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New mood index measures Americans happiness

WASHINGTON – A new Gallup poll finds that the day 26 children and teachers were gunned down in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school was among American’s least happy days of 2012.

The day of the massacre was the third least happy day, according to the results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The mood index is based on daily polls that gauge how happy and how little stress respondents experienced the day before.

The results find that Americans were happiest on Christmas followed by Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day and Mother’s Day. Other happy days included Fridays and weekend days.

Americans are happiest when they can spend six to seven hours socializing, which is hard to manage during the typical work week, Gallup notes in its poll findings.

The unhappiest days tended to fall on random days at the beginning of the week or midweek. The Newtown shooting was a notable exceptions.

Election Day and the day after the presidential election were among the least happy, most stressful days.

The two least happy days offer no convenient explanation. On Nov. 29, the Thursday following Thanksgiving, and on Thursday, Feb. 16, just 38 percent of Americans reported that they were happy and had little stress.

WTOP’s Bruce Alan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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