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What makes Americans’ days better? Finding money in your pocket, sleeping in without setting an alarm and lying in bed listening to the rain are the nation’s top three “mood boosters,” according to new research.
Petting a dog, performing small gestures of kindness and enjoying a freshly baked treat like blueberry pie also rank high on the list.
These mood boosters emerged from a study by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council exploring the tiny things in life that improve people’s moods – and what exactly constitutes a “perfect day.” The new survey of 2,000 Americans is part of the aptly named ‘Positively Bluetiful’ campaign.
From walking into an air-conditioned room on a hot day to holding hands with someone you love, the list reveals that the smallest things can have the biggest impact on our moods.
In fact, almost half of Americans (46 percent) perk up simply from realizing that it’s a beautiful, sunny day.
Music makes for a mellow mood, too – 37 percent agree that listening to your favorite album is enough to improve your day.
Specifically, The Beatles were voted the top “mood-boosting” band or artist (32 percent), with The Eagles and Michael Jackson rounding out the top three.
Mood boosters can instantly turn your bad day into a good one. According to the study, the average American has 204 good days each year and 15 self-described “perfect days.”
So, what’s the recipe for a perfect day? The study found that for the average respondent, the perfect day starts with getting out of bed at 8:15 a.m. and ends with crawling into bed at 10:50 p.m.
The perfect day also features clear skies with a temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as actually being outside for about three hours.
People also factor significantly in a perfect day, which includes four hours with family and three hours of socializing with friends. To unwind, the day incorporates three hours relaxing in front of the TV, too.
“Who doesn’t love sleeping in, sunny skies and spending time with loved ones,” concurred Vicki De Bruin for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. “These simple pleasures put the biggest smiles on our faces – and it’s even better when we know these seemingly indulgent treats are actually really good for us.”
The top three feel-good food and drinks include sweet and savory treats: ice cream, bacon, and coffee.
However, reaching for a healthier snack you enjoy can offer double the benefits. According to the survey, 89 percent of Americans believe eating healthy and exercising impacts their mood.
Over half of Americans (52 percent) say that eating healthy and more cleanly make them feel happier, while another 45 percent point to regular exercise as a factor that leads to their happiness.
Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh, healthy produce – and in July, fruit lovers can take the opportunity to enjoy National Blueberry Month. Eaten on their own or in your favorite dishes, blueberries bring the healthful goodness.