For Older Couples, Happy Wife Means Happy Life

As country singer Tracy Byrd put it, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And a new study backs him up. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., found that for older married couples, when the wife is happy with the marriage, the husband is more likely to say he’s happy with his life — even if he’s not quite as satisfied with the union as she is. “I think it comes down to …

Want to Buy Happiness? Indulge in an Experience

Want to buy happiness? Then spend your money on an experience, like concert tickets or a trip to the U.S. Open, instead of buying new clothes or a big-screen TV. New research from Cornell University finds that using your money to do something makes you happier than purchasing material goods. In fact, just thinking about making vacation plans or going to the symphony raises your level of happiness more than anticipating a purchase like furniture or a computer. What if …

Relationship Test: How Close Do You Sleep?

Do you spoon with your honey to fall asleep? Or do you sleep more than an arm’s length away? A new British study finds that a couple’s sleeping position says a lot about their relationship. Researchers who asked more than 1,000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and rate the quality of their relationship found that the closer together people slept, the happier they were as a couple. “One of the most important differences involved touching,” lead study author …

What’s the Secret to a Happy, Long-Term Marriage?

What does it take to keep a marriage happy, vibrant and enduring? I’m asked that question all the time. And while I think couples all have their own unique recipes for success, I’ve noticed that most include these five essential ingredients: 1. The ability to apologize  Every person in every marriage makes mistakes. Some big, some small, but always some you wish you could un-do. That’s only human, but happy couples admit to their mistakes – and apologize. Just as important is …

5 Best AARP Research Infographics of 2013

The end of the year & beginning of a new year is the time when everyone makes their “lists,” so here’s mine. 2013 was the year of the infographics for AARP Research. Infographics allow us to succinctly communicate important facts as well as tell an overall data story in a visual manner. We learned, like many others, that visual images get more attention than text as the brain can process the visual faster. Of the 48 infographics AARP Research has …

Eudaimonia, Hedonism, and Happiness, Oh My!

Everyone wants to be happy – it’s a no-brainer. But what is happiness? The Greek word for happiness is “eudaimonia” which means “having a guiding angel.” In 1776, the Founding Fathers felt it important enough to mention the” pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. By the 19th century, economists felt they could measure happiness in units of pleasure, but they learned that money could not buy happiness because a person with twice as much income as another was …