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If spent wisely, can money buy you happiness?

The science of happiness is fascinating: it's the study of a seemingly spontaneous and, often, fleeting emotion. So, naturally, an article recently posted on Scientific American examining if money can buy happiness piqued my interest.

In the piece, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a psychology professor at UC Riverside, argues that one of the biggest misconceptions about money is that it can't make us happy:

As it happens, a growing social science of money is showing how we can compensate for some of its damaging effects by getting the most out of our spending. The conclusion is that if we want to buy happiness, we need to wring as many rewarding and stretching experiences from our purchases as possible.

. . .Happiness is a choice. We can choose to become never-satisfied janitors of our possessions, or we can use our money in ways that improve our worlds and, as a bonus, supply us with genuine and lasting well-being.

The entire article is worth reading. It goes on to outline the most effective ways to use money to buy happiness, such as spending it on activities that help you grow as a person, strengthen your connections with others or improve your community.

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