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Does Money Bring Happiness?

If poverty makes us unhappy, it comes to reason that wealth makes life worthwhile to live. But does it really?

Does money truly bring us happiness? This is a question that has sparked debate throughout all our lives. Some people contend that happiness is not based on one's financial situation, while others argue that having more money leads to a happier and more satisfying existence. In this piece, we'll investigate the topic from both perspectives and look at the connection between wealth and contentment.

If you know what to expect from it and what you shouldn't, money can increase your happiness. According to a large body of studies, looking for the good life in a shop is an expensive exercise as well as pointlessness. You must first realise your mistakes in order to pursue pleasure in the proper manner.

You want more as your income increases. This seeming paradox has long baffled economists: the more you have, the less effective it is at making you happy. A lot more money doesn't necessarily lead to a lot more happiness, according to Dan Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard University and the author of Stumbling on Happiness. According to some research, if your annual income is between £20,000 and £50,000, you are twice as likely to be happy, but the benefit of earning more than £90,000 is only marginally better. Despite the fact that the wealthy are happier than the poor, Americans for example have not become happier in the previous 50 years despite the dramatic increase in living standards. Why?

What makes us happy?

The things that make us joyful, or at least those that cause a positive, reward reaction in our brains, are those that fulfil our most immediate and fundamental biological requirements. Simply said, as living creatures, people require various resources to maintain their life, including food, water, air, sleep, and security. Because these items are seen by our brain as being "biologically relevant," obtaining them makes us feel good.

The human brain can easily recognise that obtaining money indicates we may now more easily obtain food, water, shelter, etc. since it is capable of making intuitive and abstract leaps. This can be satisfying and motivating, two things that might fall under the category of happiness, according to a 2007 Wellcome Trust study.

But, this does not necessarily imply that having more money will make you happier. Our brains may recognise money as having biological significance, but even items with biological significance have a cap on how pleasant they may be. For instance, eating can frequently be enjoyable, but eventually, you will become satisfied, at which point eating more can actually be uncomfortable. Likewise with alcohol. Even basic necessities like safety and shelter can feel oppressive if you erect too many boundaries around yourself. For example, the developer of Minecraft, Markus Persson, sold his gaming company to Microsoft for £2.5 billion in 2014. Nevertheless, as evidenced by this tweet from August 2015, “Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.” it didn't immediately make him extremely happy.

This is in part due to the fact that pleasure is not solely dependent on financial goods but also on interpersonal relationships, a feeling of purpose, and the capacity for personal development. Regardless of their financial level, people who value these non-material aspects generally report feeling happier.

Furthermore, the chase of wealth might frequently be at the expense of our well-being. Burnout, exhaustion, and a lack of work-life balance can result from putting in long hours or working a stressful job. Additionally, it can harm our mental and physical health and disrupt our connections with family and friends.

What makes us happy in life was the focus of a decades-long investigation by Harvard researchers that began in 1938. The study's 724 international participants had their health records collected, and every two years, the researchers questioned them in-depth about their lifestyles. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a financial success, professional success, physical activity, or a balanced diet. During 85 years of research, the one constant we've discovered is that having happy, healthy relationships can prolong our lives.


In conclusion, despite the fact that the connection between wealth and happiness is complicated and multifaceted, there are some key factors to take into account. Money can provide some benefits and possibilities, but it cannot ensure happiness. Prioritizing intangible aspects, like relationships with others, personal development, and well-being, can be equally as crucial to living a successful life. While thinking about the connection between money and happiness, it is also important to take into account the influence of cultural and societal standards, individual differences, and financial uncertainty.

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