Turns Out There Are 3 Keys to Happiness. Here They Are, According to Experts

The New York Times Well Section just keeps getting better

The phrase, “How to be happy,” is googled by 50 million people every month.

So I have to guess that this post will resonate with you.

Jay Walljasper, author of “How to Design Our World for Happiness,” told the New York Times that the key to happiness is…

Living in a place where neighbors can encounter each other spontaneously.


I couldn’t agree more with this.

Think back to college. Where you lived was one big social party. No matter what time of day you stepped out of your apartment, someone was in the lobby wishing you a good day, high-fiving you in the parking lot in preparation for an exam, or walking with you to the lunch hall.

I think this is yet another large reason for my urban quarters craving. I miss my courtyard and I miss my doormen!

Choosing a Happy Community is Everything

Research says there are 3 keys in choosing a happy community — openness, beauty, and social opportunities, claiming, “If you don’t fit in, if you don’t know your neighbors, or if walking outside doesn’t put a spring in your step,” you aren’t living up to your happiness potential.


People are happy when they live in a community that is welcoming to all. While I will always prefer city living, I feel lucky residing in the town I’m in now, because the community vibes are strong.

Most people who live here are NYC transplants looking to “settle down” — aka have kids and raise them in a safe place abundant with educational and recreational activities.

Because most everyone here moves for the same reasons, everyone already has major things in common, which makes it way easier to find your squad and feel at home.


Interviewing 43,000 people in 26 communities, the happiness research revealed that living in an aesthetically pleasing environment to be high in the rankings of happiness, sandwiched between openness and social opportunities.

It makes sense. What is nicer to wake up to — a breathtaking, mountainous view or trash bags and broken bicycles on the curbside?

“Living in a scenic, picturesque or charming community, with lots of trees and green space, makes people happier.”

Social Opportunities

“When a community is designed to foster social connections — restaurants, community spaces, sidewalks, trails and other public spaces — people are happier.”

Again. It. Makes. Sense. And I have to argue that it makes sense even for the introvertiest of introverts.

We need people, connection, and kind acts of humanity daily to feel like we are thriving as individuals. It isn’t rocket science.


Where you live matters a GREAT DEAL, and has a huge impact on your quality of life.

Thank you for reading! What do you want to read about next? I’m switching things up with the newsletter because I’m getting bored with it. And that can only mean you might be getting bored with it too, WHICH IS UNACCEPTABLE.

SO! I’m going to be real professional and create an editorial calendar for this newsletter equipped with connecting themes every month, like mental health & parenting, mental health & marriage, mental health & style, and so on.

AND. I’m switching the send-out to TUESDAYS ONLY for free subscribers, and Tuesdays & Sundays (plus the other paid-subscriber perks) for paid subscribers.

Let me know your thoughts. Is that too much newsletter? Is it not enough? What do you want to read about?


Have a good day. May you find the neighborhood/community of your dreams if you haven’t already. Indoor places are closing again where I’m at so I will be making a run to the wine shop and texting everyone I know to please hang out with me in wake of this never-ending, godforsaken lockdown.