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People feel more satisfied with their lives when they experience the emotions that they want to experience, regardless of whether those emotions are pleasant or unpleasant, suggests a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Researchers surveyed 2,324 participants from eight countries about which emotions they wanted to feel and which they actually felt. Most wanted more positive emotions and fewer negative ones, but 11 percent wanted to feel fewer positive emotions and 10 percent wanted more unpleasant ones. For example, someone might want to love an abusive partner less, or someone might want to feel more anger when reading about injustice, the researchers explain. Overall, participants who experienced more of their desired emotions reported greater life satisfaction and less depression.

Susie Bean Gives