The secret to a happy and stress-free 2019? Move to the countryside

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • This is why

    It’s January, your Instagram feed is littered with ‘New Year New Me’ promises and you’ve decided – yet again – to make this year count. Resolutions range from getting fitter, cutting out alcohol and maybe even going vegan for the month.

    But there seems to be one common goal in 2019 – focusing on mental health and wellbeing. Whether it’s reading self-help books, taking up yoga or commiting to meditation every night before bed, it appears that we’re all looking for a way to de-stress and make this our happiest year yet.

    But how? Before you start Googling ‘moving to Australia’, take a look at this.

    A new study by Yopa of 2,000 British adults – who live in cities and the countryside – has revealed that 31% of those living in rural areas consider themselves ‘mostly happy’ compared to just 23% of city dwellers.

    The research also showed that a fifth of those who live in a city admit to being constantly stressed, compared to just a tenth of those who live in the countryside.

    The participants stated that the benefits of living in a rural area were safer neighbourhoods and better schools for their children. But it does have its downsides, with 41% unhappy with public transport, and the same percentage of people living outside of the city saying they often feel lonely and cut off.

    Around 30% of those living in big cities said that one major pull was a wide choice of work and career options. However, 75% said that they would jump at the chance to swap the bright lights for scenic views – so what’s holding them back? It seems it’s the cost of commuting back into town and the struggle of knowing where to move to, despite the fact that a fifth admit to worrying about the cost of housing and affording property that’s big enough for their family.

    Those living in the country spend less time commuting, a smaller percentage of their income on housing, and are more likely to know the names of their neighbours than city dwellers.

    Ben Poynter, CEO of Yopa commented: ‘People often ask themselves whether they should live close to work or move out of town for more space and a better quality of life. But, with so many factors to consider, people often give up before they even start.’

    Could 2019 be the year that we ditch the city for country living?

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories