The aim of this study was to investigate whether cultural differences exist in event centrality, emotional distress and well-being in a total of 565 adults above age 40 from Mexico, Greenland, China and Denmark. Participants completed questionnaires to determine their level of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms, and of life satisfaction. They also completed event centrality scales for their most positive and most negative life events. Across cultures, participants rated positive events as more central to their identity and life stories, compared with negative events. Furthermore, participants with higher levels of emotional distress rated negative events as more central to their identity and life story, compared with participants with lower scores. However, a converse pattern was not found for positive events. Finally, participants with higher scores of life satisfaction tended to rate positive events as more central and negative events as less central to their identity and life story, compared with participants with lower scores. It is concluded that across cultures, positive events are considered more central to identity and life story than negative events and that event centrality ratings tend to be affected in similar ways by higher versus lower levels of emotional distress or well-being.