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The two ages you're happiest at

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They say no-one likes you when you’re 23, but then they must be just jealous. 

After all, 23 is one of the two happiest ages, according to a recent LSE study - alongside 69. 

The research surveyed 23,000 German adults between the ages of 17 and 85. Participants were asked how happy they were with their lives and to predict how they would feel in five years' time; five years later, the same people were asked to report their actual life satisfaction. 

The study found that life happiness follows a U-shaped curve, peaking at the age of 23 and then again at 69. 

While it may surprise some that we would be at our happiest at two such different ages, the researchers explained that the young people surveyed generally overestimated how happy they would be in five years’ time, whereas older people tended to underestimate, hence the U shape.

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Picture: Getty Images

 

It would seem that the fun of the early 20s, when you’re just beginning to embark on your career and independent adult life, is matched only by the joy of retirement, when after years of hard work you have the free time to explore your own interests and take on new challenges. 

Why our happiness levels tend to plateau in the intervening years is anyone’s guess – perhaps career pressures, mortgages and the strains of raising a family get in the way. 

But if you’re coming up to your 24th birthday, don’t despair: it doesn’t mean you’ll never be this happy for another 46 years. 

While there may be generalised times in our lives when we are less or more content, there is nothing inevitable about it. Sleeping well, eating healthily and exercising often will all boost your happiness levels. 


More: This is the secret to being happy according to psychiatrists

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