March 21- the International Day of Happiness

2 Min ⏰ 

March 21 marks the International Day of Happiness, a global celebration endorsed by the United Nations to recognize happiness as a fundamental human goal. According to the United Nations, the essence of this day is to underscore the importance of happiness in our lives and advocate for “governments and international organizations to invest in conditions that support happiness by upholding human rights and incorporating well-being and environmental dimensions into policy frameworks.”

The establishment of the International Day of Happiness dates back to a decision made by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which designated March 20th as a day to celebrate this universal human aspiration. The UN’s dedication to happiness and well-being as crucial components of global aspirations and policies reflects a broader understanding that beyond economic prosperity, the quality of our lives deeply impacts our well-being.

This year’s observance is particularly noteworthy due to the release of the 2024 World Happiness Report, which evaluates the state of global happiness.

A fascinating aspect of happiness, often debated, is its relationship with economic stability. A WalletHub Analyst, Cassandra Happe illuminates this by stating, “Money can buy happiness to a certain degree because a stable income is essential for a person’s physical and mental well-being.” This statement is corroborated by the data indicating Fremont, California, as the nation’s happiest city, where financial stability plays a significant role in its residents’ happiness.

The World Happiness Report and the annual ranking of the happiest cities in the United States highlight crucial factors contributing to happiness, such as economic stability, low stress levels, and strong community bonds. For instance, Fremont’s low separation and divorce rate and minimal reports of mentally unhealthy days underscore the multifaceted nature of happiness, beyond mere economic measures.

Longitudinal studies have shown that happiness can positively affect health and lifespan. Of course, many factors impact how long we live, but having a positive outlook and a general sense of well-being have been linked to longevity.

So what will make you happy, according to studies? It’s not money or material things, at least not in the long run. Studies have shown that the things that bring lasting happiness include strong relationships, helping others, expressing gratitude, and meditating.

To commemorate the International Day of Happiness, UNAI spoke to visitors to UNHQ in New York worldwide to find out what makes them happy. Check out this video to learn what happiness means to the interviewees!

To learn more about the International Day of Happiness, visit the UN website and read the World Happiness Report 2018!


By: Sophia Pouya

Junior at Purdue University, and Roya Institute Intern