What Truly, Scientifically Makes You Happy?

Lets take a look at happiness from a scientific perspective!

So many things contribute to our happiness (or unhappiness), and what makes you happy can be a lot different from what makes someone else happy. That means that while the data below applies to most people, it may not always apply to you.

I’m a firm believer that in most cases we can choose whether or not to be happy. The infographic below gives some interesting insights into what contributes to happiness. I hope that some of the information it contains can help you take control of your own happiness!

There are a lot of interesting stats in this graphic, but the piece that struck me most was the link between good health and happiness. Despite strong research suggesting that healthy eating and exercise contribute to overall happiness, therapists seem much more likely to prescribe drugs than exercise. About 1/3 treat patients with both, but the gap between exercise (9%) and drugs (38%) speaks volumes.

Related Reading:

Happiness by the Numbers

What did you think about this graphic? Were there points you agreed or disagreed with? Tell us what makes you happy in the comments!


Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

june t.
reft h3 years ago

If someone is happy 24/7, they are probably on some really good drugs. There is a whole list of other emotions we feel according to circumstance, experience etc.
Not to forget our own brain chemistry, which is complicated enough, affected as it is by food (or lack thereof), weather, music, a failed grade, winning the lottery or anything else. When my father died, I couldn't have "chosen" to be happy. Happiness may involve some choices, but to say "I choose to be happy so I'm happy" is too simplistic, IMHO.

tanzy t.
tanzy t3 years ago

Great read,Very interesting.

Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Gray Boom
Gray Boom3 years ago

I believe that happiness is at least *partially* a choice (Emma S.). I have been homeless with my children before and it was HARD to stay positive, but I had to do *something* to keep going and not give up! We have a home now, and times are still tough, but I think that gratitude plays a hand in happiness as well... instead of looking at how bad things are, I *try* to look at everything that I DO have, and be glad for that, especially my family!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Emma Stone
Emma Stone3 years ago

Happiness is mostly a matter of choice---REALLY?! Ask that to a mother, a father, or a child in a poverty and/or war stricken land…
To quote Tolstoy, "Every happy family is the same, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".
No one chooses to 'be unhappy'---there has to be reason(s) behind that unhappiness.

Carole H.
Carole H3 years ago

Very interesting thank you - I will save them to peruse later when I have more time.

Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Leslie Stanick
Leslie Stanick3 years ago

hmmmm interesting...