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Some of these happiness habits may surprise you—but scientific research shows they really work.

Hallie Levine
October 12, 2015

Some of these happiness habits may surprise you—but scientific research shows they really work.

1. Smell the roses

Harvard research found that folks who kept freshly cut flowers in their home for a week reported feeling more energized and less anxious.

2. Spend wisely

In a 2014 study, San Francisco State University researchers discovered that splurging on life experiences (like a weekend trip) made people happier than purchasing material items.

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3. Switch to iced coffee

Downing four or more cans of sweetened soda a day raised a person's risk of depression by 30 percent, while drinking four cups of coffee a day lowered the risk by 10 percent, according to a 2014 study in Plos One.

4. Consider a D supplement

A 2012 study of more than 12,000 people found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were the most likely to be depressed. Talk to your doc about getting a blood test to see if you're deficient.

RELATED: Happiness Really Is Contagious, Study Finds

5. Work out regularly

Starting a fitness routine between the ages of 20 and 40 that includes three sweat sessions a week could reduce one's risk of depression by about 16 percent, suggested British research published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2014.

6. Cut back on Facebook...

The site was associated with a decline in overall happiness and life satisfaction in a 2013 University of Michigan study.

7. ...And meditate instead

A daily practice might help some people relieve anxiety and depression, found Johns Hopkins research published last year in JAMA Internal Medicine. It's easy to get started with the video below.

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