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Scientists Have Figured Out When To Drink For Optimal Happiness

You’ve likely been experimenting with alcohol long enough to consider yourself a drinking scientist. But your findings over the years aren’t as rigorous as the ones recently published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine. Using data obtained from Mappiness, an app created by the London School Of Economics that tracks and maps the happiness of users, researchers were able to quantify how much happier drinking can make you (because, frankly, you’re a little untrustworthy when you’ve been drinking).

The app doesn’t just ask users to rate their happiness on a scale of one to 100, it also asks what they’re doing and who they’re with. In this case, researchers were looking at people when they were drinking — specifically 2,049,120 responses from 31,302 individuals. Initially, alcohol was associated with a 10.79 point increase in happiness, but when they controlled for what people were doing, who they were with, and what time of day it was, alcohol induced happiness only increased about 3.88 points. And much to your spouse’s dismay, who people drank with had little effect on this happiness boost.

Drinking Only Makes You A Little Happier For A Little While

Alcohol had the most significant impact on happiness during otherwise terrible activities, like traveling, commuting and waiting, which explains why there’s a bar in every airport (and why there should be one at the doctor’s office). Likewise, drinking did little to increase happiness in otherwise positive situations such as socializing and having sex. More importantly, the study found a ceiling to this happiness, which is only short term. Long term drinking in excess can still lead to long term unhappiness, so pick your spots. You can save the beer when you’re already going to get laid for the next time you have to fix something around the house.

[H/T] The Washington Post