Brighton – Happiest city in the UK

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21st June 2018

A study of 3,000 Brits has declared Brighton the ‘happiness capital of the UK’. But what is it that makes this seaside resort so special?

From its iconic pier and picturesque beach, to its laid-back vibe and range of attractions, it’s no surprise Brighton ranks so highly on the happy-o-meter.

As the old tune goes, we do like to be beside the seaside! Indeed, one of the brains behind the survey has suggested that it may be ‘the sea air and sunny weather that keeps [us] smiling.’ They may be on to something: sunny weather has been proven to boost serotonin in the brain, one of the main neurotransmitters responsible for happiness.

Another study suggests that listening to the sound of the sea could also have mood-boosting effects. This could be because human beings are naturally drawn to water: it is estimated that 80% of people live within 60 miles of the coast, and up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water itself. Writer Loren Eiseley once described human beings as ‘a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers.’ Brighton’s proximity to water initially attracted the Victorians to holiday there, as its sea water was believed to have rejuvenating health benefits.

Some of Brighton’s chirpiest citizens are given a spotlight via the Brighton & Hove Happy List, an antidote to typical rich lists and celebrity lists, which aims to recognise Brighton residents who bring smiles to their local community. That community spirit could be vital: an analysis of 52 countries around the globe found that national happiness correlates with how accepting that nation is of immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and people of different races. It may well be that Brighton’s reputation of tolerance and acceptance – the famous annual Brighton Pride event being but one example – is in part responsible for its newfound status as a happiness hub.

The ‘happiest city’ study also found that music was one of the top methods people use to raise their spirits. Which tune to pick, you ask? Neuroscientists at the University of Missouri found that the world’s happiest song is Revitalise’s unofficial anthem Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen! The other most important factors on respondents’ happiness were reportedly time with family and friends, suggesting that perhaps even more important than the destination you visit, are the people you visit it with.

Excursions to Brighton are regularly available from Jubilee Lodge and Netley Waterside House. If you are interested in visiting Brighton as part of your Revitalise holiday, please call our friendly Bookings Team on 0303 303 0145 or email at

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