What does it mean to be happy? Is it the pleasure of doing nothing, or, as the Italians would say, dolce far niente? Is it the sense of community and shared contentment that the Māori people find in performing a haka? Or maybe it’s the Finnish habit of drinking at home in your pants?
In her book The Atlas of Happiness (£16.99, Hodder), Helen Russell explores what happiness means to people around the world, and how what makes us happy is intricately linked to our cultures. She also looks into what the research has to say about why these things might make us happy, and suggests ways that we can experience happiness in all its forms ourselves.
In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she speaks to BBC Focus online assistant Sara Rigby about what she has learnt about happiness, misconceptions about the haka, and what we Brits could do to make ourselves happier.
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