Living Danishly? (Yes Please)

Helen Russell’s 2015 book, The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, has become something of a personal guide-book.

It is filled with classic British cynicism, wit and self-deprecation but it chronicles the author’s personal journey and transition to the world’s happiest nation. From her initial trepidations to her eventual embracing of the hygge (hoo-guh) life, for someone who wants to make a similar journey, it’s a cracking read.


What is it about the Danish life that is so godt?

  • This notion of being the ‘Happiest Nation’ is official: the United Nations World Happiness Report is a genuine article and Denmark regularly features.
  • The Danes’ work-life balance is ideal: in Denmark a normal work-week is 37 hours and employees benefit from five weeks of holiday a year (five!)
  • That’s not to mention leisure time and hygge: the Danish, of all ages, professions and backgrounds regularly participate in sports and activities. This adheres to the ideal of ‘hygge’ a word for cosy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends.

What’s not to like?

Other benefits include:

  • Free healthcare
  • Free education (including university)
  • Genuinely helpful unemployment benefits that support people until they’re back on their feet. *

Imagine that?

For being such a small country in terms of population, it’s film industry is pretty impressive too.


Bucket List Entries

#1 Vist Denmark.

2# Look for a research topic in Danish Universities.

3# Get hygge.


Tak for læsning.



 *Danes pay more taxes as a result of their many social benefits (can’t have everything!)


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