If you would like to be happy, here are the two things you need to do. First, you need to be a conservative. And second, you need to be either just out of college or just starting retirement. Everyone else: You're on your own.
Everything in this article, we will note, should be taken with a grain of salt and a large, blinking warning: Your mileage may vary. Actually, let's do that explicitly.
With that established, here's the news.
The Washington Post reports on the first study, which was conducted by researchers at Brock and Ryerson Universities:
According to the 237 Canadian students surveyed for the study, an inclination toward “right-wing authoritarianism” and “social dominance orientation” tend to correlate with personal contentment. …
These are psychological terms, not political ones. They don’t overlap perfectly with our definitions of conservative and liberal. In a nutshell, right-wing authoritarianism involves submission to authority and tradition — generally conservative values. “Social dominance orientation” describes a willingness to support the current social hierarchy; in practical political terms, we’re talking positions like opposition to affirmative action and support for stricter immigration policies.
You get all those caveats? This is an approximation extrapolated from personality traits that simply correlates to happiness. For something more explicit, the Post points to a Pew Research study from 2006. That study replicated one the organization had done for years; in every result (as you can see at right), those who expressed a conservative worldview also reported being happier. (The low point, oddly, came after the reelection of Ronald Reagan.) While happiness also correlates with money — so much for that adage — the relationship between conservative political belief and happiness appears regardless of socio-economic status.