Good news, laaaaadies — a life of fulfillment and happiness is right around the corner … as soon as you turn 85. A new study from the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) found that women are unhappier than men for most of their lives, until they hit their 80s. So, you have that to look forward to!
Researchers found women become increasingly happier in retirement, because at that point they are less likely to be unevenly burdened with emotional and domestic labor. They also suggested that part of this uptick could be because they’re more likely to be widowed by then, which is a bleak hypothesis you might not want to bring up with your partner.
The study also found that women were more likely to report consistent unhappiness at almost every age — especially in their late-teens/early-20s and in middle age — but that rates of mental illness were rising across the board, with youth mental illness rising almost 50 percent since 2012. As Tom Madders of the charity YoungMinds told the U.K.’s Times newspaper:
We are facing a mental health crisis for children and young people. We know that teenagers are facing a wide range of pressures, including stress at school, bullying, body issues and the added pressure of the 24/7 online world. Girls may also be affected by early sexualization, and the feeling that their life needs to be as perfect as pictures in newsfeeds.
While experts like Madders have put forward a number of explanations, scientists still aren’t completely sure why mental illness seems to be rising so quickly. Whatever the reason, at least now we know we only have a few more decades to go before we’re happy.