Even "futile busyness" beats boredom, report researchers in a University of Chicago Booth School of Business study. Volunteers who ran an unnecessary errand for 15 minutes (voluntarily or not) felt much happier
than those who simply waited around for the same amount of time. Similarly, we're happier (okay, less unhappy
) walking a long way to the airport baggage claim than waiting there the whole time, the researchers say—or taking the winding back roads instead of the jam-packed highway (even if we don't actually get home faster).