International Women's Day - happy woman in stripy top

7 surprising ways to feel happier

Life / posted 12 months ago / Jayne Cherrington-Cook

7 surprising ways to feel happier

While we know that exercise can help lift your mood or petting a puppy can give you an instant happiness boost, it’s not always possible to find a gym/dog nearby for mood enhancement! Thanks to happiness boffins in white lab coats though we’ve discovered some alternative – and quite surprising – ways to help make you feel happier today.

1. Watch a sad movie

Watching The Notebook may not sound like the most obvious way to cheer yourself up, but scientists have found that tearjerkers can actually make you happier! The study in the Netherlands showed that those who had blubbed during a movie suddenly experienced a burst of happiness around 90 minutes later.

2. Start using Snapchat

From FOMO (fear of missing out) and Instabrags, it seems social media can actually be quite a downer. One recent study however has found the one social media network guaranteed to cheer you up – Snapchat! Researchers found that those people who participated in their study were happiest while they were on Snapchat. It’s probably down to the fact that most people use it to chat to close friends and family, sharing spontaneous, and often small, moments, whereas networks such as Facebook and Instagram seem to be all about the big brag and not as smile-inducing. We think the puking rainbows may also have something to do with it!

3. Sleep on the left side of the bed

Crazy we know, but research has discovered that those people who sleep on the left-hand side of the bed are on average happier than those that choose the right-hand side. From the 3000 adults that took party in the study, over a quarter of the left-siders had a more positive outlook on life. It seems that you really CAN get out of bed on the wrong side…

4. Be a specific age

This is a tricky one to obtain for everyone for obvious reasons but research has shown that the naturally happiest ages are 33, 55 and 70. We’re not sure what that means for the rest of us who are those in-between ages but at least we all have something to look forward to!

5. Look forward to a holiday

Holidays are an obvious mood booster, however, it seems that the anticipation of the holiday is actually the most exciting thing about it! Dutch researchers discovered that happiness peaks during the holiday countdown as opposed to the actual holiday. Seems to us like another good reason to book a mini-break.

6. Wish for Thursdays!

When it comes to days of the week, it’s not Friday that actually brings most joy but the fourth day of the week. The London School of Economics tracked over 45,000 people and their moods via an app and discovered that Thursday was the day when most people had the highest levels of happiness. Roll on mid-week!

7. A short commute to work

Yes, commuting can actually make you happy – just as long as it takes no more than 20 minutes. The mood of 4000 people was examined and researchers noticed that those who commuted for 20 minutes or less had a better mood than their counterparts who had the joy of longer journeys into and from work.

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