Finland – recipes for a happy nation


The prize in the ranking of the happiest nation for 2021 takes us far to the north.

The northernmost capital in the European Union. With the shortest days and the longest nights at this time of the year. The sun does not rise until 9:20 in the morning and goes down below the horizon shortly after three in the afternoon. In winter, it is almost absent in the Lapland area for six weeks. The lack of natural light at persistent sub-zero temperatures hardly predisposes to a cheerful mood.

However, the UN World Happiness Report says otherwise. In 2021, the Finns won the prize for the happiest nation for the fourth time. The study reported a maximum number of spontaneous joy among the population of five and a half million people in the country with vast forests and thousands of lakes. Is the reason for this result hidden only in the high standard of living, security and public services, in the enviably low levels of poverty and inequality?

Certainly the listed factors contribute to the happy appearance of Finland. But it can be said with even greater certainty that the Finns do not stop cultivating their specific abilities to endure and overcome the problems and difficulties that stand in their way. There are reasons for the accumulation of intolerance and tension in every society.

A difficult past, mistakes made, too many tasks and responsibilities, and lately a pure rage of anger caused by restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. Jane Ranien, 44, is aware of this feeling since he was in prison. He is also acutely aware of the need to release repressed rage. After serving his sentence, Ranien opened one of the most successful hourly therapy centres, called the Room of Anger. His sessions include one person with a baseball bat in his hands, four walls with good sound insulation and various items suitable for breaking.

„I had a lot of problems when I was young. I ended up in prison, and there I realized that such a room would have been useful to me in my youth. And then I started thinking that when I go out, I’ll make a room where people can vent their anger instead of doing the stupid things I did in my youth,“ said Jane Ranien.

The initiative proved to be extremely successful. Reservations for the room at the Relief Centre are for weeks ahead.

„80 percent of our clients are women between the ages of 25 and 45. They are the main group of people who use the room. But we also have other clients. More and more companies are interested in visiting the room,“ says Jane Ranien.

Sana Sulin said: „There is a perception that we women should not show our anger, that we should be careful, control ourselves all the time. That’s why we need to find a way to get rid of it.“


And it is not necessary for the therapy to be accompanied by screams. Experience has shown that breaking at the background of music also has a beneficial effect.

„Since we couldn’t go somewhere for a long time to listen to music, somewhere outside our homes, which is different, the opportunity to play your favourite music here is also quite relaxing,“ says Sana Sulin.


Of course, not everyone will feel equally relieved by smashing objects with a baseball bat. The traditional sauna and communication with nature are also proven remedies for the soul and senses. And because the Finnish landscape offers many frozen lakes in winter, one can always rediscover it, expressing oneself in a unique way. For example – with a chainsaw. Such is the case of the Finnish inventor with the surname Capilehto. His first name coincides by chance with that of our previous hero – Jane. But this Jane, Capilechto, has not accumulated anger, but ideas – to create something beautiful, fun and moving. Without disturbing the balance in nature, the Finnish inventor cut an ice carousel over a hundred meters in diameter off an island in a frozen lake. The so-called pretzel is probably the largest of its kind in the world.


Jane Capilehto shares: „This is the day of the great spin. There will also be a sauna, a barbecue and, of course, a party on the pretzel around the island.

 The whole structure is powered by skillfully installed electric motors, which reduces to negligibly low values ​​the carbon footprint of the entire facility. Pandemic measures with outdoor communication have been complied with. Only the degree of good mood is exceeded.

Once spontaneous joy is triggered, people easily tolerate the sunset in the early afternoon, sub-zero temperatures and icy darkness. The long winter nights only remind them that from now on the day will grow slowly, and the daylight will gradually regain more and more space from the darkness. Which is real happiness.