10 Ways to be Happier in 2023, According to Science in 2022

Resolutions that can actually make your life better

Robert Roy Britt
7 min readDec 27, 2022

Image: Pexels/Sebastian Arie Voortman

After another year dominated by stress, strife and uncertainty, vague New Year’s resolutions like lose weight or exercise more just don’t seem adequate. So I sifted through the 100+ articles I wrote during 2022 and selected nine that promise to help improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being — all of which can add up to greater happiness. First, let’s get real about this whole pursuit:

1. Don’t try to be happier

Happiness results not from the direct pursuit of it, but indirectly through the ways we approach life, what we expect from it, and how we take care of ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally. Instead of pursuing happiness, resolve not to, and you’ll lift a big burden of thought energy that you can apply to any of the nine other things on this list. As I wrote:

The pursuit of happiness is ingrained in our minds, and even though it fuels materialism and overconsumption, leading more often than not to disappointment and even depression, we humans keep wanting more, scientists write in the Captain Obvious summary of a new study.

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2. Do nothing for a change

Society tells us we must always be accomplishing something, or at least striving to do so. Whose insane idea was this? What’s wrong with a little boredom? Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence that doing nothing can be really something.

For starters, plenty of research (by very busy scientists) shows that working too much is bad for health and shortens lives. Other studies find overall well-being improves when we stop trying to be so damn productive. And boredom, as boring as it may seem, can lead to greater creativity.

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3. Embrace solitude

The best time to do nothing is when you’re by yourself. If being alone makes you feel lonely, recognize that as an emotion, whereas solitude is a situation, an opportunity for marvelous me-time. Time alone is time to get in touch with your body and mind, explore new experiences, and gain confidence in…

Robert Roy Britt

Founder/editor of Wise & Well on Medium & the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com & author of Make Sleep Your Superpower amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB