The phrase “not a morning person” might seem to be applicable to most people, but a Cornell University study involving Twitter found that we are actually at our happiest early in the day and also on the weekends.

Over the course of two years, researchers analyzed tweets — 140 character messages from the social networking site — from approximately 510 English-speaking users from 84 countries and used a computer program able to identify whether it revealed a positive or negative mood.

They found that the average Twitter user is at his or her most positive early in the morning between 7 and 9 a.m., but a decline began mid-morning before lunch and between 3 and 6 p.m. After that point, moods seemed to uplift before bedtime, peaking around midnight. People also appeared to be happiest on the weekends, researchers said.

Negative moods, just like positive ones, also appeared to rise at night, peaking around 10 p.m.

Words like “happy,” “enthusiastic” and “brilliant” were regarded as positive mood indicators, whereas words like “sad,” “anxious” and “fear” were seen as negative mood indicators.

The study was published in the latest issue of Science.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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