Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
We’re in our Fall Fundraiser and you can help! Support KSMU programming today!

Are You Happy? Survey Ranks MO High on List of Miserable States


Measuring the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country, Gallup teamed with Healthways to interview more than 176,000 people from all 50 states for their "State of American Well-Being" survey.   
 Holly Harrison is a licenced therapist at Tranquil Waters Counciling and Wellness who specializes in helping people with their relationships. She offered some tips on turning those Show-Me state frowns upside down.
"Some great places to start are taking a look at your relationships, taking a look at your eating habits and taking a look at your sleeping habits," said Harrison.
She says small life changes can greatly improve mental health, such as scheduling time for more sleep or taking a few minutes to read.
The national survey also reviled that a large number of Missourians experience a high amount of stress.
"One great way to combat stress is to exercise. The key is being able to find something that you really enjoy. That you really love and you can do for the rest of your life," Harrison said.
Another factor that led to Missouri’s top 10 miserable state ranking was a relatively low number of people reporting to have smiled or laughed within the last day.  
"I find that most people often have resources and relationships in their lives that are rewarding and are already there. It's just we haven't talked to that person in a while. I think that really taking an honest look at your support system and seeing ‘Who have I not talked to in a while that really puts a smile on my face?’ is really beneficial," said Harrison.  
The "State of American Well-Being" survey combined six separate ideas, measuring access to basic needs, healthy behavior, work environment, physical health, life evaluation and optimism, and emotional health.
West Virginia was the most miserable state, according to the poll, followed by Kentucky. In contrast, the least miserable state was North Dakota.