What Are the Keys to Happiness? Lessons from a 75-Year-Long Harvard Study

Last year, we highlighted the Harvard Grant Study and The Glueck Study, two 75-year studies that have traced the lives and development of hundreds of men, trying to get answers to one big question: How can you live a long and happy life? For answers, watch Robert Waldinger above. He’s the director of what’s now called the Harvard Study of Adult Development and also an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

According to the decades-long study, you won’t get health and happiness from wealth and fame (nor hard work), the mirages that many Americans chase after. Instead they come from something a little more obtainable, if you work at it—good, strong relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and folks in your community. These relationships, the study finds, protect us mentally and physically. They increase our happiness and extend our lives, whereas, conversely, loneliness and corrosive relationships put us into decline sooner than we’d like. The key takeaway here: good relationships are the foundation on which we build the good life. Start putting that into practice today.

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Related Content:

All You Need is Love: The Keys to Happiness Revealed by a 75-Year Harvard Study

A Guide to Happiness: Alain de Botton Shows How Six Great Philosophers Can Change Your Life

Take the ‘Happiness Experiment’

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Comments (4)
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  • Rain,adustbowlstory says:

    And yet people keep shorting their relationships so they can get more work done.

  • Daniel Quinonez says:

    Thank You for this insightful article. I am always looking for new research and views with respect to happiness research.

  • Irene Fenswick says:

    More and more people are building relationships online. They feel lonely and unhappy. Thanks for this thought-provoking article. I’ll recommend it to my students.

  • Marilyn Taplin says:

    “Happy is that people….whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 144:15). Happy are the people who choose God. But if you choose Satan and your god is Satan there is no happiness. To be happy one must depart from evil and return to God.

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