World’s First Happiness Museum Opens in Copenhagen

Located in Denmark, this museum is the ray of hope we all need right now.

Man watching tv show at The Happiness Museum
Photo: The Happiness Museum

Happiness. That fleeting, delightful feeling that seems all too rare in 2020. But there’s one place where happiness is the name of the game. And, no, we’re not talking about Disney World.

Denmark, currently the second happiest country on earth, is now home to The Happiness Museum, an institution dedicated to the idea of happiness and how it has been perceived and discussed over the centuries, CNN reported.

The Happiness Museum officially opened on July 14 in a small 240-squaremeter (2,585 square foot) space in Copenhagen, according to CNN. During a time when museums are getting hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, this museum feels like a shining ray of hope.

“We thought, there might not be a lot of guests these days, but the world does need a little bit more happiness,” said Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, to CNN. The Happiness Research Institute is an organization that studies the science of happiness, and it is credited for creating the museum itself. The institute is particularly focused on studying why some societies are happier than others, with the objective to help affect political and societal change.

“We thought, why don't we create a place where people can experience happiness from different perspectives and give them an exhibition where they can become a little bit wiser around some of the questions we try to solve?,” said Wiking to CNN.

Instead of rainbows, puppies, or things that are soft, squishy, or shiny, visitors to the museum are met with exhibits and interactive experiences to show them how different countries perceive happiness, CNN reported. Visitor’s reactions to interactive experiences also help the institute further its research.

Woman testing smile of Mona Lisa
The Happiness Museum

“We might be Danish or Mexican or American or Chinese, but we are first and foremost people,” Wiking said to CNN. “It's the same things that drive happiness no matter where we're from, and I hope that people will see that in the exhibition.”

While the museum is a very optimistic place to be, it’s also keenly aware of the difficulties of being a public place in the middle of a global pandemic. The museum has strict policies in place to ensure social distancing and safety, including only allowing 50 visitors at a time and a one-way path through the museum, according to CNN.

For more information about the museum, visit The Happiness Museum website.

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