Podcast Transcript: On March 18th, we told you that smoking doesn’t make people happy. Well, we hear you ask, what will make me happy? What? What?! Ok, first, relax. Then, take out your wallet. Because according to a study published in the March 21st issue of Science, giving money to other people is what brings us joy.
Scientists from Boston and British Columbia got to wondering whether money really can buy happiness. They were bothered by the fact that over the past 20 or 30 years, people in the US and other developed countries have been making much more money—yet our happiness has pretty much flatlined. What they found is that money can buy happiness. But only when you spend it on someone else. In one experiment, the scientists asked volunteers to rate their happiness. Then they gave each subject some cash, either 5 or 20 dollars. Half the participants were told to spend the money on themselves. The others were asked to give it away. At the end of the day, the folks who got the biggest boost were the ones who spread the wealth, even if it was only five bucks. So if you want to be happy, here’s a big tip: always leave a big tip.