Women's Health Australia

Happily Ever After

“Tell me somethin’, girl, are you happy in this modern world?” That’s the question posed in Bradley Cooper’s rocker croak in A Star Is Born mega hit Shallow. The answer most of us might give? “Meh, not so much”, at least if we go by the latest World Happiness Index, which saw Oz drop out of the top 10 countries to 11th place.

Pretty ironic considering that, as a culture, we’re kinda obsessed with the emotion. More than 535 million Instagram posts are tagged #Happy, while 277,000 and counting boast #TrueHappiness. The self-development book category grew by more than 80 per cent in 2017 and is now worth close to $40 million. Yale’s course on the subject is the most popular in the university’s history. But that very fixation on positive vibes. “We believe we should never be sad,” she says. “But if you don’t make room for pain, you’re also not able to be happy.” And when we presume happiness is a state we can remain in permanently, we’re bound to feel disappointed with anything less – especially when we compare ourselves to others’ social media accounts, which, let’s face it, rarely spotlight life’s not-so-joyous moments.

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