Finland is giving away free trips to teach people how to be happy

Written by Travel Adventures

For seven consecutive years, Finland has topped the 10 happiest countries in the world list – a round-up of the happiest destinations across the planet put together annually by the United Nations. All of the Nordic countries score unsurprisingly highly in the 2024 list, but Finland has come out on top yet again, with Denmark in second place and Iceland finishing third.

If you’re wondering what it really is like to live in such a country, you’re in luck. Finland is inviting people to Helsinki this June to ‘hack their happiness’ at a five-day happiness-focused masterclass.

This isn’t the first time the welcoming Finnish have invited people in search of smiles over. Following the announcement that Finland would take first place in 2023, the ‘Finding Your Inner Finn’ programme saw a group held at the luxury resort Kuru in Finland’s Lake District. Participants revelled in the opportunity to delve into the region’s breathtaking natural beauty and indulge in impeccable food, music, and more from the comfort of a private villa offering spectacular views and unparalleled access to nature. The only catch? Participants had to agree to be filmed throughout their visit for use in Visit Finland’s advertising campaigns.

This time, Visit Finland and Helsinki Partners are inviting lucky participants to the capital to learn everyday hacks from the Helsinki Happiness Hackers. Over the course of five days between Sunday 9 June and Friday 14 June, learn what makes city dwellers in the world’s happiest country so cheery, getting involved in four key themes of Finnish happiness: nature and lifestyle, health and balance, design and the everyday, and food and wellbeing.

The Happiness Hackers in charge include 70-year-old former swimmer and sports journalist Lena Salmi, best known for zipping through the streets of Helsinki on her skateboard, rocking a tutu and defying gravity with every twist and turn. Biologist and writer Adela Pajunen is on hand, having pioneered a unique Finnish nature-prescription model recognised globally for its scientifically proven effects, while Luka Balac is the culinary whizz behind acclaimed restaurants including Nolla, Elm, and Nolita.

How can I apply?

The five-day Helsinki Happiness Hacks Masterclass is free to join – but you may be up against some stiff competition in the application process. Visit Finland and Helsinki Partners cover travel expenses to and from Finland.

Firstly, complete the social media challenge by posting a picture or video of your very own ‘happiness hack’. Tag @ourfinland on Instagram or on Tiktok, and use the hashtag #HelsinkiHappinessHacks to ensure the team spots your post.

Secondly, fill in the application form before the closing date on Thursday 4 April. You can apply with a friend or partner, but solo applications are also welcome.

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