How the world’s citizens are feeling

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes

As someone who believes the purpose of our lives is joy—NOT productivity—I forget that the way we feel doesn’t occupy people’s minds the way it does mine. But I’m happy to report that’s changing.

Feelings are finally getting their day in the sun!

Too bad it’s for the wrong reason: soaring unhappiness and its ripple effects.

Since 2006, Gallup has been asking the world’s citizens a question:

“How is your life going?”

Sadly, people have been reporting more stress, sadness, physical pain, worry and anger at any point in Gallup’s history of tracking.

Some of their findings:

  • 3.3 billion people want a great job, but only 300 million have one.
  • 2 billion people are struggling on their current income.
  • Over 1 billion people are so dissatisfied with their community that they want to leave it forever.
  • In 2020, three in 10 people worldwide experienced food insecurity.

And for the finding that took my breath away:

Over 300 million people don’t have a single friend.

If you can’t abide by that, check out my village work and see if it resonates with you.

If not, commit to making friends with the friendless somehow.

To dig deeper into Gallup’s findings, click here for an interactive map of global emotions.


Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.