According to a new study reported in London's "The Telegraph" newspaper, listening to the radio is a happier and more rewarding experience than either watching TV or surfing the web - at least in the U.K.

Radio came out top, beating both TV and online, in the study called ‘Media and the Mood of the Nation’, with respondents recording a 100 per cent lift in happiness and 300 per cent boost to their energy levels when listening to a radio show versus not consuming any type of media at all.

Watching TV and surfing the internet also significantly boosts people’s happiness and energy levels, but failed to come close to the positive effect radio listening has on Britons’ well-being.

“People are the happiest and most energetic when listening to radio. It plays an important emotional role in people’s lives,” said Mark Barber, planning director at the Radio Advertising Bureau which commissioned the research.

“People use radio as a lifestyle support system and to make themselves feel better about their lives… Our latest research highlights the immense potential of radio to influence emotions.”

The study found that listening to the radio increases people’s happiness levels nearly twice as much as watching TV does, and gives them four times the amount of perceived energy. Similarly radio trumped people’s feelings when online, especially in the energy stakes. Those listening to radio said that they felt three times more energetic than they did when browsing the web.

A separate part of the study also used EEG brain scans to further monitor people’s reactions to radio. Having monitored the wave activity in six people’s brains (three men and three women), the results showed that radio stimulates positive brain engagement levels and that people are more responsive to audio adverts when preceded by editorial content.

Of course, there's no word about happiness levels among newspaper and magazine readers. Surprise, surprise!

The Telegraph