Late yesterday evening, for reasons I’ll spare you, I was in a funk. Complicated by a complete inability to fall asleep, I found myself on the couch, alone, at 12:45 AM, looking for something to stream on Netflix until I was tired enough to sleep. At first, I was thinking romantic comedy, something to take the edge off my earlier decision to read a book about human trafficking, and then I stumbled across this wonderful little gem:
I clicked thinking, alright, this is probably going to be cheesy or annoying, especially since I’m grumpy, but it was actually amazingly uplifting, following the science of happiness and positive psychology around the world. Multiple times throughout the film I actually caught myself smiling and laughing at the pure displays of happiness expressed by people from different cultures, which included everything from runners in gorilla suits in San Francisco to dancing 100-year-old women in Japan.
Best of all, I went to sleep happy. The film explains how 40% of our happiness is completely within our control and not dependent on external triggers like wealth or status. Heck, if a poor family living in what I would consider to be squalor in India can be happy, then I can too. It also reminded me that I am happy most of the time and that when I’m not, it’s within my power to change my mood through exercise, novel activities, relationships with friends and family, and helping others.
Long story short, watch this film. It made me want to move to Denmark, or at least live differently. I highly recommend it.