The Age At Which You're Most Likely To Be Happy

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doubled image of happy smiling woman

When you ask people when they were the happiest in their loves, chances are they get nostalgic and reflect back to their childhood.

After all, that's when we were living free of all responsibilities. I mean really, bills? What are those? Not to mention the fact that when we were kids we had other people tending to all of our needs while our only "job" was to play, learn, and then nap (and all of these things on repeat).

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But shockingly, data has proven this popular thinking to be inaccurate, showing that happiness tends to increase as we get older!

At what age are people happiest?

The people at Happify, an app that focuses on helping people enhancing their happiness through exercise and games, came up with an unexpected answer.

At age 18, people are typically quite happy with their lives. Levels of happiness then dip steadily until we reach middle age, with 53 years old commonly being the lowest point of happiness in people's lives.



Then once again, happiness increases and worries decline as you begin to approach 60 (amazing news, right? Phew!).

And wait, that's not all! From then on, happiness continues to rise until 85 (the oldest age studied).

And if that study alone wasn't enough to reassure you, a 2023 analyses of 443 studies with a total of 460,902 participants found that once we hit the age of 16, happiness continues to increase steadily until the age of 70.

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We're thinking it's especially good news to learn that happiness rises as you age, because their research also found that those who are able to stay positive live an average of 7.5 years longer. (Looks like that "grumpy old person" stereotype just isn't true!)

Why do people get happier as they get older?

There are a few reasons given to why people get happier as they get older.

  • One is simply that, happy people live longer.
  • Another reason is that research has found that as people age they enjoy "ordinary" experiences more. Essentially, people over 55 are more satisfied with their life when they consider the simplest of things, like family, health, and home.
  • Finally, according to Wes Moss, aithor of "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think," happy retirees pick up interests like volunteering, traveling, or teaching — activities that they once didn't have the time or energy to pursue.

I guess the end goal for all of us as we reach middle age should be to make sure we are able to retire and truly enjoy the small beauties and most important aspects of life — as many of us have taken for granted throughout our youth.

If this is true, we no longer have to cling to nostalgia and my dwindling youth, because the best years are still ahead.

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Nicole Weaver reports on entertainment and news through interviews, reviews, recaps, and deep analysis pieces.