The Emotion That Helps People Live Longer

Over four thousand people were followed for six years to assess their chance of dying through any cause.

Over four thousand people were followed for six years to assess their chance of dying through any cause.

Even small increases in happiness are linked to living longer, research finds.

Dr Rahul Malhotra, study co-author, said:

“The findings indicate that even small increments in happiness may be beneficial to older people’s longevity.

Therefore individual-level activities as well as government policies and programs that maintain or improve happiness or psychological well-being may contribute to a longer life among older people.”

The results come from 4,478 people aged over 60, living in Singapore.

They were followed for six years to assess their chance of dying through any cause.

The results showed that among unhappy older people, 20% died in the subsequent six years.

However, in happy older people, just 15% had passed away.

Dr June May-Ling Lee, study co-author, said:

“The consistency of the inverse association of happiness with mortality across age groups and gender is insightful — men and women, the young-old and the old-old, all are likely to benefit from an increase in happiness.”

The study was published in the journal Age and Ageing (Chei et al., 2018).


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Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.

This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.