The beautiful English city named the happiest place to live and work in the UK

Our mental health can be influenced by a number of factors, including our surroundings.

A new study has revealed people in certain cities in the UK are “happier” than others.

Research carried out by job website Glassdoor’s economic research team determined which locations are thriving rather than surviving, based on more than 100,000 anonymous employer reviews.

It found that Cambridge, known for its beautiful architecture and greenery, was the happiest place for workers.

From the reviews it earned a winning score of 78.2 percent job satisfaction.

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In close second, Brighton on the south coast scored a 77.6 percent rating.

Employers in the vibrant seaside city were praised for good work-life balance, senior leadership and compensation.

Bristol and Newcastle both scored 77.4 percent placing them joint third.

Despite its economic, political and cultural importance, London was ranked fifth on the list.

It earned points for opportunities available but lost out based on pay in relation to the cost of living.

UK economist at Glassdoor, Lauren Thomas, told The Metro: “London is often romanticised as the city to reach the peak of your career and earning capacity, but Glassdoor’s latest analysis shows that you can find a job with a great salary and work-life balance outside of the M25. Smaller cities are winning the hearts of workers.

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“With its position as the UK’s sixth best city for work-life balance, London is living up to its reputation as a pressure cooker.

“The capital’s amazing career opportunities and top pay are commonly cited to justify the stress, however, it seems that job seekers don’t always agree; London placed sixth for compensation and benefits – despite the highest salaries in the country.”

To determine the rankings Glassdoor gathered information from exit reviews of companies.

This includes feedback on seven different factors: overall job satisfaction, career opportunities, culture and values, positive business outlook, compensation and benefits, senior leadership, and work-life balance.

Each city was then given a score out of five.

The full list of the 10 happiest places to live and work in the UK is:

  • Cambridge (3.91)
  • Brighton (3.88)
  • Bristol (3.87)
  • Newcastle (3.87)
  • London (3.85)
  • Leeds (3.84)
  • Nottingham (3.81)
  • Manchester (3.8)
  • Oxford (3.8)
  • Cardiff (3.77).

Ranked lower down were Sheffield and Liverpool, with the former scoring below average on all factors.

Job satisfaction and mental health

Work-life balance is a key factor in our overall mental health, with the World Health Organisation stating that “decent work” is good for our mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation shared ways to check whether you are experiencing a healthy work-life balance or not.


Ask yourself, ‘What’s currently causing me stress or unhappiness?’

We often don’t take the time to reflect on work until there’s a major life event, such as the birth of a child or the loss of someone close to us.

But just pausing and thinking about your priorities can help you discover whether the way you’re living and working is right for you.

Pay attention to your feelings

Now you’re more aware of your current situation, how does it make you feel? Are you fulfilled and happy or angry and resentful?


Think about what needs to change. For example, you might want to ask yourself if working long hours is worth losing out on family time or whether working weekends is worth losing out on your social life.

Consider your alternatives

Is there anything at work you can change to meet your new priorities?

Make changes

Maybe that’s asking for flexible hours, making sure you use all your annual leave or not checking your emails at the weekend, for example.

If you are concerned about your mental health you can speak to your GP or find free support online through Mind at

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