Monday, March 26, 2012

Church Makes You Happier

According to an article in the Huffington Post, people who go to church are happier than non-church goers.

The article says:
"Who are the happiest people? According to a new report from Gallup, it's those who regularly go to a place of worship, whether it be a church, mosque or synagogue." 

"Last month, Gallup came out with a report showing that religious people in America have higher levels of wellbeing than the nonreligious and moderately religious.

And even earlier this year, a Queen's University study showed that thinking about religion is linked with practicing greater self-control in a non-religious task."
Photo by Jeff Norris

What do you think? Are us churchy types happier than our non-churchy friends?

I am not sure, and I can only speak from experience, but church does make me happy. Actually, my husband can tell if my illness is getting worse if I start saying I don't want to go to church. If there is a Sunday that I say I won't go (one where I am not working of course), he makes me go anyway because it always puts me in a better mood. Making sure I go to church is part of my treatment plan.

However, church will not "cure" your mental illness. I do think the self introspection, feeling of being part of something greater than yourself, and beloved community all help in combating our illness though. Church can be a great addition to your plan for health if you are struggling with mental illness. Of course, you need to go to a church that aligns with your values and beliefs and honors you for the amazing person you are. God loves us all, with mental illness or without, never let anyone tell you any different.

See you in church!


Rev. Katie


  1. A lovely message Katie.

    I think the idea behind that article wasn't really that 'church' makes anyone happier, but that anyone who seeks church in any form is also seeking happiness of some kind and therefore is probably more apt to achieve it than someone who is not searching.

    I am a christian and I go to church, but I have found in my own life that my time alone with God, connecting with his love and his power and his forgiveness and his healing has been way more meaningful and powerful than any church service I have ever attended.

    I still go to church most of the time. But for those of us with mental illness, church can be a tough experience. Whether it is the crowds, the noise, or the inability to concentrate, it can be tough.

    And so I would say to anyone reading this who struggles with depression and hates church, don't be too hard on yourself. Church and God are not the same thing. God loves you whether you go to church or not. BUT, if you can find a good church that you really like, then BONUS! Go for it!

    1. I agree Wendy, you reminded me that church can be too much stimulation for some of us with the noise and crowds. That is why some of our Unitarian Universalist churches have been doing work on helping churches figure out how to be welcoming to people with mental illness so they can still come to church but not feel overwhelmed or stigmatized.

      Thanks for the reminder!


      Rev. Katie