State of the Heart: 2024 Report

The world’s largest study of emotional intelligence since 2011

The data is clear: we’ve entered a global emotional recession.

What’s an emotional recession? Like an economic recession, which reflects a significant drop in economic activity across an economy, an emotional recession is a sustained period of emotional depletion. During this time, individuals experience reduced emotional wellbeing, decreased motivation and empathy, and a lower capacity to cope with daily stressors. This results in a significant downturn in mental health and social engagement across a community or society.

Unfortunately, this is the reality we’re facing in 2024:

Emotional intelligence and wellbeing scores have declined for four consecutive years. “On average,” Six Seconds CEO Joshua Freedman says, “people are more volatile; less likely to be able to navigate emotions. They’re less likely to feel connected to empathy, or a bigger sense of purpose. They’re less likely to be able to accurately understand and label the feelings they’re experiencing – a crucial foundation for mental and emotional health.”

The good news is that emotional skills are measurable and learnable. Plus the declines are not evenly distributed among subgroups, and some have started to increase. That shows us a path forward. 

This report offers a realistic look at where we’re at and hopeful solutions for a better future. Just fill out the form in the box and we’ll send you a free copy of the 2024 State of the Heart report.


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Explore Key Findings

What are the top takeaways from this year’s State of the Heart report?

Global emotional intelligence scores have declined for 4 consecutive years. From 2019 to 2023, global average emotional intelligence scores declined 5.54%; scores on every individual competency also dropped.

The world has entered an “emotional recession” – characterized by low wellbeing and high burnout. Wellbeing scores declined for the past five years, dropping 5.3%.

Gen Z faces a mental and emotional health crisis
fueled by loneliness and social isolation. In the workplace, 53.7% of Gen Z scored in the low satisfaction category – signaling especially high risk for disengagement and burnout for younger workers.

A striking gender divide has emerged in the post-pandemic era. Starting in 2021, women’s emotional intelligence and 75% of women’s life success factor scores rebounded, even as men’s scores continued multi-year declines. While lagging wellbeing is a cause for concern, the overall trend for women is positive.

Workplaces across industries face rapid change in the post-pandemic era, due to a range of challenges including the transition to hybrid work and the rise of AI. From 2021 to 2023, burnout increased in 65% of workplace sectors in the study. 

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