How cool would it be if one could read a couple of random words and instantly become happier? Like, ‘We’ve decided to give you a raise’ or ‘Let’s go to Disneyland’ (or just a bar, for that matter).
Except those are not random words. Turns out some words are happier than others, and their ‘happiness index’ can be measured.
Researchers from the University of Vermont and the University of Adelaide asked hundreds of people to rate 10,000 most frequent English words. Users had to give each word a score from one to nine, with nine being the happiest.
Love took the third place, happiness came in second (and happy was forth).
The first place with an average of 8.5 out of 9 was taken by the word that never fails to bring a smile to a person’s face, laughter.
What’s interesting, is how other words in the top 100 reflect what brings us happiness.
In between laughing (#7) and smiles (#14) there is something everyone strives for, success. Successful (#11) and win (#12) nearly made the top 10. There’re even words like promotion (#90) and bonus (#103) in the top! One should remember though, achieving a goal doesn’t make a person happy.
There was a whole array of words connected with festivities. Celebration leads the pack at #20, congratulations can be found at #25, and Christmas is #32. Happy holidays indeed. As for birthday, it seems to be not as happy as Christmas, the word is #74 on the list.
Weather’s important, too. Rainbows finished as high as #18, followed by sunshine (#43) and sunlight (#56).
What else made the top of the list? Music (#23), friendship (#34), kissing (#42), chocolate (#60), hugs (#71), family (#91) and cupcakes (#95).
Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?
This study was a part of a bigger research that measures the happiness of large populations in real time based on tweets.
Featured Image: Alicia Jones/Unsplash