While the mentions this year didn’t reach pre-pandemic volumes, they did surpass those of recent years. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting in 2020 and the war in Ukraine starting in 2022, it’s not all that surprising that people might not have been in the mood to discuss happiness online at the time.
This year, however, there’s a clear uptick in mentions. Perhaps we’re feeling more optimistic this year? Or maybe this year’s theme: “Be Mindful. Be Grateful. Be Kind.” resonates more as more people have taken to social media to talk about it.
What makes people happy?
Leading a happy life is one of humanity’s most desired goals.
It’s no wonder that when searching for ‘happiness,’ Google returns over 1.7 billion articles.
And the need to improve one’s life seems ever on the rise. According to Google Trends, search interest for ‘well-being’ reached a 5-year high in 2022, and interest remains at a record high in 2023.
So, what makes us happy? According to the research project Mappiness – a happiness study counting over 3 million responses from over 60,000 participants – the top activities that make people happy are:
1. Intimacy / making love
2. Going to the theater / dance / concert
3. Visiting a museum / exhibition / library
4. Sports / running / exercise
6. Singing / performing
7. Talking / chatting / socializing.
The list encompasses a solid mix of human interaction, physical activity, and stimulation of the mind, and emphasizes how important these aspects are to our well-being.
How do people talk about happiness and activities online? We analyzed online conversations such as “makes me happy,” “my happiness,” or “I’m happy” and broke the mentions down into the most mentioned activities.