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What affects our wellbeing?



Wellbeing, put simply, is about ‘how we are doing’ as individuals, communities and as a nation. Improving wellbeing is a key measure of success, something for us all to aim for, now and for the future.

We can now be more specific about which factors matter for us to thrive. Current evidence on the relationships between different aspects of our lives and individual wellbeing outcomes means we can identify categories that have the greatest impact. As individuals, we can distinguish between external factors that affect our lives, and our own internal psychological needs.

What affects wellbeing?

What matters for wellbeing

This is a summary of wellbeing factors that matter.


wellbeing factors that matter

Our wellbeing can change over time. We can also adapt to some things, like relationship breakdown, but not others, such as longer-term unemployment.  

We do know that most of these aspects have a smaller influence on our wellbeing the more we have. For example, 

  • £10 makes a much bigger difference to someone on minimum wage compared to someone already earning £35k a year. 
  • And having one more friend to rely on makes a bigger difference to those with no one than someone with many friends in their close network.
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