Notes for Editors

  • The happiest day over the full period of the Mappiness study to date was Christmas Day 2010 (75.7% happy), followed by Christmas Day 2011 (74.2% happy).

  • Blue Monday has been comprehensively debunked (Ben Goldacre, “Blue Monday” is churnalism, beware any journalist who push it —

  • Academic research using the Mappiness data is ongoing. Published papers quantify positive links between happiness (in the moment) and green spaces, positive links between happiness and alcohol consumption, and a negative association between happiness and all aspects of work (original papers at

  • The Brexit referendum result was, by de nition, the preferred result for a majority of referendum voters - so why the negative association with average happiness? First, the negative effect of the result on the average remain voter was probably greater than its positive effect on the average leave voter. Second, Mappiness users and referendum voters are likely distinct, though overlapping, subgroups of the population.

  • Psychological Technologies (PSYT Ltd) was co-founded by George MacKerron, creator of Mappiness, and Nick Begley, formerly Head of Research for mindfulness app Headspace. PSYT’s mission is to develop technology that helps people live good lives by enabling them to better understand and take care of themselves and others.

George is CTO and co-founder of PSYT. He created and directs Mappiness research — the largest experience sampling study ever conducted — and is an expert in behavioural economics and subjective wellbeing. George studied at King’s College, Cambridge and Imperial College London. He completed his doctorate at LSE, and he lectures at the University of Sussex and UCL. George is a world leader in experience sampling using mobile technology. His research has been published in top journals and featured on TV and radio across the globe.

Nick Begley is CEO and co-founder of PSYT. Nick read physics at University College London, then qualified as an actuary and worked in the City of London for 9 years before taking part in the world’s largest research study into mindfulness, the Shamatha project. He meditated 8 hours a day for 3 months in silence, while researchers from the University of California Davis examined the impact. He found the experience so beneficial he left his career in finance and retrained in psychology, researching the neuroscience of mindfulness at UCL and the Institute of Psychiatry, and helped start up mindfulness company Headspace as Head of Research before founding PSYT.

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