Americans are an unhappy bunch.

Studies that assess happiness on the job, happiness at home, community well-being, physical health and emotional health all paint a portrait of Americans as dissatisfied, often depressed, going through life with unmet expectations and perhaps unrealistic goals for themselves, their workplaces and their families.

For example, the most recent Gallup-Healthways study, which assessed American well-being state-by-state in 2013 via a well-being index system, revealed that Americans were no happier last year than in 2008 or in preceding years in which Gallup-Healthways undertook the index. Other research has also concluded that success at work and other areas of life doesn't translate into a happy person.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.