Looking back at old photos among Britons' favourite activities, study finds


    The poll of 2000 adults identified the top 50 things that never fail to put them in a good mood, with one in four loving nothing more than sitting back to relax in a freshly-cleaned home. Other joyful things include waking up and realising it’s the weekend, a hefty tax rebate, freshly washed sheets at the end of a long day and receiving a compliment. Singing at the top of your voice when you are alone in the car, ‘hoover lines’ in the carpet, finding a bargain, and stepping off a plane into the sun when you go on holiday also featured in the list. It also emerged 41 percent consider themselves to be cheery, with those in Wales (47 percent) and the East Midlands (46 percent) most likely to take a ‘glass half-full’ approach in life.

    But those in the West Midlands (35 percent) and East Anglia (38 percent) are least likely to view things optimistically.

    Clare Bolland, spokesperson for household cleaning brand Marigold https://www.marigold.co.uk/, which commissioned the research, said: “There are so many things that make us happy on a day-to-day basis that we might not even realise; waking up and seeing the sun shining, or giving the house a really good clean are both things that subconsciously put us in a good mood – there’s something so satisfying about seeing your cabinets sparkle.

    “Giving praise or a compliment to someone else, or even just smiling at strangers can also lift our spirits, which is where Brits can spread happiness as well as reap it themselves.

    “Given the difficult year people have endured, we’ve enjoyed proving that happiness can be injected into your day-to-day life through tiny little actions, and these can be very rewarding.”

    The research found Brits are most likely to be at their happiest on Saturdays, while Tuesdays were the least happy day of the week – even worse than Monday.

    And 3:05pm is officially the start of the UK’s new ‘Happy Hour’.

    But losing money, ‘ungrateful’ people, and banging your head on a cupboard door are likely to make people feel unhappy.

    It also emerged that seven in 10 adults believe happiness is ‘infectious’, and more than a third try and go out of their way to spread positivity.

    Nearly half (47 percent) do this by smiling at strangers, and 35 percent regularly check in with friends and family.

    More than one in five will always ask checkout assistants about their day, while a quarter keep the happiness in their home by cleaning the house from top to bottom.

    For 45 percent, cleaning itself leaves them feeling happy while 58 percent get the same feeling from sorting through things and tidying.

    And 71 percent claimed a clean and tidy home makes them feel ‘content’ and ‘happy’, while 21 percent are left them feeling ‘fulfilled’.

    Almost six in 10 even get a ‘cleaning high’ – a feeling of happiness from sitting down in a spotless home – which lasts approximately two-and-a-half hours.

    Having a big clear out is the chore most likely to leave people feeling happy, with cleaning the kitchen, dusting, and cleaning the windows all featuring in the top 10.  

    Clare Bolland, for Marigold, added: “Happiness means something different to many people. For some, it stems from a bright sunny day, others enjoy making the people around them smile, whereas others enjoy the good karma of finding money in their back pocket.

    “At Marigold, it’s cleaning that makes us happy, and it’s fantastic to see that this is the same for almost 60 percent of Brits.

    “There’s nothing better than sitting back and surveying the squeaky-clean surfaces of a freshly groomed house – even if this cleaning high might only last two-and-half hours before it gets messy again – and Marigold is the perfect accomplice.

    “As we come out of an incredibly difficult time across the nation, this attitude of caring for others, and going out of our way to make others happy is something we should be really proud of, and we’re thrilled to see cleaning plays a role in this.”

    TV psychologist, Emma Kenny, said of the research: “It exemplifies the warm and giving nature of human beings who often find themselves increasing their happiness index because of the good deeds they do for others.

    “Often, the small wins in life that make the biggest difference to our mental wellbeing.

    “Things like getting organised with your life admin and making sure your home is clean and tidy can really help you feel in control of your world and give you an inner sense of peace and calm.

    “As life once again returns to normal, it’s important to remind yourself of the power we all have to be a positive influence to those we come into contact with on a daily basis.”


    1. Sunny days and clear blue skies

    2. Getting into bed with freshly washed sheets

    3. Walks in the country

    4. Watching your favourite TV show

    5. Finding a great bargain

    6. Receiving a compliment or praise

    7. Seeing an old friend

    8. Giving someone special a present

    9. Finding forgotten money in your pocket

    10. Hearing a song that reminds you of your past

    11. Receiving a package in the post

    12. Eating a thick slice of delicious cake

    13. Home cooked food

    14. Stepping off the plane and into the sun when you go on holiday

    15. Looking back at old photographs

    16. Pets being happy to see you

    17. Cosying up under a blanket to watch TV when it’s cold or raining outside

    18. Having a cup of hot tea

    19. Finishing a great book

    20. Not having to cook/ getting a takeaway

    21. Getting the answers right when watching a TV quiz

    22. Sitting on the sofa after a long day

    23. Getting a hair cut

    24. Seeing some home renovations completed

    25. Waking up and realising it’s the weekend

    26. Sitting in your clean home after doing the chores

    27. The satisfaction of getting all the washing up done and having a tidy kitchen

    28. Getting a decent-sized tax rebate

    29. Swimming in a clear blue sea

    30. Payday


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