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The Happiest Time of the Year


We keep reading that someone has done the maths and found the third Monday in January to be the most depressing day of the calendar year.
So which day is the happiest?
According to Gallup, the happiest day of 2008 was … Nov. 27, with 67 percent of Americans reporting that they had “a lot of happiness/enjoyment without a lot of stress/worry” on that day.
Gallup’s mood index tends to peak during weekends and trough during the week.
By the numbers, the national mood spikes on holidays (Christmas was a close second to Thanksgiving last year, with Easter and the Fourth of July trailing).
That makes sense — Freakonomics readers know that human contact is the most addictive thing around, and holidays are when most of us get our biggest fix.
One day that didn’t show any unusual movement in the national mood: election day, Nov. 4. So much for the idea that voting makes you happier.
So how about that supposedly joyless third day in January? By Gallup’s numbers, it wasn’t so bad after all. Actually, Jan. 21 was a full 13 points happier than the gloomiest day of 2008 — Dec. 11, the day new jobless claims jumped to a 26-year high.