The world’s best happiness secrets


The newest World Happiness Report has revealed the highest 10 happiest international locations throughout the globe. However what makes them so cheerful – and how are you going to study from their life-style to spice up your temper?

It could really feel like there’s been little to be pleased about prior to now yr, however the World Happiness Report (WHR) 2021 reveals the ways in which persons are nonetheless discovering pleasure, even in exhausting instances. The annual investigation into the happiest international locations world wide put Finland within the prime spot – for the fourth yr operating – whereas the vast majority of the highest 10 was full of Scandinavian international locations. New Zealand was the one non-European nation to make the checklist, whereas the UK slid from 13 to 18.

Coping with the pandemic hasn’t been straightforward, however is there one thing about these international locations that makes them happier? We check out the highest 10 to uncover their wellbeing DNA, and assist give your happiness ranges a carry.

1. Finland

Happiness secret: love of studying

The Finnish schooling system is famend as the perfect on the earth, with a relaxed perspective to classes and fewer emphasis on testing. And this pleasure of studying for studying’s sake is one thing we will all study from.

“Setting and dealing in the direction of targets, like finding out a brand new topic, is a key software for managing our day-to-day psychological well being,” says Catherine Seymour, head of analysis on the Psychological Well being Basis. “Studying one thing new can provide us pleasure, and a sense of accomplishment.”

Feeling impressed? Check out the free programs on Futurelearn, Skillshare, or Coursera.

2. Denmark

Happiness secret: biking

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is ranked essentially the most bicycle-friendly metropolis on the earth, with 49% of labor or college commutes taken by bike. However can biking actually enhance your happiness? Simon Parker, journey author and journalist, lately cycled by means of Scandinavia to movie a documentary. He says it’s no shock that such a contented nation additionally loves biking.

“Biking impacts way more than your bodily wellbeing,” he says. “Time on a motorbike is good pondering time, a time to mirror. You may compartmentalise the stresses and strains of the day, take into consideration your relationships, and nonetheless actually interact together with your environment.”

All these Danish pastries should put a smile on their faces, too.

3. Switzerland

Happiness secret: robust neighborhood

A key issue for happiness is a well-functioning democracy, and the Swiss vote on virtually the whole lot. This ‘direct democracy’ means each citizen helps to determine which insurance policies go forward, from shopping for fighter jets to banning vehicles on Sundays! We don’t have the identical system within the UK, however getting concerned in your local people has an analogous impact.

Catherine from MHF says: “Being a part of a strong community is sweet for our psychological well being as a result of we don’t really feel alone. And after we face issues, we all know we’ve got the help of others.”

If you wish to get extra concerned, begin volunteering. Native Fb teams usually have neighborhood pages, or head to


4. Iceland

Happiness secret: inexperienced power

Iceland is the world’s largest inexperienced power producer; 85% of it’s power comes from renewable sources reminiscent of geothermal power – the warmth produced underground. And though it sounds weird, burning fossil fuels can really have an effect on our happiness ranges.

Researchers from Oxford College lately found that sustainability makes people happier, whereas progress on points reminiscent of local weather change is linked to a rise in country-wide wellbeing. Which means utilizing inexperienced power is sweet on your psychological well being, and good for the planet!

5. Netherlands

Happiness secret: family-friendly existence

“Wherever that doesn’t have a ‘long-hours’ tradition could have excessive happiness ranges,’ says Prof Sir Cary Cooper, professor of Organisational Well being on the College of Manchester. Within the Netherlands, you’re solely allowed to work a most of two,080 hours a yr, which works out at seven hours per working day, or a 9–5 shift. Prof Sir Cary Cooper says: “They might get pleasure from their work, nevertheless it’s not their precedence in life.”

Leaving work at 5pm means mother and father can spend extra time with their youngsters, and that additional family time has a optimistic end result. A 2020 Unicef report discovered Dutch youngsters are the happiest on the earth, so happiness appears to start out younger within the Netherlands.

6. Norway

Happiness secret: friluftsliv

In case you battle with the Danish philosophy of hygge – feeling cosy and content material – the Norwegian idea of friluftsliv could also be extra your factor. Roughly translated as ‘open-air dwelling’, it describes the enjoyment you get from being exterior in nature.

“A getaway to a inexperienced wooden, a stroll by the ocean, or a delicate hike up a mountain does extra to carry the spirits than any costly purse or the most recent must-have gadget ever may,” Signe Johansen, creator of Hygge, writes in her ebook. Why not pull in your mountain climbing boots to search out your friluftsliv?

7. Sweden

Happiness secret: higher work-life steadiness

Sweden shares many similarities with its Nordic neighbours, together with a superb work-life balance. To assist rebalance yours, strive setting some boundaries. Jo Hooper, founding father of the Mad and Unhappy Membership, says boundaries are simply behaviours, which makes it straightforward to vary them.

“Your behaviours set folks’s expectations of you,” she says. “Folks can’t adhere to your boundaries except you set them.” Can you modify any behaviours to assist reset your boundaries?


8. Luxembourg

Happiness secret: 5 weeks obligatory vacation

Luxembourg could also be small, however they’ve an enormous vacation allowance: 5 weeks a yr! Prof Sir Cary Cooper believes holidays are important for good psychological well being, as “they’re not only a break from the pressures of labor, however an opportunity to spend high quality time collectively as a household or a pair”.

Ideally, take a vacation when you’ll want to, not when everybody else goes away. “Holidays in August are costly and overcrowded, which isn’t a lot of a break,” says Prof Sir Cary Cooper. In case you can’t keep away from the varsity holidays, hold your give attention to your loved ones once you’re away; put in your ‘out of workplace’, and block all electronic mail notifications.

9. New Zealand

Happiness secret: outside actions

New Zealand is a good place to go mountain climbing, biking, swimming, climbing, and way more! “I name it ‘natural happiness’ – that thoughts and physique profit you get from train and publicity to nature,” says private coach Luke Goulden.

Loads of analysis reveals that train in inexperienced areas is linked to wellbeing. Luke says: “This might be a stroll by means of the woods, circuit coaching within the park, or mountain biking.”

10. Austria

Happiness secret: social connections

The WHR additionally measures social help to rank every nation, and Austrians are wealthy in social connections. A research of practically 1,000 Austrians discovered that these with greater social networks felt much less harassed, drained, and frightened. Consultants say counting on a bunch of buddies, somewhat than one individual, can defend our psychological wellbeing when instances are powerful. So, as restrictions ease, when’s your subsequent get collectively?

To attach with a life coach and talk about methods to enhance your individual happiness, go to


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