The Pursuit of Happiness - Found!

Bergen Bliss, Norway

If happiness were like a box of chocolates, it would clearly come form the master chocolatiers of Europe - Northern Europe to be exact. The World Happiness Report recently dropped a list of the happiest countries in the world. Where do you rank? Well, if you’re not reading this from Europe or Canada, then you’re probably not in the top ten (Kia Ora Kiwis. I see you.). The list goes as such:

  1. Finland

  2. Denmark

  3. Norway

  4. Iceland

  5. Netherlands

  6. Switzerland

  7. Sweden

  8. New Zealand

  9. Canada

  10. Austria

If you want the full download, check it out here.

I can be happy here - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I can be happy here - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Are you surprised by this list? I’m not. I’ve visited plenty of these countries and they all have the cosmic making of pure bliss. From landscape to natural resources, many of these countries are rich in everything. In fact, they ARE rich. I’m looking at you Scandinavia and your deep oil reserves, universal healthcare, successful education system and fare wages. These countries truly put country and citizen first. While most receive the benefit of small, manageable populations, they certainly have their own problems. We just don’t hear a lot about them. For perspective, Iceland only has 338,000 residents. But, I digress. I am just jealous we didn’t rank high this year. Let’s be honest, we’ve got a reckoning with happiness here in the US while Mr. Grumpy is tweeting nonsense and hate.

Everyone gets one of these in Austria, I’m told. Schönbrunn Palace

Here are a few things you can do at home to achieve some simple happiness

  • Take a nap - 20 minutes is all you need

  • Read a book - Start wit Michelle Obama’s glorious autobiography, Becoming

  • Hit the gym or a exercise class before you start the day

  • Text an old friend to meet for chips and guac

  • Plan a trip to one of these amazing happy countries (try a winter getaway to save money)

  • Drink some wine and load up Netflix - May I recommend Salt Fat Acid Heat

And while I have not been to Finland, I can imagine its like its neighbor just west, Norway - fjord filled, breathtaking, chilly but winter wonderlandish, expensive as anything, homogenous, and the happiest country in the world.

The Birdhappy, norway, finland