(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- Are you happy when you wake up in the morning? New Twitter research indicates breakfast is our happiest moment of the day, and we only get grumpier as the day wears on. Researchers at Cornell University used computers to analyze 509 million tweets written by 2.4 million Twitter users in 84 different countries, and found people wake up in a good mood but become grumpier by the hour.
The researchers counted how often various words such as “fantastic,” “incredible,” and “hilarious” appeared in Twitter posts at various times of the day, versus language used to describe sadness, anger or embarrassment.
Researcher Michael Macy told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference, “We found people are happiest around breakfast time in the morning and then it’s all downhill from there.”
Professor Macy believes people start the day happy because they are refreshed by sleep. And that need for sleep may also explain why we use more and more negative words as the day goes on.
The research also came to the not-surprising conclusion that people are happier on the weekend. The study suggests that the stresses of work and commuting get us down during the week.
Macy found the same pattern around the world, across cultures, religions and countries, although the so-called “weekend effect” shifted to fit in with a country’s work timetable.
The study also finds that sleep and our body’s natural rhythms also play a big role in our happiness. The researchers found that although we are happier on the weekend, our spirits are highest later in the morning, most likely because we get up later at the time nature intended, rather than being jolted out of bed by an alarm clock.
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