It can be tough to get through the winter season. A happiness researcher says that there are many actions you can take to increase joy.

Happiness expert: How to be happier when the world is dark and expensive

Expensive times, war, and winter cold affect your mood. There are five things in particular that can help.

The 2020s have been marked by bad news. Initially, a pandemic that confined us, followed by the war in Ukraine threatening peace in Europe, rising prices, an energy crisis, and now the conflict in Gaza. 

There are numerous strategies to enhance happiness, happiness researcher Ragnhild Bang Nes tells TV2 (link in Norwegian).

Norwegians' score on an international happiness scale has dropped from 7.5 out of 10 down to the 7 range.

“It doesn't sound like much, but it’s a significant change,” the researcher says.

She says there are especially five points that stand out for everyday joy:

  • Relationships with others
  • Physical activity
  • Being present in life
  • Learning something new
  • Doing something nice for others

“Good ties to other people are enormously important. Do enjoyable things together, and feel free to lend a helping hand to others,” Nes says.

“All these five points have been fundamentally important for human survival history, and are still biologically connected to our reward system,” she says.


Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik

Read the Norwegian version of this article on

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