Revealed: It’s The Simple Pleasures That Will Make Us Happy In 2017

RevA poll of 1,000 people commissioned by Young’s Pubs has revealed that Brits have truly embraced and adapted the Danish trend of hygge, the art of creating cosy atmospheres and enjoying the simple pleasures with those around us. A third of Brits describe being at their happiest while wearing PJs and slippers, 43% said getting together with friends and family made them happy, with comforting dishes coming out on top of a poll of mood-boosting foods. Informed by these findings, Young’s House of Happiness Blue Monday pop-up (event information below) welcomes visitors into a haven of head-to-toe simple pleasures and wellbeing sessions.


A calming environment is key to finding your home-grown hygge haven in 2017, with 38% of people linking where they live to feeling content. Beyond the sentiment of ‘home is where the heart is’, pubs and restaurants came top of the list of places linked to happiness; more than half of the population believe that going to the pub makes them happy, with 55% heading to their local to enjoy the company of friends and family, as well as indulging in pub grub.


The research by Young’s Pubs also lists the top three moments guaranteed to cheer Brits up as going on holiday, finding an unexpected £10 note and snuggling into clean bed sheets. By comparison, the top three things that bring the nation down are encountering rude, ungrateful or grumpy people in our everyday lives.


Clean eating isn’t fuelling the nation’s happiness, the research shows a traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings, a fish supper and chocolate are the top three foods we turn to for a pick-me-up. Women are three times more likely to turn to chocolate for a boost than men, while Londoners emerged as those most likely to opt for fish and chips than other popular comfort dishes.


Many of us tackle negative thoughts with distractions plucked from popular culture; 64% of us watch our favourite comedy shows, stand-up acts or boxsets and nearly a third plug into uplifting pop ballads to raise a smile. When it comes to literature, romance and crime fiction top the list for putting us in a better mood.

Emma Dickinson, Young’s marketing and events manager, says: “The Danish concept of hygge feels like a new philosophy that the nation is adopting, but in reality, Young’s Pubs have been offering the same intangible sentiment since 1831. With Blue Monday heralded as the gloomiest day of the year we feel it is a great opportunity to remind the nation that our pubs are the perfect environment to get together with loved ones by a roaring fire to enjoy comforting food and drink.”


Hygge has invaded headlines, bookshelves and Instagram feeds this autumn and winter, with the latter voted in the survey the unhappiest season of the year. This Blue Monday, Young’s has used the research to create a House of Happiness, packed full of comforting experiences to make people smile and feel more positive, although the nation’s pubs have epitomised hygge for centuries.

As well as escapism pods designed to disconnect mind, body and soul from the stresses of everyday life, there will be complimentary slippers, massages, comfort food canapés, reviving teas, pop-up chatter corners, thought-provoking wellbeing talks and ‘happiness bursts’ hosted by Laughology.

Top 20 things that make us happy

1.      Going on holiday

2.      Finding a ten pound note in an old pair of jeans

3.      Getting into bed with freshly washed sheets

4.      Sitting in the sun

5.      Booking a holiday

6.      Seeing an old friend

7.      Getting a quiet moment to yourself

8.      Cuddles

9.      Finding a bargain in the sales

10.     Being surprised with flowers or chocolates

11.     Chocolate

12.     Listening to your favourite song

13.     Going to the pub with friends

14.     Hearing a baby laugh

15.     Eating comfort food

16.     Winning a tenner on the lottery

17.     The smell of freshly baked cookies

18.     Smell of cut grass

19.     Looking back at old photographs

20.     Getting a promotion at work

Top 20 things that make us unhappy

1.      Rude people

2.      Ungrateful people

3.      Grumpy people

4.      Feeling ill

5.      Losing money

6.      People taking you for granted

7.      Dog owners who don’t clean up after their dog

8.      Cold callers

9.      Rude shop assistants

10.     Badly behaved children

11.     Queue jumpers

12.     Screaming kids

13.     It rains when you were due to have a day out

14.     Noisy neighbours

15.     Stressful workload

16.     Rise in petrol prices

17.     Slow internet connection

18.     Automated phone systems

19.     Tailgaters

20.     Job instability

Join the conversation online this Blue Monday and throughout January and February with the hashtag #HouseofHappiness at @YoungsPubs on Twitter and Instagram.