Happiness: a state of pure pleasure and contentment. Remember what that feels like 😅? Well, now there’s a whole museum dedicated to it.
Located in Denmark (because what other country could pull off a Happiness Museum in 2020?), the facility quietly opened its doors in late July.
The team behind the project is, of course, the Happiness Research Institute (HRI). HRI is an organization that explores the science behind happy societies.
Their main goal is encouraging global policymakers to include wellbeing as an integral part of public policy.
Meik Wiking, CEO of the HRI, says the idea to open a museum came after years of public requests to visit their office space.
“I think people imagine that the Institute is like a magical place — a room full of puppies or ice cream — but we are just eight people sitting in front of computers looking at data,” he tells CNN.
“So we thought, why don’t we create a place where people can experience happiness from different perspectives. Give them an exhibition where they can become a little bit wiser around some of the questions we try to solve?”
Inside the museum, you’ll find interactive exhibits that dive into the geography, science, history, and future of happiness. There are no rooms full of puppies or ice cream…yet.
“We might be Danish or Mexican or American or Chinese, but we are first and foremost people,” Wiking says. “It’s the same things that drive happiness no matter where we’re from, and I hope that people will see that in the exhibition.”
One guest told him that he had always known he was a happy guy, but he had never before understood the reasons why.
“That, for us, was the best review we could get,” he says.
Happiness is a universal emotion that requires nurturing.
Organizations like the HRI further our understanding and acceptance of wellbeing as a societal necessity and responsibility.
We can also foster happiness within ourselves. It takes time, practice, and thought.
And though for most of us it will never be perfect, even small progress can make a world of difference.