I remember when I first read Thoreau's quote "“The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation." I thought, yes, people are basically unhappy. But if you watch a person in a 24 hour "day," there are many smiles and laughs and moments of peace, even in seemingly awful situations. A woman that vlogs from Kharkiv stops to point out flowers blooming or an old book she loves.
It seems thinking about life leads to that sense of muted despair, as people have an expectation that will never be met, but the lived experience of life is not likely as grim.