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The strongest predictor of unhappiness is anyone who has had a mental illness in the last 10 years. It is an even stronger predictor of unhappiness than poverty - which also ranks highly.
The best care on earth cannot prevent us all dying in the end.
So what really works? Treatments in jail do some good, but it's mostly too late: finding a family and a job or just growing older make most prisoners eventually give up crime.
People want the right to die at a time of their own choosing. Too many families have watched helplessly as a relative dies slowly, longing for death.
Openness about death has led to greater care about all aspects of dying.
One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives.
My mother begged doctors to end her life. She was beyond the physical ability to swallow enough of the weak morphine pills she had around her. When she knew she was dying I promised to make sure she could go at a time of her choosing, but it was impossible. I couldn't help.
My Lords temporal, today is the day to rise up against the regiment of Lords spiritual and proclaim the values of enlightenment, compassion and common sense.
Most people come to fear not death itself, but the many terrible ways of dying.
It is now possible to quantify people's levels of happiness pretty accurately by asking them, by observation, and by measuring electrical activity in the brain, in degrees from terrible pain to sublime joy.
Is anyone serious about the politics of happiness? David Cameron dipped a toe in the water, using the word lightly, but denying the hard policies it implies. Labour shies away from it, but should take up the challenge.
Inequality makes everyone unhappy, the poor most of all, and that is well within the remit of the state. More money gives less extra happiness the richer we get, yet we are addicted to earning and spending more every year.
In the polls, over 80% support the right to die and have done for the last 25 years. Even 80% of practising Catholics and Protestants support it, plus 76% of Church Times readers.
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