What affects wellbeing?

Click on the hotspots below to see some of the things that affect a person’s wellbeing:
(Richard Layard, Happiness lessons from a new science)

Financial situation


Personal freedom

Personal values


Community and friends

Family relationships


Some of people’s wellbeing is down to external factors such as income, housing, health and educational attainment – low levels of these are known to be detrimental to wellbeing.

How people think subjectively about their own lives is also important – whether they feel happy or anxious, whether they are satisfied, and feel what they do in life is worthwhile, and importantly whether they feel they have control in their lives.

Your Turn

Get together with a colleague and talk about the families who use your service. Think about where they come from, where they live, the kind of work they do. 

1. How likely is it that some of those families are experiencing the kind of stresses that are known to cause low wellbeing? 

2. Describe the different circumstances of your families in your reflective diary. For instance, how many families are on benefit, how many children have a health condition, how many children were born abroad.