Why does happiness get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from? And, most importantly, will it ever end? Drawing on cutting-edge research, Brookings Senior Fellow Jonathan Rauch answers these questions and more in his new book, “The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50.” Rauch argues that happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, a “happiness curve,” declining from the optimism of youth into what’s often a long, low slump in middle age, before starting to rise again in our 50s.
On April 30, Rauch debuted his book at Brookings and was joined by David Brooks and Barbara Bradley Hagerty for a discussion. They explored the relationship between aging and life satisfaction and how we can help ourselves and others navigate the journey. After the discussion, attendees were welcome to a reception.