Weekly research roundup: Tea, libraries, and spooning could make you happier

Happiness research roundup

This is a weekly series on the latest happiness research. Learn and be merry! 

Put on the kettle – 43% of Brits say that a good cup of tea always makes them feel better, and 31% would offer a distressed friend a cup. I guess Sheldon knows what he’s doing.

Dust off your library card  – Frequent library use increases your wellbeing as much as a $2,295 raise, reported a UK study. They’re still not sure whether happier people go to the library, or those endless stacks of books actually give us a happiness boost.

Snuggle up – Couples who sleep touching are more likely to be happy in their relationship, and the closer you sleep, the happier you tend to be.

Be social – A study of people from America, Venezuela, Japan, China, and the Philippines showed that people across cultures have more positive emotions when they feel or act extroverted, doing things like smiling at strangers or calling friends.

Don’t put a ring on it – Contrary to popular worries, a study in Poland showed that being a single mom doesn’t make you unhappy. The women’s happiness either stayed consistent or rose with the birth of a child, and being a single mom strengthened their bonds with their children.

Grab a candy bar – According to a UK study, children who eat candy and soda and watch TV in moderation have higher wellbeing than those who aren’t allowed to. On the other hand, eating your recommended fruits and veggies seems to have no impact on wellbeing.

Make someone smile – People asked to make someone smile felt happier afterward than those who tried to make someone happy. The upshot is that having clear goals, not fuzzy ones, makes us happier because we’re more likely to meet our expectations.

Photo by Flickr user Harsh Patel