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Can Money Buy Our Happiness? Man-Made or Natural

In today’s world it can currently been seen that money does buy our happiness, since modern culture presents that money buys influence. Those with great wealth possess the ability to have leadership of the idea of happiness to those who aren't as wealthy in comparison.



Happiness can be defined as an emotion characterised by feelings of contentment and joy. Small studies have indicated a correlation between money and happiness, but what about the natural joys of the world?


Man-made happiness:


A small study conducted by Ryan J. Dwyer and Elizabeth W. Dunn, was set to find out if money promotes happiness. Their aim of this study was to,


“Take advantage of a unique experiment, in which anonymous donors gave US$10,000 to each of 200 recipients in seven countries. By comparing cash recipients with a control group that did not receive money, this preregistered experiment provides causal evidence that cash transfers substantially increase happiness across a diverse global sample.”

This small study was run for just over a period 6 months, where participants had to report back on their happiness each week. The money was donated by two anonymous wealthy donors distributed through PayPal. The group that received the money were required to spend it all within three months whereas the control group, who didn’t receive any money just recorded how they felt on a happiness scale and a sad scale.


The results concluded that, participants from low-income countries gained the highest satisfaction rate in happiness compared to high-income countries. The results highlight the correlation between money and happiness.


So, man-made money can contribute towards happiness but only for the short period before all the money has been spent. Money can supply the short-term influence of happiness but once it’s gone, it’s gone.


Those with great wealth can influence those who have little to no wealth as in comparison their lives appear more fun and happier. This is all influenced by today’s social media impact creating the idea that the more you have, the happier you will be. The idea of capitalism is very highly regarded in today’s social media influence in apps such as Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. However, I strongly disagree that money can buy you happiness.


Natural happiness:


Money will always play a part in contributing towards happiness, like funding hobbies, sports and activities which generate emotions for everyone individually, but what about the natural elements of the world. These could include nature walks, watching sunsets, star gazing and walking on the beach and many other examples. Mother nature can create as much serotonin experiences and much more compared to the value of money buying happiness.


These elements of natural happiness are always going to be available and will never have an ending unlike money. Natural happiness is a truer form to the happy feeling, we get what we want from it with no set back. Compared to money, which is like a synthetic happiness, only there for a moment.


Just from participating in natural happiness, for example watching sunsets, being outside and breathing fresh air raises oxygen levels and increases levels of serotonin making us in a happy calm mood. With serotonin increasing, this is a mood booster for instant happiness.


There is no influence with natural happiness, it’s an individual experience. The natural joys of the world are free to everyone on this planet. There is no restriction and no class level separation to value or compare individuals together, mother nature made these experiences possible, fair and free for all. With this decrease in competition happiness is able to be felt in a truer form.


My experience and opinion:


In my own experience, I have always valued natural happiness over man-made happiness. Money takes time to be earned and to purchase items that would contribute towards my happiness would only last a short amount of time. Personally, I prefer happiness mood boasters that enable me to repeat with no other feelings attached so I prefer natural happiness. Watching the sunset has become part of my regular routine and I go on weekly nature walks to release endorphins to create a good mental space for my busy university life.


So, money can buy happiness, but only in a one-off circumstance, you can’t retain it on a long-term spectrum. Compared to natural happiness, which is available whenever, wherever and can be accessed by anyone with no limitation of money. There is no influence or judgement to who can enjoy their mood with what’s available as there is no limitation.

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