The search for happiness

The search for happiness

Happiness, the search for it, the lack of it, and the inability of most of us to find it, is fast becoming a national obsession.

Last week the Young Foundation released a report citing an epidemic of loneliness and antidepressant use and urged the government to take these issues as seriously as they do financial hardship. Hours later came a new scientific study linking loneliness with cancer.

We know that affluence doesn_ã_t increase happiness. In 1957, 52% of Britons said they were very happy, compared with 36% in 2006 _ã” despite the fact that we have tripled our wealth in that time. Yet the recession has made clear that a lack of money and status isn_ã_t the answer, either. How, then, to find the holy grail of contentment?

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