Finland is the happiest country in the world. Now it’s giving away free trips to show travelers why – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Finland was once again named the happiest country in the world.

The Nordic country topped the World Happiness Report 2023, released this week by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which measures factors such as income, mental and physical health and societal generosity.

According to the report: “Finland continues to hold the top spot for the sixth consecutive year, with a score well ahead of all other countries.”

However, there is no national secret behind Finland’s happiness, said Heli Jimenez, senior director of government organization Business Finland.

Rather, it is “a skill that can be learned,” she said.

To prove it, the country is giving away free trips to Finland for a four-day master class in Finnish philosophy and life balance.

A “master class” of happiness

Finland’s first Masterclass of Happiness will be held June 12-15 at Kuru Resort, a luxurious lakeside retreat in southern Finland.

According to Visit Finland, “expert trainers” will cover four topics over four days:

Nature and lifestyle Health and balance Design and “everyday” nutrition and well-being Aleksi Koskinen | Image source | Getty Images

Nature is an important part of Finland’s Masterclass of Happiness.

The catch?

Only ten people can participate. For those who are selected, the cost of the course plus travel expenses will be covered.

Applications for participation in the master class are now possible until April 2nd. Interested travelers must fill out a form and complete a social media challenge showing why “You might be secretly a Finn”.

Those who weren’t selected to attend in person “need not to worry,” according to the country’s tourism regulator Visit Finland, adding that the master class will be available online later this summer.

Why is Finland so happy?

Jimenez said she is often asked why Finns are so happy. For her, “it springs from the close connection with nature and our down-to-earth way of life”.

Finnish CEO of customer feedback company HappyOrNot, Miika Makitalo, agreed.

“We maintain our work-life balance, believe in our society and devote time to benefit from our closeness to nature,” he said.

But he also said that the term “Sisu” plays an important role.

“Finns have a philosophy called ‘Sisu’, an amalgamation of perseverance, resilience and staying focused on problems,” he said. “Sisu defines our national character and is as recognizable and accepted a concept to Finns as the ‘American Dream’ might be to residents of the United States.”

He said the word has no English equivalent, but it’s about pushing your limits and tackling seemingly insurmountable challenges head-on.

“This philosophy certainly underpins our national happiness and determination,” he said. “It keeps our spirits high.”

Happiness rankings by country

The United Nations World Happiness Report ranks countries based on average life appraisal scores from 2020 to 2022. According to the report, life appraisals are based on six main factors: income, physical and mental health, social support, generosity, level of corruption and freedom to live without discrimination.

According to the report, life assessment averages are “remarkably resilient” this year, with global averages for the last three years similar to those before the pandemic.

At the bottom of the list, however, are Afghanistan and Lebanon. According to the report, the average life ratings in both countries are 1.8 and 2.4 respectively on a 0 to 10 scale.


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