There are lots of things that can contribute to happiness and fulfillment, and they vary with each individual. A 75-year-long study, however, has found one common element that's believed to play a pivotal role in most people's genuine, longstanding happiness.

Good ol' fashioned friendship.

This study, which is considered the longest ongoing study on human happiness, started at Harvard University in 1938 with 724 men, 60 of whom are still alive today (women were added later because misogyny). After decades of observation, one of the study's leaders, Robert Waldinger, came to this conclusion:

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Kathy* is an active mom of three with a successful career and, by all accounts, a good life.

Shortly after her 46th birthday, Kathy found a lump in her breast. A biopsy was done and she was waiting for the results. Kathy is one of my personal life coaching clients (her name has been changed to protect her privacy and keep our work confidential).

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If  somehow you haven't heard, April 11 is National Pet Day.

And that means it's the best time of the year. You're welcome (nay, encouraged) to share stories about your first canine companion or feline familiar. And where did your hamster come from, anyway? Are you always being told you share too many pictures of your guinea pigs online? (I am.)

Well, on National Pet Day, that's all forgiven and forgotten. Besides, if Facebook's gonna violate your privacy, you may as well inundate their servers with 27 nearly identical pictures of your cat stretching. Without further ado, here is my rabbit, Ms. Cleo, just chilling like it's her job. (Which it is.)

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Thanks for stopping by for Day 27 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

From the moment Fiona the hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, she was a social media star.

The tiniest, newest, cutest little hippo had arrived at a cosmically necessary time in January 2017, three days after Donald Trump's inauguration but six weeks before her due date. There was Fiona merch. A reality show. A lavish New York Times profile that wordplays off "hippo" with "Hooray." An impressive-sounding book deal was practically an inevitability.

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