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Weekly Mindfulness Support Blog - Money Makes You Happy?

Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, April 30, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.

I was recently scrolling through a social media feed and came across this article titled, “Birds make you as happy as money, study finds.” I was aghast. I’m trying to be kind, open, and understanding when I respond to posts. After a pause and a few breaths, I came to the conclusion that I probably shouldn’t say anything. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Well, I didn’t listen to that wisdom. Still trying to stay true to being open and understanding, I wrote, “Money makes you happy?”

I had numerous replies – none of which I responded to. Some people said things like, “Of course money makes you happy,” “It may not make you happy, but it’s better to have it than not,” and “I think happiness is the wrong word.” I was still fretting over the title suggesting that money makes you happy.

If it were the case that money makes you happy, then obviously you would be a little happy if you had only a little money. If you had billions, you’d be in a perpetual state of bliss. Is this the case? I think not! If money were a source of happiness, it seems to me that intertwined within the fibers of a dollar bill would be the measurable element of happiness. Oh wait, there is no such happiness element. Money is inherently void of happiness.

OK, cynical ranting aside, money is useful. We need money to live in our society. There is nothing wrong with having money. As it was suggested in the article, getting a raise tends to produce feelings of joy, excitement, and what most of us would call happiness. Unfortunately, many people, including myself, have mistakenly fallen for these temporary feelings produced by the acquisition of money (and things) as a pathway to well-being and a fulfilled life - Happiness. As one person commented on my question, “Happiness is the wrong word.”