Are people living in warmer climates happier?

MacFan782040

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 1, 2003
791
110
Scranton, PA
So for the last few days, it has been absolutely beautiful out- sunny, warm, and downright refreshing after that long winter we just had up here in the Northeast.

It seems when it gets warm out, people are happier, more active, and feel better about themselves.

I know it's the first warm-spell since winter and everyone is on a "high" because they can finally open windows, wash car, etc, but even so I find myself more content and active during the warm and sunnier summer season than during the winter.

Research has shown that on rainy days, people are more likely to feel depressed or get angry as opposed to a warm, sunny day.

Plus, in the winter, all the vegetation appears dead, days are shorter, and numb fingers and scraping ice off your windshield can be a pain.

Another example- Your health. I am much more motivated to go outside for a run in 60-70 degree sunny weather, than in the winter. If I lived in a year-round warm climate, I would think I would run everyday.

So I'm wondering-- are people happier in warmer climates? If all other demographics were the same- crime rate, poverty level, income, etc. Florida? Southern California? Arizona? I'm wondering if there are any studies on this and what other people think.

Around here summer is usually always a person's favorite season. If "summer" was generally year-round, would somebody's quality of life be better, or are people in colder areas just experiencing a 3-4 month "summer high"?
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Get the hell off my lawn. :D

You should read up on Seasonal Affective Disorder.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
1,916
0
I am originally from PA...now living near Houston, TX since 2002. MUCH happier here. Being able to walk in shorts in January (in a typical year here...not this chilly year) is terrific!

Even the heat and humidity of summer is glorious to me and those 3 months are much more tolerable than the dark, dreary, snowy months of Dec, Jan and Feb I had to endure for 32 years in the Northeast. I was always depressed when it would turn colder. I HATE winter.

We each have 3 months that one doesn't really want to be outside for long...only during MY 3 months, I can get a tan, go swimming...etc. In PA I was just able get frostbite...and maybe a nice cold...achoo!
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
8,621
22
NYC
Earthquakes, fires and mod slides, not to mention that wasteland between San Diego and San Francisco. :D
That just adds to the excitement!

grumble, grumble...
You have the Jager to keep you warm. ;)

But I'll admit, it gets crazy cold there. Anytime I'm in your neck of the woods and I can't keep the limo in a heated garage (which fortunately is rare), everything with liquid has to be removed, including the batteries. It's a huge PITA, especially after a long day and all you want to do is get to a bar ASAP. :)
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I was in So. Cal. and now I'm in NC. I think overall I prefer NC over So. Cal. and I'm happy so suck it.
 

redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,614
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
all you want to do is get to a bar ASAP. :)
that would be a nice question/thread title...

do people in colder places (= colder climates) drink alcohol more?

back to the topic. i think it is obvious that the sun gives people this "high" that makes people more satisfied, happier etc.

i have never heard anyone say, oh damn it is sunny outside again...
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
1,916
0
Minnesota? I couldn't resist googling your 'Location' thing.
'Twin Cities' wasn't enough of a clue for ya?

EDIT: sry...i.c. you are from the UK. Twin Cities refers to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
7
It definitely changes your view on life. We flit between London, which is cold or wet depending on the time of year; and Barcelona, which has 300 days of sunshine a year and is right on the coast. On the occasions when I've worked in Barcelona it's been far more preferable to London.

Mind you, the three hour lunch break might be responsible for that :D
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
Can't stand the heat. I don't like it too cold either. Warm enough to wear a t-shirt inside but a thick coat for outside... poyfect!

I also like the feeling of being out in the snow or rain and thinking about going home to sit in the sauna. Ahhhhh.
 

it5five

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2006
1,220
1
New York
Phoenix, AZ here.

Everyone I know is miserable during the summer. It's too hot to do anything except go swimming (and the public pools are too packed during the day). It's even more miserable for people like me who don't have A/C in their car. I never want to go anywhere or do anything.

I never want to bake or cook anything on the stove during the day. I have to save all of my errands for when it is dark (grocery shopping around 10pm is a habit that began during the summer but became a year-long tradition).

In a few months I will be moving to upstate NY, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Another example- Your health. I am much more motivated to go outside for a run in 60-70 degree sunny weather, than in the winter. If I lived in a year-round warm climate, I would think I would run everyday.

If "summer" was generally year-round, would somebody's quality of life be better, or are people in colder areas just experiencing a 3-4 month "summer high"?
If you lived in Phoenix, you would have about a three to four month window when the weather was nice enough for an outside run every day. If you want to do any running during the summer, you have to wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get it in before the sun comes up. Otherwise you're looking at running when it is as high as 120 outside.

Yes, you are experiencing a summer high. If you lived somewhere were it was practically summer year-round, like Phoenix, you'd probably hate it. My favorite seasons are fall and winter.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,703
563
Seattle, WA
I was in So. Cal. and now I'm in NC. I think overall I prefer NC over So. Cal. and I'm happy so suck it.
I enjoyed San Diego (more so than LA), but I absolutely loved NC. If not for us having to move to the West Coast, we would have been in NC.