Helsana Emotions Study 2022: here's how Switzerland is doing

How do you feel right now? Do you talk to friends when you have problems or do you simply withdraw? Helsana has conducted a representative survey with the Sotomo research institute to find out which emotions are predominant among the Swiss population. The results show the population is generally doing well, but that young adults feel most exhausted.


Helsana wanted to know how the Swiss population is faring emotionally. More than 5,500 people took part in the survey conducted by the research institute Sotomo in spring that led to the publication of an up-to-date mood barometer. The result? The mood is so-so. Many people are satisfied (41%), but feelings of being overwhelmed are just as common: respondents felt “exhausted” (39%), “stressed” (29%) and “worried” (38%).

Is social media responsible for exhaustion among the young?

It is striking that young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 feel the most exhausted. For the political scientist and head of the Sotomo research institute, Michael Hermann, this is astounding: “Young adults don’t (yet) generally have any work or family responsibilities, but still they feel exhausted. We’re talking about an exhausted generation.” This finding points towards the pervasiveness of social media as a root cause – but also the high expectations that young people have of themselves.

How is Switzerland doing really? Talking about your feelings is healthy

Lots of people are stressed and worried, but they don’t talk about it. One in four people say they are doing “okay” or “average” – but only mention negative emotions. That makes it all the more important to ask follow-up questions in situations like this. Helsana has delved into this issue and has tips for dealing with similar cases. After all, discussions in confidence can lesson people’s burdens and are crucial to mental health.

An active lifestyle and relationships strengthen positive emotions

According to the Emotions Study, nature, partnership and friendships are the most important resources for positive feelings: maintaining social relationships has a positive impact on emotional wellbeing in every respect. People who are active reinforce their positive feelings. Those who engage in activities on a regular basis, maintain a busy social life, exercise and/or actively relax tend to have more positive emotions than those who neglect these areas. Physical closeness has a beneficial effect on our health too – there is a correlation between hugs and wellbeing. Hugs reduce stress, calm us, and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Helsana’s Emotions Study shows that a third of respondents (32%) would like more hugs. Inhibitions and caution are the primary reasons for the lack of hugs.

The “Long live life” campaign

With its latest campaign, Helsana wants to use its role as a health partner to encourage people to show their feelings and to be there for one another, with its central messages including “Cry – it’s liberating” or “Laugh – it’s good for you”. Roman Sonderegger, CEO of Helsana, says: “Emotions are hugely important for our health. That is why we have conducted a study on the wellbeing of the population. Contributing to good mental health is also a matter close to our hearts here at Helsana.”

You can find the full study here:

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