rainy days and hygge.

By Andrea Murray

In Denmark, it rains approximately 250 days per year. That’s rather a lot. To put it into perspective, Canberra has on average a mere 73 days each year where the clouds spill their tears. With all this rain you would expect a certain level of unhappiness in Denmark but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Every year, the World Happiness Index surveys numerous people from various countries around the world in search of the happiest population. This year Denmark topped the charts as it does time and time again.

What makes the Danes so happy? According to the Happiness Research Institute, it all boils down to a construct known as hygge. For those who haven’t heard of it, hygge is the Danish equivalent to slow living. The Danes are experts in slow and a large part of this way of life is attributed to their wet weather conditions. The cold, rainy weather forces the Danes indoors so they’ve become experts at finding happiness when it’s truly dreary outside. They cozy up by a fireplace with a woollen jumper and classic novel in hand, they light more candles than any other country out there, and they drink hot chocolate and coffee as though they’re water. It’s not a time for solitude, all these things are usually done in the company of friends and family, with the ensuing conversations seen as opportunities to strengthen the meaningful relationships in one’s life.

So let us reframe the drizzle outside your window and instead see it as the perfect opportunity to embrace your inner slow this week. How will you spend your time?