Are we happy? Not really, according to this week’s Time Magazine cover story—”The Pursuit of Happiness”—by Jeffrey Kluger and Jon Meacham.

They cover what’s uniquely American about the pursuit of happiness (mostly, that we’re free to try and actually pursue being happy) and explain just how stupid we are for usually looking for it in the wrong places. But, there’s a catch. Even when we do look in the right places, it’s harder than ever to achieve happiness, they say, because the world has become just too fast-paced and frenetic.

That last point is debatable, but the story is worth a look for anyone who could use a little more joy in their life. And that’s all of us.

Time also did a poll, asking just how happy we are. Some highlights:

  • Since 2004, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves a optimists has dropped from 79 percent to 50 percent
  • 60 percent said that they do not feel better about themselves after spending time on social media
  • 76 percent believe other people make themselves look happier than they actually are on their Facebook page
Also in this issue, Jon Meacham explains what the founders really meant when they put “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, and Katie Steinmetz breaks down what science says helps us or hurts us in that pursuit in a clever infographic by Heather Jones.
The issue is available online now and hits newsstands Friday.

Some other stories that caught our eye…

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