Study: Maybe Money Actually Does Buy Happiness?

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Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

What really makes us happy? Is it the innocence of a child’s laugh? A summer rain? A well-earned slumber after a hard day’s work? Or perhaps chocolate?

Only if it’s Godiva. A study published in Applied Research in Quality of Life, our new favorite academic journal, suggests that people are happier with life in general when we acquire the finer things in life, i.e., Gucci, not H&M. (This is why the Overspenders greet every day with a smile.) Merely borrowing fancy things doesn't do the trick; one must own them.

Researchers had 307 subjects take a fake product-evaluation test: Some were only allowed to use the luxury pen and fancy chocolate, while others were allowed to take these things home. Results indicated “that the frequent spending of money on luxury brands in various product categories, such as accessories, clothing, or travel is positively related to Satisfaction With Life (SWL).” Not only that, but research found that merely borrowing luxury goods is actually detrimental to our sense of well-being. Sorry, Rent the Runway, fake flossin’ results in the sads.