Does Summer Sunshine Make Us Happy?


Summer’s end is near.

I was searching for those studies that link summer and sunshine to higher rates of happiness and I stumbled upon something surprising…

“There is no correlation between well-being and warm weather—if anything it looks like the opposite.”

Sure there are people who genuinely suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but it turns out that populations reporting the greatest happiness tend to be those in many of the coldest and dreariest (and darkest) places. Obviously, there are a lot of variables that come into play when happiness is concerned, but the suggestion one writer—the BBC’s Mark Easton—makes is that it’s not the arrival of the sun, but rather the change of season that may bring us the greatest pleasure.



I started to think about this as I looked back at these photos of a peach tart we made a few weeks ago.


You see, we have a peach tree in our yard and its branches were filled with fruit this summer. We watched it closely, checking the fruit for any signs of give almost daily. Weeks went by and then suddenly they were ready. The moment was swift and fleeting.

We piled them into baskets on the counter and tried our best to make them last—giving them a little time to get even sweeter and then slicing them over yogurt in the morning—until they started to go bad. We were losing some to our will to hold on. And so we baked them into a tart, serving them up with a dollop of mascarpone to share.


You can’t hold onto summer. You just have to make it as delicious as possible.

But perhaps it’s all the sweeter for it.

Do you have any hopes for the last weeks of summer? And what season do you most look forward to? 

P.S. The recipe for my favorite tart crust—it works as well for savory as it does sweet. And autumn officially begins September 23rd: Apple picking.

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