A recent ONS study has found that Sheffield citizens are the second happiest amongst the UK’s major cities.
The study surveyed people’s wellness by asking them to rate out of 10 how worthwhile their life is, how satisfied with their life they are as well as their happiness and anxiety levels.
On why Sheffield has ranked high in terms of happiness amongst the UK’s major cities, Richard Hennessy, who runs Sheffield Wellness Centre and has been a hypnotherapist for 14 years, said: “I think a big part of it is (the city’s) connection to nature.
“I like to think that because we (Sheffield) have got so many trees and because you can look out of most windows and see hills and moors you get a sense of the outside world.”
Despite Sheffield’s huge size, its proximity to nature and number of green spaces is unrivalled in the UK. The city boasts over 250 parks, woodlands, gardens and an estimated 4.5 million trees.
Mr Hennessy added: “It is not all concrete everywhere. If you look at the number of people who say that going for a walk helps them to be calmer and more relaxed, helps them reduce anxiety, depression and stress. This is all proving walking among trees is very therapeutic.
“Sheffield has got that balance of being big enough but not too big or small enough or not too small. When you go to London you go, ‘Jesus, this is overwhelming’.
“I think Sheffield is in that goldilocks zone of being just right for a lot of people which leads to happiness.”
Across the board, the study showed that Sheffield has recovered well from the record-low wellness levels seen during the pandemic.
The average happiness rating in the city was 7.45, up from the low of 6.89 recorded during the pandemic. This year’s figure nears the city’s record high of 7.48 in 2016.
Other cities across the UK have been much slower to recover, with Glasgow and Edinburgh posting the lowest happiness ratings of any UK with a measure of 7.03 and 7.1 respectively.