Making Slough Happy was a social experiment led by psychologist Richard Stephens and a team of experts which became a TV series in England. The express purpose of the exercise was to make the people of Slough happier and in the end it boiled down to the 10 step manifesto:
1. Get physical. Exercise for half an hour three times a week.
2. Count your blessings. At the end of each day, reflect on at least five things you’re grateful for.
3. Have an hour-long uninterrupted conversation with your partner or closest friend each week.
4. Plant something. Even if it’s a window box or container. Keep it alive!
5. Cut your TV viewing by half.
6. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once a day.
7. Phone a friend.
8. Have a good laugh at least once a day.
9. Every day make sure to give yourself a treat.
10. Daily kindness: Do an extra good turn for someone each day.
As you can see, it didn’t come down to material things. Money doesn’t make you happy.
An article appraising the experiment is here.