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Image / Editorial

Are We Happiest Aged 25?


by Jeanne Sutton
14th Aug 2014

Elizabeth Olsen, 25 years old and at her happiest according to studies

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Elizabeh Olsen

?Happiness is a journey, not a destination.? While you may have that little snippet of wisdom on a fridge magnet at home, the studies are more niche in their definition. It turns out happiness is actually a number – and one that isn’t necessarily related to your bank balance.

Women are apparently at their happiest aged 25, according to a study commissioned by beauty firm Inner Me. However the yang to this ying means there’s also an age where everything doesn’t automatically slot into sunshine. The study found 34 to be the age at which women are most stressed. At this age the work/life balance is a pressure cooker with bills, mortgages and young families among the stew. The reason 25 is the magic number? Women at this age worry less about their weight, looks and social lives.

Overall the survey found nearly one in five women are unhappy due to stress, and that only one in eight women think women are happier than men. The top reason for all this stress was money, which isn’t surprising when you take anecdotal experience into account. Does anyone feel financially secure these days? Other stress factors for women included health concerns and the well being and happiness of their family. Perhaps the saddest sources were related to self-esteem. Feeling unattractive and overweight, as well as the fear of one losing their looks, were at the tail end of the top ten causes of stress. These personal fears came before career worries and spending enough time with friends. Sadfaces all around.

Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel is 34, apparently the most stressed age for women…

Do these women feel there is any solution to such anxieties? Yes, and the answer won’t surprise you. Money. Women felt earning more would make their lives better. After the pay packet dreams 15% of respondents felt that spending more time with friends and family would be a positive life change.

While these survey results are very gloomy, is anyone astonished? Last weekend we talked about how the pay gap would take an incredible sixty years to bridge. Lunch conversations are dominated with a litany of oh-god-how-the-hell-can-I-afford-the-next-two-weeks. And where are these carefree 25 year olds gliding through the jobs market and nightmare that is the Irish rental circus without an eye tick in sight? Being a pay cheque away from begging your parents for space on the couch is a reality for most twenty something year olds.

What about you? Do you think 25 the age at which you enjoy life the most? Are the mid-thirties really the most stressful time of your life? Do you feel that earning more would lead to way less worries? Let us know in the comments or chime in on the debate over on Twitter. @IMAGE_daily

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun