US Happiness Levels Hit New Lows

America is going through it.

The news: For the first time, America is not among the top 20 happiest countries, primarily due to discontent among under-30s.

Gallup’s 2024 World Happiness Report reveals the US fell from 15th to 23rd in rank, facing headwinds from tech addiction, isolation, and social issues.

Why it matters: Fueled by remote work and a self-oriented wellness culture, loneliness has become a public health crisis, increasing risk of premature death by >60%.

As layoffs feed literal and metaphorical resignation, cynical Gen Zers and millennials are disengaging. Choosing paychecks over purpose, they’re failing to find fulfillment at work.

Progressing on the wellness hierarchy of needs, many are willing to pay for social connections outside the office, giving rise to the anti-loneliness business.

  • Selling “relational fitness,” Peoplehood makes in-person emotional support classes cool.
  • Making connection a habit, the Thoughtful app reminds users to reach out to loved ones.
  • Uniting strangers, UK-based Timeleft organizes weekly dinners around the world.
  • Giving remote workers a home, Groundfloor is a social club/coworking space.

Meanwhile, Matter Neuroscience raised $26M to “solve happiness” on a molecular level — infusing brain research into an app that provides personalized mood-boosting plans.

Takeaway: A new kind of preventative medicine, startups are using social connection to avert downstream health struggles. But, from gyms to activewear labels, all brands can benefit from building community.

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