panorama of sheffield - south yorkshire

Panorama of Sheffield – South Yorkshire (Photo credit: Paolo Margari)

I recently read the results of a survey to find the happiest city in Britain.

I love Britain and have fond memories of so many cities, so I read the results with interest.

I thought that it might have been Oxford.  It made my list of top 10 places to write from and I’m sure that the locals would be happy there.


Perhaps it could be hustling and bustling London with its attractions and opportunities.

Not there either.

Perhaps it would be somewhere North of the border in Edinburgh (they came second) or the home of my In-laws, Glasgow (last on the list).

No, the winner of happiest city in Britain was, wait for it… Sheffield!

That’s right, Sheffield, the industrial home of stainless steel.

My wife has some cousins who live in Sheffield and I’ve visited there.  It’s a nice city, with lovely people but I wasn’t expecting it to rank so highly.

Then I found out why it ranked number one and it all made sense.

According to the study, 61% of Britons say that doing something nice for someone else made them feel good.

In Sheffield, that number is 72%.

It’s no secret that one of the most effective ways to make yourself feel good is to do something positive for someone else and the wise, happy people of Sheffield have latched on to this fact.

So if you want to be happier, stop focusing on your own problems and don’t wait for someone else to do something nice for you.

Go out of your way to:

  • help someone in need,
  • speak a word of encouragement,
  • enable others to benefit from your knowledge,
  • give without expectation of something in return,
  • or just do anything for someone else that will make a positive difference in their lives.

It works.

Just ask my wife’s cousins in Sheffield.

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