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Fact or Fiction: Happiness and Health
by Staff
For a long time, little research was done to link health and happiness, but now the tides are turning. Study after study looks for connection between the two. So, what's the verdict? Are healthy people happier? Are happy people healthier?

The more money you have the happier you'll be.

  • fact
  • fiction

Studies have shown that people living in Third World slums are just as happy as everyone else.

  • fact
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Studies have shown that acquiring possessions makes people happier than life experiences like travel.

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Unhappy people are generally just as healthy as happy people.

  • fact
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Happiness may be as important a factor in overall health as someone's smoking habits.

  • fact
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Happiness might make you resistant to heart disease and strokes.

  • fact
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But strangely, happy people in one study were more vulnerable to the cold virus than unhappy people.

  • fact
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Studies show that depressed adults are 90 percent more likely to have Type 2 diabetes.

  • fact
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If you're happy and healthy, chances are you'll have a longer life. But if you're happy and unhealthy, your happiness probably won't help your longevity.

  • fact
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If you want to improve your happiness -- and thus your health -- meditation would be a good thing to try.

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If you find a way to make yourself happier, your health will probably improve right away.

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Another study found a more important link between happiness and health than basic needs and health.

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Women become less happy as they age, and men become happier.

  • fact
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According to one study, a happy 70-year-old man can expect to live almost two years longer than his unhappy counterpart.

  • fact
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People in societies where happiness is not necessarily an objective are more apt to commit suicide than those in other, "more happy" countries.

  • fact
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Regular exercise can make you healthier, but not necessarily happier.

  • fact
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Fish oil supplements can make you healthier (by improving brain function) and happier (by curbing depression).

  • fact
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The more involved people are with their own health-care decisions, the less happy they are.

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People in underdeveloped countries with little access to health care are generally unhappy with the situation.

  • fact
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According to the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index, Sweden is the happiest country in the world, in part because of its high life expectancy and access to high-quality health care.

  • fact
  • fiction