• Kirsti Gwynn

Will Moving Make You Happier?

Will moving make you happier?

A while ago, a friend was telling me about her plans to move out of the city to a smaller town where her family is. “I don’t want to kid myself that happiness can be found in a specific place,” she said, “but I’m hoping that it might be, well… easier to be happy there.”

I had a similar conversation with a student a few years back. “It’s been my dream to live by the seaside for years, and now I have the chance to make it happen,” she told me. “But how do I know that I won't uproot my whole life only to have this sense of dissatisfaction follow me there, too?

Both conversations got me thinking about this sense that so many of us have: that if we were to move to a place we love - be it by the sea, beside a mountain, or within the glamour of our favourite city - we’d be more content.

But is the grass really greener on the other side? And can happiness be as simple as living in the right place?

Well, it depends. Here are 3 things to consider when you’re wondering: will moving make you happier?

1. Where will you feel more socially connected?

Positive social relationships are essential to happiness, and the relationships you have around you right now are, in part, contributing to how content you currently feel. Of course, you can always make new friends in a new place, but it’s worth considering which place will make you feel more socially connected.

Will it be easier or harder to connect with loved ones if you move? Where could you find that sense of community we all crave? Or would moving take you further away from the people who bring support and connection to your life? In the case of my friend, who was planning to move closer to her family, it’s likely that she would actually be happier moving. She would see her family more often and enjoy more time with them.

2. Where can you do your most meaningful, engaging work?