Posted on March 25, 2024
Sapien Labs Releases Rapid Report on Mental Wellbeing, Religion and the Love You Give

Washington, D.C. – Today, Sapien Labs released a rapid report examining the extent to which people feel love for others (i.e. family, friends, community), how this relates to their mental wellbeing, and how this is influenced by their level of spirituality and active religious practice. The findings are based on data from 239,692 internet-enabled respondents across 65 countries, obtained between January 2023 and February 2024 as part of the Global Mind Project. 

Key findings from the report:

  • Those who are spiritual love and care for the wellbeing of a wider circle of people, while those who are atheist are five times more likely to love no-one.
  • The increase in mental wellbeing gained through spirituality arises through the increase in one’s feelings of love and care for others, and spirituality without love and care for others does not have mental wellbeing benefits.
  • Active religious practice is associated with a higher likelihood of spirituality and love for others, regardless of religious affiliation.
  • More religious regions of the world have greater love for others led by Latin America, South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Europe and Oceania have the least love for others with United Kingdom and Germany having the lowest among all countries from which data was collected.

“Spirituality and active religious practice appear to enhance your mental wellbeing by expanding the love you feel for others. And while one can come to love and care for the wellbeing of others by various paths, active religious practice is a relatively reliable one, but is by no means a guarantee,” says Sapien Labs Founder and Chief Scientist Tara Thiagarajan.

About the study: 

This study is part of the Global Mind Project, an ongoing survey of global mental wellbeing, conducted by Sapien Labs. The project acquired data through an assessment that queries 47 aspects of mental function on a life impact scale to create an aggregate mental wellbeing score, the Mental Health Quotient or MHQ, as well as scores of various dimensions of mental function.  The assessment can be taken here. In addition, the data from this project is freely available to researchers for noncommercial purpose and access can be requested here.  The Global Mind Project also publishes the annual Mental State of the World Report which can be found here.

Supporting materials:

Rapid Report: Mental Wellbeing, Religion and the Love You Give

Associated Data Tables

High Resolution Images of Graphs