Research by psychologists has indicated that religious persons see themselves as happier. Then again, most of the research has been conducted in the US, where approximately 80 percent of the population claims to be connected to some church or sect. Surveys made in other countries provide conflicting results.

For example, studies have shown that people turn to religion when facing serious hardships and that religious people are happier than non-religious, primarily when in harsh conditions and religious societies.

An English study found that persons who see themselves as spiritual but do not follow any specific religion are more restless and depressed. This could have many possible reasons. Those with a diagnosis of depression may be more interested in self-help and spiritual movements than the average person. Soul searchers of fragile mental health can do poorly when there’s no support from a church or congregation.