These Are the Happiest (and Unhappiest) States in the U.S.

Ah, the enigma of happiness! Can a mere geographical boundary determine our daily mirth or gloom? WalletHub, in its latest venture, tried to unearth this very quandary: who amongst us, spread across the vast land of the United States, is truly reveling in joy in 2023?

Drumroll, please... While we might guess the sun-kissed coasts of California or the vibrant streets of New York to be the forerunners, the results are indeed startling! So, how exactly did WalletHub dig deep into this intricate maze of happiness? They've meticulously weaved 30 distinct indicators to bring forth this ranking. Among them? Factors as varied as the rate of depression, the bustling productivity of adults, the heartening upticks of income, and even the gloomy unemployment shadows.

Now, one might dismissively think, “Oh, this sounds like mere speculation.” Well, my friend, think again. This isn't conjured out of thin air or wild supposition.

Source: WalletHub

Ready for the revelation? The happiest places to reside in 2023 (drumroll extended) are:

1. Utah (Shining bright at the top with a score of 69.79 out of 100. Pushing Hawaii, the former champion, to a close second. And get this, Utah boasts a separation and divorce rate of a mere 15.46%. That's staggeringly 1.7 times lesser than the distant New Mexico with a whopping 25.63%!)
2. Hawaii (Yet, despite the slight tumble, Hawaii hasn’t lost its charm. It’s proudly parading as the state with the lowest depression among adults—just 11.4%.)
3. Maryland
4. Minnesota
5. New Jersey
6. Connecticut
7. California
8. Florida
9. Idaho
10. Nebraska

But alas, not all can be winners. Dwindling at the bottom with heavy hearts are:

1. Oklahoma
2. New Mexico
3. Alaska
4. Mississippi
5. Alabama
6. Kentucky
7. Arkansas
8. Tennessee
9. Louisiana
10. West Virginia

These states, sadly, didn't fare well in several pivotal arenas—emotional well-being, physical fitness, work vibes, and the broader essence of community.

And ponder this – living in a place that constantly sucks the joy out of you? It can be quite the damper. Fiona Newton, a luminary from Monash University, muses on the strong ties between one’s environment and the soaring or plummeting sense of happiness. A simple stroll in a tranquil green patch, or perhaps a jovial banter with neighbors in a close-knit community, can work wonders. Yet, inversely, the suffocating grip of pollution can leech away the very essence of joy.

So, are you currently nestled in a state that's perhaps not tickling your happiness bone? Or maybe you're just itching for change? For those wanderlust souls looking for a new place to call home, Thrillist has curated the ultimate list. Discover the hidden gems in America waiting to embrace you.