What 85 Years of Research Reveals About Happiness and Healthy Relationships


The Harvard Study of Adult Development is the longest study on happiness, following participants for over 80 years. It finds that good relationships, not money or fame, are the biggest predictor of happiness and longevity. People who feel more connected and supported tend to be healthier physically and mentally.

Timestamped Highlights

😊 Many believe career success and wealth lead to happiness, but research shows otherwise
πŸ€” Memories are unreliable for determining what makes us happy
πŸ“ˆ The Harvard study is the longest research on happiness spanning 85+ years
πŸ’ͺ Physical health hugely impacts happiness and longevity
🀝 Relationships make us live longer and healthier

Key Insights

Happiness comes from meaningful work and relationships, not badges of achievement
Close relationships regulate stress and prevent chronic inflammation
Despite relationships being vital for health, people are spending less time socializing
Small actions like calling friends can cultivate stronger connections
Higher incomes above $100k correlate with more happiness depending on baseline happiness levels
Relationships feel like air - you don't realize their importance until you study them
Seeing relationships as a practice that requires continual nurturing is key
This blog is a summary of a YouTube video "What The Longest-Running Study on Happiness Reveals - YouTube" by Veritasium