Museum of Happiness

World’s first “Happiness Museum” opens in Denmark's capital city.

Located in Copenhagen, the museum is the new public arm of the Happiness Research Institute - a think-tank devoted to the theory and practice of happiness, wellbeing and quality of life. Denmark is often referred to as the happiest country on earth. However, rather than focusing solely on the Danes' achievement, the museum approaches themes of happiness, quality of life, and wellbeing from a global perspective.

Visitors to the museum can enjoy many interactive exhibits. Each room is devoted to a specific approach to studying happiness. The Politics of Happiness exhibit asks questions about the role of elections and GDP in determining national happiness.The History of Happiness room showcases the philosophies of happiness from Aristotle to the Enlightenment. Perusing commercial advertisements promising happiness, visitors can reflect on the links between consumerism, capitalism, and happiness.

Some exhibits involve visitors’ personal perceptions. For example, can you determine which half of the Mona Lisa's mouth smiles? What would you do if you found a wallet lying around? How do you define happiness? The Happiness Museum asks its visitors to engage on a personal level, and the many Post-it Notes left with positive memories are a testament its success.

Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute, says: “Our hope is guests will leave a little wiser, a little happier and a little more motivated to make the world a better place.” In this spirit, the museum's website quotes Francis Bacon: "To enjoy happiness is the good but, to have a possibility to give its good to other people is the greatest good." This is rather the opposite of what Oscar Wilde meant when he said: "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

Visitors to the museum from overseas will also leave with an enhanced understanding of “Nordic Happiness” - knowledge they can take back to their home country, including the . chance to embrace hygge, a Danish word describing a small, cozy feeling. The Happiness Museum hopes this feeling will bring visitors joy long after they have left the building.

Original source: My Modern Met

Nordic Happiness: Every year the World Happiness Report submits its finding to the UN. In 2020, the WHR applied a particular focus to the five Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.

It's long been recognised that the lucky people of the Nordic countries are much happier (on most indicators) than the rest of the western world. But why?