Action for Happiness’ “Happy Cafes” are popping up across the United Kingdom and beyond, but just what are they and how could they benefit you, or someone you know?

The idea of a happiness café is pretty simple: a friendly and welcoming environment in which people with a shared interest in promoting happiness can get together to talk about their own health and how they manage their wellbeing.

Why do they exist? The people behind the cafés put it best: “Having a network of social connections or high levels of social support has been shown to increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older.” They add, “Not having close personal ties has been shown to pose significant risks for our health.”

All happiness cafés are run by supporters of the charity Action for Happiness and have been running up and down the country since 2015 (as well as across Europe, the USA and Africa).

In Kent, they currently run in Ashford, Canterbury, Chatham, Faversham, Hastings and Rochester – find out more here, and new ones are popping up all the time (see some southeast locations below).

action for happiness southeast uk map

…And it’s not just about cafés! Understandably, sometimes one of the hardest things to do when you are feeling down or going through a challenging period with your mental health is to feel like going out and talking to people. There’s therefore a lot of advice and useful information about managing your wellbeing at work, with family & friends and in your local community, as well as little actions you can do to work towards a big positive change on the Action for Happiness website.

action for happiness - november 2019

Struggling and in need of support? Find some support and useful links here.