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.
So what makes the difference? The Post thinks it may be a side effect of other conservative behavior, like marriage and religion, both of which are more prominent in conservatives.
Or perhaps it's because conservatives often skew older. Another study, from the London School of Economics, found the two ages at which people are the happiest: 23 and 69.
In addition to the blinking caveat above, we recognize that this information doesn't really present you with many opportunities for making yourself happier. You could switch your political beliefs, apparently, but that might cause some unhappy side effects. If you're a man, you could go back in time and have sisters, which is apparently an indicator that you'll become more conservative.
Otherwise all you can do is wait, content in the knowledge that while you age you will, at some point down the road, start thinking life isn't that terrible once again. If you're over 69, however? Not much we have to offer.