Scientific Proof that Trees Make Us Happier

A tree-lined neighborhood doesn't just look good, it actually makes you happier. That's the conclusion of a major study in the UK that followed 10,000 Brits—for 17 years—as they moved around the country.

The greener the neighborhood, the happier the people reported they were, no matter how much they made, whether they were married, how healthy they were, or how nice their home was. Trees and other greenery actually rank up with big life events, like marriage, in terms of how much they impact happiness; being around trees affects your overall satisfaction about a third as much as getting married, and a tenth as much as having a job.

The authors' final conclusion: urbanization is a "potential threat to mental health and well-being," so cities need to prioritize green spaces. This comes on top of recent research that says green exercise, or working out outside, is also a significant boon to happiness. Time to visit a park, or plant a tree on your block.

Park image via Shutterstock