The Geography of Happiness

Just in the nick of time, the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute has opened the world’s first museum dedicated to that elusive thing we all need more than ever. The museum is located in the heart of everyone’s favorite Nordic capital. which currently holds the title of second-happiest country on the planet, based on the 2020 World Happiness Report.

“We all seem to be looking for happiness—but perhaps we are looking in the wrong places. We have gotten richer as societies but often failed to become happier,” says the Happiness Museum in a statement. “Therefore, the Happiness Research Institute decided to create a museum where we can bring happiness to life.”

images courtesy Museum of Happiness

The Happiness Museum features eight rooms focused on different theories on the nature of happiness. In one display, guests are asked to choose between an “experience machine” that provides users with infinite, albeit illusory, pleasure and the real world, which involves pain and suffering. Other exhibits include a room of maps identifying the world’s happiest and unhappiest countries, a happiness lab, an overview of the history of happiness, and an exploration of why Denmark and other Nordic countries consistently rank among the world’s happiest.


Unfortunately, the museum is closed due to the pandemic, but we can look forward to a visit when the world returns to some degree of normalcy. Until then, we just have to discover our own happiness, or just visit the world’s #1 happiest nation—Finland.


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