10. Hunting, fishing 5.82%
  11. Drinking alcohol 5.73%
  12. Hobbies, arts, crafts 5.53%
  13. Meditating, religious activities 4.95%
  14. Match, sporting event 4.39%
  15. Childcare, playing with children 4.10%
  16. Pet care, playing with pets 3.63%
  17. Listening to music 3.56%
  18. Other games, puzzles 3.07%
  19. Shopping, errands 2.74%
  20. Gambling, betting 2.62%
  21. Watching TV, film 2.55%
  22. Computer games, iPhone games 2.39%
  23. Eating, snacking 2.38%
  24. Cooking, preparing food 2.14%
  25. Drinking tea/coffee 1.83%
  26. Reading 1.47%
  27. Listening to speech/podcast 1.41%
  28. Washing, dressing, grooming 1.18%
  29. Sleeping, resting, relaxing 1.08%
  30. Smoking 0.69%
  31. Browsing the Internet 0.59%
  32. Texting, email, social media 0.56%
  33. Housework, chores, DIY 0.65%

And the seven things that definitely won’t (% increased happiness)

  1. Travelling, commuting -1.47%
  2. In a meeting, seminar, class -1.50%
  3. Admin, finances, organising -2.45%
  4. Waiting, queueing -3.51%
  5. Care or help for adults -4.30%
  6. Working, studying -5.43%
  7. Sick in bed -20.4%

The biggest drop in happiness was seen when people were at work, when their base level of contentment dropped by eight percentage points.

Please leave a comment. Tell us what make you happy

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