young woman pondering
Joana Lopes
You’re kinda mostly happy, but …

Thanks to all of you who took the Gross National Happiness survey, a project of The Happiness Initiative. (And if you haven’t taken it yet, you still can!) It’s designed to measure your overall satisfaction with life as well as your sense of well-being across a number of specific categories. Do you feel good about your physical health? The educational and cultural opportunities in your community? Your work life? Your time balance? The environment where you live?

We’ve now gotten the results back for Grist readers and compared them to responses from a random sample of U.S. residents. The bottom line: You guys are a mostly happy bunch, but still a little more bummed out than the average American.

Happiness: Grist readers vs. average Americans
Click to embiggen.

On overall life satisfaction, Grist readers scored an average 69 out of a possible 100 points, compared to 77 for average Americans. And on every specific metric but one, Grist readers lagged by 3 to 14 points.

Happiness small
Susie Cagle

The biggest gap, not surprisingly, was on satisfaction with the state of the environment. We can only assume that you’re better informed about environmental problems than most people, thanks to Grist, which is a good thing! But all that knowledge is bringing you down, man, which is a bad thing. Sorry. May we recommend you read some of our inspiring stories about kick-ass activists and cool green gadgets and the fast-growing renewable energy sector?

At least Grist readers are feeling slightly more comfortable about their financial status than average Americans. (Would this be a good time to hit you up for a donation?)

Hey, folks: Yeah, we’ve got some big environmental challenges, and our lives are too busy, and our governments are not up to snuff, and all that. But there’s still plenty to feel good about, and plenty you can do to cultivate and spread happiness. So crack open a beer and watch this video of an outrageously cute baby echidna. You’ll feel better afterward, we promise.