Money Won't Buy Happiness, According to Science—Here's Why

Updated 03/23/17
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For decades psychologists have studied the relationship between wealth and happiness, and despite being richer, Americans aren’t any happier. As author of Wealth & Happiness, David Geller says, “America is ‘house rich’ and ‘happiness poor.’” But even if you read all the best “how to be happy” tomes to try and elevate your inner joy, about half of our happiness is already pre-determined from birth. According to researchers at the University of Minnesota who tracked identical twins separated at birth, about 50% of our happiness is “genetically determined.” So what about the other half? Will money bring pleasure and inner peace?

Unfortunately no. It certainly hasn’t helped Minecraft billionaire Markus Persson. Despite having enough money to buy a $70 million L.A. mansion (apparently he outbid Jay Z) the 35-year-old computer game developer took to Twitter recently to lament his loneliness, isolation, and lack of motivation since selling his gaming company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. He tweeted: "The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.” It seems Franklin D. Roosevelt had it right all along when he said, “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; It lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Scroll down to read a few reasons why being rich doesn’t make you happy, according to science. 

Affluence Intelligence by Stephen Goldbart $18

Affluence Intelligence by Stephen Goldbart ($18)

F*ck Feelings by Michael Bennett MD and Sarah Bennett $12

F*ck Feelings by Michael Bennett MD and Sarah Bennett ($12)

The Happiness Advantage $15

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor ($15)

SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal $21

SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal ($21)

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