Do you live in one of America’s happiest states?


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Americans are not a notably happy people. In annual rankings, the United States never finishes in the top 10; without fail, it’s put to shame by a bunch of Northern European nations. (While the official World Happiness Report comes out March 20, a current World Population Review ranking has Finland at the top, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The United States doesn’t appear until No. 19.)


Surely the coronavirus pandemic didn’t help, and there’s plenty of U.S. media and politicians who like to stoke anxiety and conflict, including about crime that’s been far worse within most of our lifetimes. A not particularly horrible economy has become just the latest argument that we live in some kind of nightmare world, yet a recent wave of layoffs was confined to the tech sector and unemployment recently reached its lowest point since 1969. Inflation has been slowing since June, though financial advice website WalletHub cites a recent American Psychiatric Association poll showing that 87% of Americans are “anxious” or “very anxious” about inflation.


There must be places where Americans are happy, though, and WalletHub set out to find where — and why.

“Happiness is more than a feeling of joy or excitement. It relies on various aspects of a person’s life — from emotional well-being to job satisfaction,” WalletHub says. “Studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key.”

The site looked at 30 key metrics, from depression rates and feelings of productivity to financial factors such as income growth and unemployment, ranking the 50 states in happiness as of September. The results? It gave Hawaii the top spot and West Virginia the bottom. (The bottom five also include Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama.)


The top 10 happiest states, according to WalletHub:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Minnesota
  4. Utah
  5. New Jersey
  6. Idaho
  7. California
  8. Illinois
  9. Nebraska
  10. Connecticut

Hawaii has the lowest share of adult depression and fourth-lowest divorce rate, though its residents also had the second-worst sleep and were fifth in the country in terms of long-term unemployment, WalletHub finds.


Among the factors determining the happiest states, the site also finds Maryland has the fifth-lowest rate of suicide; Minnesotans the second-best sleep, fifth-highest rate of volunteerism, and the fourth-highest sense of safety; Utahans participate in the most sports and volunteer the most, while working the fewest hours, getting divorced the least and enjoying the fifth-highest feeling of safety and third-lowest rates of long-term unemployment. New Jersey has the lowest suicide rates, the fifth-lowest rate of adult depression, and third-lowest divorce rate. (New Jersey do, however, have the fourth-highest rate of long-term unemployment.)


Even if you don’t live in a happiest state, you can find happiness — and should pursue it.


“Community environments have an important influence on happiness and health,” says Maryam Kia-Keating, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and one of WalletHub’s study experts. “Research shows that greater racial diversity in a community increases the likelihood that people living there engage in prosocial behaviors, such as offering help to a stranger. That sense of connection and reassurance that neighbors are looking out for one another can have a powerful influence on happiness and well-being.”


See the whole study and its findings here.

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15 inspiring quotes about happiness


I’m sure this is something we’ve all questioned and wondered about throughout the years. Is happiness achieved with moments of laughter? Is it achieved with money? Maybe happiness is when you feel free and inspired. Or it might be having a Marvel and Lord of the Rings marathon one weekend.


Happiness can mean different things to everyone. We all strive for that feeling of peace and acceptance in our lives, but we all have those terrible days where we need something to inspire us to see the good and happiness around us. Happiness quotes can be inspiring; they can help us feel happier and inspire us to be successful.


These inspiring happiness quotes are a variety of quotes from some of our favorite movies and some from famous people that lead the way in the mindset and happiness subject. These quotes will help you feel happier.

They’re sure to lift you up on the days you need them the most.


Happiness lies within us, and this article will show you how to find happiness in your life. Always believe in yourself.


Write down the quotes that spoke to you and keep them in a journal to have a tool that you can come back to anytime you feel like you need a little more motivation.




Gandalf the Grey reminds us that our lives, what we do with them, and the time we have here are up to us. We can get clear on our visions and goals and go after them. By deciding what we want to do, we can change the world around us and our dreams for our lives.


Live life to the fullest and know that you can always decide on a new path so you can reach happiness in your own life.


New Line Productions / IMDB


Sometimes, our feelings of sadness come from comparing ourselves to others. That sadness can make us feel like we aren’t good enough or have enough quality or presence to make a change or pursue a dream.


Galadriel reminds us that even the smallest of things can make a big difference and inspire significant changes in our lives and other people’s lives. In a world where social media is a part of our everyday lives, it’s easy to compare ourselves to the highlight reel of others. You can lessen the comparison game by taking a break from following accounts that don’t inspire you or make you feel good.


In fact, take breaks from social media regularly. That is life-changing, and you will be so glad you did this. An example of this is letting your phone die on Friday night and not charging it again for 24 hours. The other thing you can do is delete the social media apps from your phone for 24 hours. If you do this a couple of times, you will find yourself repeating this quite regularly, and you will love it.


We need a break to enjoy the world around us and live in the moment, not social media.


No matter how dark, no matter how hard, it will pass. Sam Gamgee says it perfectly when speaking this line. It must pass. We all have storms that come and go; even when it feels so dark and lonely, know that you are not alone, and these circumstances will change.


We all have to weather our storms, and when they pass, they allow us to enjoy the sunshine a bit more, and it helps us cherish those moments of happiness when we have them.


If you’re feeling stuck, let the words of Sam Gamgee play again and again in your mind. You will get through these shadows and darkness, and there will be light again.




Change is inevitable; time and time again, you will find yourself with changes in your life, and sometimes, change comes with feelings of fear and anxiety. Shmi Skywalker gives us a quote to remind us that change will happen whether we like it or not, and it’s best to embrace that change vs. time hiding from it or dwelling in feelings of fear.


Change opens new doors and lets us grow. A lot of times, amazing things are on the other side of fear and change. We develop, and we learn on the other side of changes.




This is one of my favorite inspirational quotes. It is so powerful, and I believe it to be very accurate. If you have a goal and a growth mindset (you know there is always an opportunity to learn and grow ), you will turn those goals into your reality as long as you stay focused.


There’s no question that if you stay focused, turn every failure into an opportunity and take every “no” as fuel to reach your goal, you will, without a doubt, reach your goal.


The path you take to get there might look different than the one you imagined, but it will get you there.


When we are in harmony, we can feel it inside of ourselves. Gandhi reminds us that when we feel connected with the way we think, feel and act, we know we are on the right path and following our destiny. We are doing what we’re meant to do. Happiness comes from that feeling inside that leaves us feeling satisfied and at peace.


One of our goals should be to become more aware of what we say, think and do. Sometimes, we can lose sight of things, and that will leave us feeling unbalanced.




Let’s not chase happiness and expect it to come by chance. Happiness is something we have the power to create with the things that we do. Dalai Lama reminds us to stop waiting for happiness to arrive and take action to find happiness. That doesn’t have to be significant major changes but small steps that add up to a new happy life. This happiness quote is one to remember and always keep in mind.


I am a big believer in the power of our mindset. We have so much power in our thoughts that we can drastically change how we feel and the world around us. A lot of what goes on in our lives is impacted by the ideas in our minds if we decide that we will. If we focus on the good and that we will be happy, the world around us will change.


Our perception of the world is connected to the things we think.




I love this quote from Kanye West. Our happiness may not look like someone else’s, and there is no one way to find the happiness you want. Our versions of happiness are different, and that’s ok. There is no one standard for happiness.

Happiness is what you feel in your soul, and it’s made up of the actions and feelings that leave you feeling happy inside.





I had to add this one because, as funny as it is, it also speaks to the power of our mindset. Barney is quite a character who does not lack self-confidence. I’m not saying be like Barney, but there is something to be learned about his confidence and stubbornness to think is anything less than awesome.


Buddha is once again reminding us to enjoy the moments we are having right now. Enjoy the path that we take to what we think is happiness. Remember that happiness is not a destination, but we can find happiness while we walk our paths.


Flea8888 / WikiMedia Commons


This happiness quote inspired me because it’s a normal reaction to dwell on what makes us cry. Usually, this leads us to hold onto thoughts of sadness and loneliness, but we also need to remember to look back on the happy memories. Sometimes, we have to smile that we were on that path and remember that we need to move on and look back with happiness where we can.


This happiness quote is essential to remember because gratitude can have a powerful part in all our lives. When we practice compassion and gratitude, we can increase our mindset and attract more gratitude into our lives.


Again, on our path to happiness, we need to be grateful for the things we have right now and not just wait for what we think we’re after. Happy people choose to be happy. To be happy, we need to forgive, be content, try to let go, smile more and search for the meaning of life that feels good to us inside.


Chinnapong / istockphoto


This quote is one always to remember when we feel down. It’s not anyone else’s job or responsibility to make us happy. Our happiness is up to us, no one else.


We need to do the things that make us happy; we need to be around people who make us happy. This quote is accurate in the scene that no one else should even hold that much power over us. Our happiness is up to us.



Credit: AntonioGuillem / istockphoto


As we close out this article with the best happiness quotes, we are reminded to take care of ourselves and do everything to stay healthy. The second part of this quote is to let go of the past and look towards the future. Staying in the past and holding onto negative feelings will not do you any good.


Happiness consists of following our dreams, appreciating what we have, and showing compassion to others around us. It depends upon us and what we want.


Do more of the things that make you smile and the things that make you feel at peace. Follow the way you feel when you do something so you know you’re on the right path. The path is the one that is for you and your happiness.



This article originally appeared on YourMoneyGeek.comand was syndicated by




Featured Image Credit: Kangah/istockphoto.