Researchers say moving to Spain may benefit your mental health

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THE highest level of wellbeing is found in Spain, one of the top 10 countries in the world

Over the last few years, tens of thousands of Brits have relocated to Spain, drawn by its laid-back lifestyle, warm weather, beaches, culture, and cuisine. But expat life on Spain's Costas is not just about a better lifestyle.

A new study called the Mental State of the World Report, the most comprehensive of its kind that examines the mental health of 34 countries throughout the world, including five where English, French, or Spanish is spoken, suggests that moving to Spain could be beneficial to your mental wellbeing.

Researchers have examined five aspects of mental wellbeing, including mood and outlook and how we relate to others and ourselves. Their findings are promising.

Sapiens Lab surveyed approximately 225,000 people worldwide on wellbeing, ranging from distressed to thriving, on a 200-point scale.

To illustrate how the responses varied based on where people live, each country's responses were compared, including those from Continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Canada.

During the pandemic, mental health dropped by 8% in 2020 and 3% in 2021, and the intensity of anti-Covid measures in each country contributed, especially among the younger generations.

Surprisingly, the study found that mental health was poorer in English-speaking countries and significantly higher in Latin American and other European locations.

There was also a link between worse mental health and higher GDP per capita, implying that economic growth isn't always synonymous with happiness and wellbeing.

While the UK and South Africa tied for bottom position among the 34 countries studied, with an average mental health score of 46%, Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries did the best overall, with six Spanish-speaking countries in the top ten.

Spain designated second for the uppermost levels of wellbeing, and in relations of European countries, it was shadowed by Switzerland at five and Belgium at number eight.

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