This paper responds to the recent advocacy of subjective wellbeing in policy evaluation with an investigation of food security in rural Chhattisgarh, India, in 2010–2013. Conceptually, it suggests the need to move beyond a primary focus on happiness to consider a broader-based investigation into people’s subjective perceptions. In particular, it introduces a multi-domain model with some affinities to the capability approach, which asks what people think and feel themselves able to be and do. Methodologically, it suggests that the primary reliance on quantitative measures should be complemented by more qualitative approaches to give a more rounded appreciation of how people view their lives. Three approaches are presented: qualitative analysis of interview text; statistical analysis comparing a single measure of happiness with a broader, domain-based approach; and mixed qualitative and quantitative data generated from an individual case.