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Let’s work together to create a happier world

The Happier Lives Institute connects donors, researchers, and policymakers with the most cost-effective opportunities to increase global wellbeing.

Using the latest subjective wellbeing data, we identify the problems that matter most to people and find evidence-based ways to solve them.

Let's work together to create a happier world

The Happier Lives Institute connects donors, researchers, and policymakers with the most cost-effective opportunities to increase global wellbeing.

Using the latest subjective wellbeing data, we identify the problems that matter most to people and find evidence-based ways to solve them.

Prof Peter Singer
“It was through HLI that I became aware of StrongMinds and started donating to that remarkable organisation. Doing what we can to make everyone's lives happier is something we should all be concerned about.”
Prof Peter Singer
Founder | The Life You Can Save
Prof Peter Singer
Prof Peter Singer
Founder | The Life You Can Save
Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve
“HLI is at the cutting edge of wellbeing research. They are leading the way to ensure that philanthropists and policymakers use their resources as effectively as possible to make people happier. ”

Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve
Director | Wellbeing Research Centre (University of Oxford)
Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve
Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve
Director | Wellbeing Research Centre (University of Oxford)
Luke Freeman
I've been very impressed with the quality of HLI's work. They help represent more diverse views, raise the standards for us all, and this greatly improves the effective giving ecosystem.

Luke Freeman
Executive Director | Giving What We Can
Luke Freeman
Luke Freeman
Executive Director | Giving What We Can

Measuring what matters

Most people agree that happiness matters.

You might think it is the only thing that matters.

Over the last 30 years, pioneering academics in economics, philosophy, and psychology have tested and developed reliable measures of happiness and life satisfaction

Today, large population surveys allow us to measure and track wellbeing across the world. We can stop relying on measures of wealth or health as our best guess for how people’s lives are going.

But what is wellbeing and how can we measure it?

You can make a difference

The cost-effective interventions we’ve identified may surprise you.

Our research shows that treating depression in low-income countries is four times more cost-effective than providing direct cash transfers.

Join our board and help us create a happier world

Are you passionate about improving happiness around the world through research, advocacy, and grantmaking? We’re looking for dedicated individuals to join our board and amplify our work to increase global wellbeing. As a board member, you’ll play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of our organisation. If you’re ready to make a difference and be part of something meaningful, apply now to join our team.

Our latest news and research

Site visit to StongMinds: Kampala, Uganda

Dr Michael Plant conducted an in-person site visit to better understand the StrongMinds programme and the people in it. We don’t expect site visits can, or should, be decisive for evaluation purposes (they are ‘anecdata’), but they can nevertheless be informative. Visitor: Dr Michael Plant, Founder & Research Director at the Happier Lives Institute Date of visit: 11 April 2024 Document written: 19 April 2024 Read more

Site visit to Friendship Bench: Harare, Zimbabwe

Dr Michael Plant conducted an in-person site visit to better understand the Friendship Bench programme and the people in it. We don’t expect site visits can, or should, be decisive for evaluation purposes (they are ‘anecdata’), but they can nevertheless be informative. Visitor: Dr Michael Plant, Founder & Research Director at the Happier Lives Institute Date of visit: 04 April 2024 Document written: 10 April 2024 Read more

Policies for wellbeing: A brief scoping review

In this report, summer research fellow Thomas Beuchot briefly scoped out the public policies that promise to be most effective at increasing wellbeing. The policies found as the most promising according to the grading criteria are mostly policies that are also widely valued and pursued outside of a wellbeing lens: unemployment, strong relationships, increased access to nature, and opportunities to volunteer. Read more

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