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Study Shows West Coast Is Happier Than East Coast Based on Twitter

Want to Be Happier? Move to the West Coast

I question California gurl Katy Perry's decision to sit naked on a cloud of cotton candy, but she's smart to think grass might actually be greener in California. When it comes to happiness, the West Coast is the best coast — at least among people who use Twitter.

Researchers from Northeastern University spent three years looking at 300 million tweets and found that people out West are much more likely to use positive language. The study says that "tweets suggest that the West Coast is happier than the East Coast, and across the country happiness peaks each Sunday morning, with a trough on Thursday evenings."

Each tweet was given a mood score. If the 140 characters or less included words like "funeral," "rape," or "suicide," the mood score would go down. Words like "love," "diamond," or "paradise" indicated a happy mood. Still, the "pulse of the nation" study has its problems. For example a tweet that says "I'm not happy" would count as positive because it includes the word "happy." We can only know so much about tweet sorrow.

Image Source: Getty
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I agree Sundaydrive, there are a lot of trade offs. In California, I had SO many grocery stores to choose from so I could get the best deal on groceries and find anything. When I lived in Corpus Christi, I had one option: HEB. Luckily the prices were pretty darn good, but if they didn't carry something, I was screwed (Sun Harvest had some things, but not everything). Here in Florida, we have Publix (expensive, especially for produce), Winn Dixie (tiny selection for vegetarian food), and Food World (never been). No Trader Joe's, no Whole Foods or any version of it, no Stater Bros :( In Florida, the humidity is so bad that the A/C has to run constantly, so the bill is more. Oh, and no alcohol sales on Sunday at all in my county. Alcohol laws are dumb in Texas and Florida. I miss buying booze at the grocery store.
Sundaydrive Sundaydrive 7 years
@totygoliguez I lived in SF, and never had to pay that much for a bottle of water. I'm living in NC now and most grocerys are about the same here as it was out there (minus cereal, cereal it outrageously expensive out west for some reason). And although I paid twice as much for Rent, my water and electic bill were a lot cheaper, and alcohol is also a lot cheaper in SF. Its kind of a trade of. Some things are more, some things are less. You just have to figure out which things you'd rather not pay a lot for.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Between my experiences living on both coasts, I would have to say that the West Coast is generally more relaxed. I have to completely agree with onlysourcherries comment about projecting an air of happiness on the West Coast and negativity being a sign of intelligence on the East Coast. I love both coasts for different reasons. And there's also more to the West Coast than just Los Angeles. Which, I have to say, I find to be a complete shithole (just my personal opinion). I think a lot of people equate West Coast with just southern California when there is miles and miles of other land (that isn't always sunny or filled with girls wearing bikinis with Daisy Duke shorts).
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I would love to move to San Francisco! But I heart is crazy expensive. My mom's cosine told her that a bottle of water costs $6! If I had money I will definitely moved to San Francisco or New York, I don't know, there is something about NY that I've always been attracted to! But I like Florida.
Sundaydrive Sundaydrive 7 years
I'm on the East Coast now and I much prefer the West Coast. Can't wait to move back their next year! Hopefully I'll like Washington as much as I liked California.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I'm from Southern California, I loved it there. Yeah, there's smog, crime, traffic, and housing is ridiculously expensive, but it was nice to be near everything. I've lived in Texas (southeast) and Florida (panhandle) in the last year, nothing compares. I was 45-60 minutes from Disneyland (depending on traffic), 45 minutes from the beach, an hour from the mountains, and just about every great food establishment wasn't far. I miss it so much :( I don't miss the 120 degree weather, but it gets 100 here plus humidity, that sucks more.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
Spacekatgal, California appears to be nicer. Emphasis is on "appears".
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
My high school economics teacher was very negative and he would always say something like "I'm from new york its the way I was raised". He moved here to Los Angeles in his late 20s and he always told us that people in Cali weren't as negative and seemed happier.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
um... also isn't the culture of the west coast more about projecting an air of happiness, whereas on the east coast negativity is like a sign of intelligence?
Pistil Pistil 7 years
What about people who don't use twitter? I guess their happiness doesn't count :(
stephley stephley 7 years
The scenery here helps for sure - I'd be happier if someone paid me to do stupid studies like this, what a cushy job!
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I agree with the above posters. But what about places like Seattle? Pacific NW, but still west coast. Those people have a pretty freakin' high rate of suicide, with all that SAD and all. The grass is always greener. Every place has a downfall, even my beloved San Francisco.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I'm glad you identified the limitations of the study because I was thinking, what if my tweet was "is pissed because I didn't get any diamonds for my birthday" or "thinks katy perry is a twat because she has a diamond-encrusted bra" ... those aren't happy!
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
this is possibly one of the stupidest studies ever done.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
...where you can be broke, out of work, and miserable like the rest of us.
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