33 things that will make you happy (like sex, singing and birdwatching)

And the the biggest happiness sapper revealed

HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH, Barry Evans, Judy Geeson, 1967
HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH, Barry Evans, Judy Geeson, 1967
(Image credit: REX FEATURES)

And the biggest happiness sapper revealed

Even though we might tell everyone we love our jobs and we might not technically be lying, new research published in The Economic Journal reveals that we experience some of our lowest levels of happiness when we’re at work (second only to being sick).


Researchers from the University of Sussex and London School of Economics investigated the happiness levels of British people using an app called Mappiness, a happiness mapping app. The app sends its users random questions throughout the day – quizzing them about the activity they’re doing and how they feel – and over a million of these responses were included in the study.

Being at work caused overall happiness levels to drop by 8%. In a press release Mappiness creator Dr. George MacKerron, also an economist at the University of Sussex, concluded that: 'It is common to hear people say that they enjoy their work, but the Mappiness data show that people are happier doing almost anything other than working.’

We think you'll agree that’s jolly depressing, seeing as we spend a huge chunk of our time at work.

The solution? Try and weave all of the things listed below into your working day (without getting yourself fired). They will definitely improve your happiness levels – according to science.

The Telegraph published this list of happiness boosters taken from the research collected by Mappiness and Dr MacKerron.

33 things that make us happy (% increased happiness)

. Intimacy, making love 14.20%

. Theatre, dance, concert 9.29%

. Exhibition, museum, library 8.77%

. Sports, running, exercise 8.12%

. Gardening, allotment 7.83%

. Singing, performing 6.95%

. Talking, chatting, socialising 6.38%

. Birdwatching, nature watching 6.28%

. Walking, hiking 6.18%

. Hunting, fishing 5.82%

. Drinking alcohol 5.73%

. Hobbies, arts, crafts 5.53%

. Meditating, religious activities 4.95%

. Match, sporting event 4.39%

. Childcare, playing with children 4.10%

. Pet care, playing with pets 3.63%

. Listening to music 3.56%

. Other games, puzzles 3.07%

. Shopping, errands 2.74%

. Gambling, betting 2.62%

. Watching TV, film 2.55%

. Computer games, iPhone games 2.39%

. Eating, snacking 2.38%

. Cooking, preparing food 2.14%

. Drinking tea/coffee 1.83%

. Reading 1.47%

. Listening to speech/podcast 1.41%

. Washing, dressing, grooming 1.18%

. Sleeping, resting, relaxing 1.08%

. Smoking 0.69%

. Browsing the Internet 0.59%

. Texting, email, social media 0.56%

. Housework, chores, DIY 0.65%

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