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1 in 10 young women are actually really happy with their lives

The remaining majority claimed to be sad, anxious and terrified about the world around them, but let’s stick to the positives 💖

A new survey from Girlguiding has found that one in ten young women feel very happy about their lives! Unfortunately, the remaining nine in ten feel worried, anxious or terrified about the state of the world around them.

The study – hailed as a bit “sad” and “devastating” by Girlguiding researchers – found that happiness among seven to 21-year-olds was at its lowest level since 2009. Of the 2,614 girls and young women who were surveyed, the main reasons for distress were negative feelings about body image, online bullying, and shrinking aspirations. There was also a sharp rise in anger targeted at older generations, who they feel had “damaged the environment” and left them to “deal with” the mess.

“They’re facing persistent issues that aren’t going away and it’s having a negative impact on their lives,” said Angela Salt, Girlguiding’s chief executive. “Girls are feeling pressures and experiencing challenges from all angles, from harm online, to appearance and sexual harassment. Not only are girls worried about their futures and the increased cost of living, but they’re experiencing unrealistic pressures and negative behaviours because they’re girls.” That being said, the study also found that young women were feeling more hopeful about protest and collective action, with more admitting to campaigning about the issues they care about.

It’s not a wild shock – another study from earlier this year found that there had been a sharp rise in young people casually feeling “severe psychological distress”, while another found that 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK were, on the whole, sad and miserable. There are plenty of reasons for this, including the cost-of-living crisis, the spiralling renting crisis, rising social anxiety, and the still-unfolding effects of a global pandemic. But listen – some of us are having a lovely time, so perhaps that’s one thing to smile about.