Sports fans cheering at a game

(Photo by David Morris /

NEW YORK — In a poll that may leave many people sleeping on the couch tonight, new research has found that feelings of happiness last longer after your favorite sports team wins in comparison to hearing your partner say “I love you.”

A poll of 2,000 adults found hearing those three sweet words makes people feel good for an average of four hours – but the boost from your favorite team’s victory remains for four hours and nine minutes!

Spending time with family gives people the longest glow, at four hours and 33 minutes, closely followed by booking a vacation and coming home with a nice tan. Interestingly, finishing a workout leaves respondents feeling happier for 30 minutes longer than chowing down on junk food.

Meanwhile, getting a great bargain at a store leaves people feeling satisfied for three hours and 39 minutes, which is better than eating a chocolate bar, receiving a compliment, or having a cold alcoholic drink on a hot day.

Life’s happiest events

The research, commissioned by Capital One UK to mark the opening of Happé Café, quizzed British adults on the activities which make them feel most happy.

Over one in four (27%) say it’s spending time with family, while 23 percent get their dopamine hit from taking a walk in nature. The birth of a child (21%), getting married (18%), and the day they met their partner (14%) make the list of life’s happiest events.

Friday tops the list as the day people are at the most cheerful.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) get their “feel good” from the little things in life as opposed to grand gestures. Another 68 percent claim they drag out what makes them happy, such as drinking a good cup of tea, to make it last longer.

However, due to the current financial climate, 39 percent have had to cut back on the things that bring them happiness. Ordering takeout (42%), holidays (39%), and social activities with friends (37%) are among the top sacrifices being made.

A quarter aren’t prepared to give up their daily coffee and 21 percent would continue to go shopping – with 24 percent feeling a sense of happiness when going to stores.

It’s all about the little things

It also emerged that 44 percent tend to put other people’s happiness ahead of their own, as 57 percent say making someone else happy improves their own mood.

More than a quarter (27%) will often go out of their way to spread positivity while the average adult will treat themselves three times a week to help make them feel better – spending up to $50 each month doing this.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) say they will typically buy something if they are having a good day, but 55 percent would argue the best things in life are free.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 54 percent don’t need to spend money to be happy.

The length of happiness list

  1. Spending time with family – 4 hours 33 minutes
  2. Booking a vacation – 4 hours 31 minutes
  3. Getting home from a vacation with a glowing tan – 4 hours 13 minutes
  4. Your sports team winning – 4 hours 9 minutes
  5. When your child makes you a piece of art – 4 hours 1 minute
  6. A partner saying ‘I love you’ – 4 hours
  7. Playing with your pet – 3 hours 47 minutes
  8. Finding a bargain in a shop – 3 hours 39 minutes
  9. Finishing a workout – 3 hours 36 minutes
  10. Cleaning/tidying the house – 3 hours 36 minutes
  11. Eating a chocolate bar – 3 hours 34 minutes
  12. Getting complimented – 3 hours 30 minutes
  13. Having a cold alcoholic drink on a hot day – 3 hours 17 minutes
  14. Listening to a song that fills you with nostalgia – 3 hours 9 minutes
  15. Eating junk food – 3 hours 6 minutes
  16. Drinking a cup of tea – 3 hours 4 minutes

72Point writer Lucy Brimble contributed to this report

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