Happiness is… less iPhone, more phone a friend, as a new study shows relationships are the secret to a happy life

Need an excuse to throw a party? It seems friends and family are good for our health

We all know ‘Money can’t buy you love’, but how many of us really believe it? Won’t the latest phone or designer handbag give us a lasting glow?

Well, according to psychologists in Sweden, the answer is no (though we suspect they haven’t seen the latest offerings from Hermès…).

‘It’s relationships that are most important, not material things,’ says co-author Dr Danilo Garcia, a researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health.

The study looked at Swedish newspapers from 2010, analysing more than 1.5 million words to see which ones most often occurred in the same articles as the word happiness.

The winners were personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘us’, while the more obvious supects, such as ‘iPhone’ and ‘millions’, almost never appeared.

So hold fire before you splash out on that yacht…

‘This doesn’t mean material things make you unhappy,’ says Dr Garcia, ‘just that they don’t seem to come up in the same context as
“happiness”.

‘So if you covet a convertible or dream of jewels, take
comfort from the fact they (probably) won’t make you happy long-term.
Most of us know close, warm relationships matter, but, as Dr Garcia
says, ‘It isn’t certain everyone is aware such relationships are
actually necessary for our own personal happiness.’

So next time you’re considering a spot of shopping or are poised over the Checkout button, call family or arrange to meet a friend instead. It could just be the boost you need.

Loved this? Check out all the latest entertainment and property stories on our news channel

Ideal Home loves...

Dramatic dining room | Dining room decorating ideas | Monochrome designs | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

Add drama to your dining room in 5 steps

Pink utility room | Adding colour to a utility room | Decorating with colour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

How to add colour to a utility room

Add a feature wall | Nursery decorating ideas | Nursery | PHOTO GALLERY | Ideal Home | Housetohome

Nursery decorating ideas for your new arrival

Shabby Chic Bathrooms

Shabby chic bathrooms to inspire you

Ideas for family living rooms | Family living room design ideas | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome.co.uk

Family living room design ideas

Bright towels | Bathroom accessories | Bathroom | PHOTO GALLERY | Style at Home | Housetohome.co.uk

Simple accessories that make bathrooms better