March 21st, 2008
05:51 PM ET

Spending $ on someone else the key to happiness?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/21/art.sharing.money.gi.jpg caption=]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out money really can buy happiness. But there's a catch: you have to spend it on someone else.

A new study conducted by Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia finds that spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could make you significantly happier. I'll give you my address at the end of this.

Experiments on more than 600 Americans found people were much happier when they spent the money on others even if they thought they'd be happier spending it on themselves.

One of the lead researchers points out that this study goes along with a growing body of research that shows that helping others is the best way to help yourself.

Another expert suggests that it's experiences, not possessions, that actually make people happier. So if you buy yourself a new car or TV, the elation wears off relatively quickly. But if you take a friend out to lunch, you'll feel good longer. She also suggests that kind acts make you think that people are grateful and that is also linked with happiness.

Meanwhile, the study – published in this week's edition of the journal Science – may also explain why people aren't happier even though America keeps getting richer.

Here’s my question to you: Is spending money on someone else the key to happiness?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike from Staten Island, New York writes:
It does feel nice to buy people stuff, but the key to happiness? The statement goes a little too far. It's making someone else happy that may well be the key to it. That and having a fat, well-fed, and relaxed cat.

Mark writes:
Jack, I spend about $75 per week sending goodies, like brownies and other edibles, to soldiers in Iraq and their thanks are so rewarding. Man, am I happy doing that.

Anthony writes:
Two thousand years after Jesus Christ, somebody finally figured out that doing something for others makes us happy. Great! Now let's see what we can do with peace.

Myk writes:
You can't just skip the race and start at the finish line. Spending money on others doesn't make you happy, being happy makes you want to spend money on others. If you have someone in your life who you want to provide for, you're probably already happy.

Ellyn from Halifax, Pennsylvania writes:
Taking an older person out to dinner and horseracing is a lot more fun than shopping for clothes, I found out recently. It shows that sharing yourself, your time, and possibly money with another person is better for you spiritually than spending or hoarding it all for yourself.

David writes:
Jack! Let's find out... Can you send me a few bucks? Thanks!

Craig from Tampa, Florida writes:
Must be, Jack. Every 5 to 6 years, I find a woman I can't stand and buy her a house. And no, I won't buy your book just to make you happy, because I've got mortgage payments on 3 ex-wives.

Greg from Oak Park, Illinois writes:
Then former Governor Spitzer must be very, very, very happy.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Jed from Chico, CA

    You might have something there - though you'd have to have enough money to take care of yourself first. And in this day and age that's becoming more of a challenge.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  2. Jennifer Rustburg Virginia

    Hi Jack,

    I find spending money on my family makes me happy. Since I don't usually have any extra money to spend. It's nice to be able to give them soething special.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Tom Distad

    If spending your money on others makes you happy, that's wonderful. But you don't need a key to find happiness. There are no locks on those doors. All you have to do is walk through.
    Reno, NV

    March 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Harry

    (Is spending money on someone else the key to happiness? )

    It must be true, as the government keeps spending more and more of my money, while telling me all the good things they are doing for me.

    I just wish I had more money to give them, so I could achieve nirvana.


    March 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,spending money on others made Gov. Spitzer happy,until he got caught,then it made Wall Street and the whole state of New York happy!

    March 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Nolen, Atlanta GA

    Ha! Be altruistic if you must. You see what it got the Dalai Lama. A better question would be "Is spending $ on someone else 'in a way that benefits you' the key to happiness?" I'd be the first to admit, I give and I give often. But I only feel "happiness" when I see some kind of tangible result (like in my family or with friends) that my giving meant something. Who really knows what happens to money you give to charities or to random people begging for change in all America's cities?

    March 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Lola

    Lola from Casa Grande in Arizona

    Money doesn't buy happiness simple.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Nolen, Atlanta GA

    Ha! Be altruistic if you must. You see what it got the Dalai Lama. A better question would be “Is spending $ on someone else ‘in a way that benefits you’ the key to happiness?” I’d be the first to admit, I give and I give often. But I only feel “happiness” when I see some kind of tangible result (like in my family or with friends) that my giving meant something. Who really knows what happens to money you give to charities or to random people begging for change in all America’s cities?

    March 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  9. Ron Richmond

    No! Doing for others is! Money has damn near destroyed this country from moral decay and greed all the way to the top of Government! Banks are getting bailed out of their ignorance in handling the Mortgage mess, but the people get screwed in the end.

    No, doing for others is the road to happiness. Knowing you did your best to help others whether it be family, relatives or friends.

    I am reminded of the selflessness of Mother Teresa during this Easter Weekend. No one other human was so close to the teachings of Christ than Mother Teresa. Money is and always will be the path to destruction of the sole and a straight road to hell!

    So, no , Jack, spending for gifts for others isn't the key happiness!

    March 21, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  10. Larry - Fulton, Ill.

    Yes, Jack, but in today's economy with the rising cost of everything, the donation dollars are dwinding quickly. The poor will get poorer and soon there will be no middle class left. How outrageous when you consider the dollars we send to rebuild Iraq while our infrastructure crumbles and all the oversees charities to third world countries while we have so many unemployed and uninsured people in our own country. Will these other countries support us when they overtake our standard of living? I really don't have any problem helping out other people but I honestly believe we should search for charity closer to home.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Rob Norway, ME

    I think the key to happiness has nothing to do with money. If all it took to be happy was money, Eliot Spitzer never would have needed to pay for "company," President Bush would have stayed home in TX and spared us all the trouble, and mortgage company CEO's wouldn't be such losers.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Tom Distad

    I'd like to comment on Reverend Wright and Obama.
    Attending a church does NOT require you to believe everything your pastors says. Asking Obama to leave his church is akin to believing that Hillary approves of adultery because she did not leave Bill. The Clintons know Rev Wright, too, and about 15 other questionable religious people.
    Judge Obama and Clinton by what they say and do, NOT what their friends do, and certainly NOT what the press says they say and do...
    Tom Distad, Reno, NV

    March 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Hell yeah Jack! Imagine how happy I was when I bought your book! I knew I was spending money on you!!! I'm joking, but great book by the way.

    Did it make you as happy? Now if you want to be as happy as I was, I'll send you a list you can choose from to buy for me!!! (since I didn't write a book.)

    March 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  14. Terry from Calif

    I hope that it is not the key to happiness as that appears shallow. I think the key to happiness is open communication and spending time with a person.

    Money cannot by happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  15. robert from nc

    You bit it is...Remember, You need to give it away, if you want to keep it. It's that simple !

    March 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  16. Mark, comfy in AZ


    The power of giving is not to be underestimated; it's very powerful and gives us a feeling or more self worth.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Howard


    Joshua Tree

    March 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  18. Mike

    Jack, I'm not sure, but I know t would make me happy if they spent it on ME.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  19. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The most charming and ultimate happiness of all things is spending money on soneone else..........especially when it is on me.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  20. Joe in DE

    Probably since thre are so many unhappy people. Maybe the canidates should ry that, they seem unhappy most of the time.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  21. Velle In Halifax

    You're close Jack, very close. "Doing" for others is a key to happiness. My wife and I live very simply, Have minimal debt-load, somewhat challenged health and budget everything. We have several personal crafts skills that we use to either sell and contribute the money or contribute directly to fund-raisers for all sorts of hardship and disaster victims around our area. We "do" whatever we can according to our skills and means because we can...within limits. But its better than buying lottery tickets and dreaming about "living large".
    We are living large, Jack. Just as large as we are allowed.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  22. Kevin - Albany, NY

    Happiness doesn't have to cost anything, Jack. Those same studies of altruism have shown that we can each get that little serotonin boost just by engaging in acts of kindness to others, like helping an elderly woman across the street. Money has nothing to do with it.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  23. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    Jack, honestly no it is not the key to happiness; however, it does provide a warm feeling when you are able to give and help others that are less fortunate as well as a great fantastic feeling when you are able to show someone how much you care about someone else.
    Happiness comes from within.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  24. Patricia

    Well Jack, everyone is indeed worried about the economy. But, it may be that we believe that if we spend that $20.00 on that soccer ball our kids want, or take that 3 day weekend for Easter to Florida, the boogie man didn't get us & we can rest from the fear of poverty.
    I know this sounds silly Jack, but, I take a look up in the sky & while I watch the stars go by & then watch the NASA Channel, I remember that those people in space don't have time to worry about the economy, Iraq, Iran, or anything else. They live more on the edge than I do & maybe just maybe they are more free than we are.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  25. Paulette Dallas,PA

    For me it is. I really enjoy buying my son and daughter-in-law things now that they can't afford but need. I'm very excited about my grandchildren and get much pleasure giving them beautiful clothes,toys and helping out any way I can. To see the excitement on their innocent faces when they experience something "new" is priceless. I saw the report Dr. Cohen presented earlier today about giving stimulates a certain pleasure section of the brain. This is more than likly scientifically correct,but when I'm giving it warms my heart and soul.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  26. chris kelly

    The key to happiness is having a balanced life spiritually and giving of ones self...a balanced checkbook sure helps too!

    Chris – Alpharetta,GA

    March 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  27. Brian


    I always find immense happiness in buying gifts for family and friends, and I know the same goes for many people I know. Often when I find myself with some extra money I'll consider what I want to buy for myself, only to pass and decide to buy a gift for my wife. Other times I'll donate some excess spending money to the Obama campaign because it makes me feel like I'm doing my part to make this a better country. With Obama's record fundraising, it's clear I'm not the only American choosing this path.

    Brian Rich
    Moscow, Idaho

    March 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Don Blue Springs, Missouri

    I think it would if anyone has any money or even better extra money. Every day money is becoming so rare that only the Chinese have it.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Richard Sternagel

    Spending money on some one else is not a panacea for happiness! Witness how many people seemingly "have it made" and are very unhappy,depressed and/or suicidal! What is needed is some meaning full family conversation around the dinner table If this is not possible then allocate family time; turn of the TV,radio,video games and let's have a family discussion! My guess is that if this happens the true happiness of Human Interaction will prevail!

    March 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  30. Keith Irving, Texas

    It's not the key to happiness, Jack, but it does feel good to help others.

    More people should try it. We'd all be the better, if we did.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  31. Mary Whartnaby -California

    Hi Jack – when I was growing up, I was always told that it was "better to give than receive". I truly believe that these are choice words, for I always feel happier when I am able to spend money on others.
    Happy Easter Jack.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Jerry


    This is a tough one.
    If I was was one of those "So Called" making over $250,000 a year
    we often hear about, I would love to help out, like buying 4 tickets
    to a major league ball game, food, parking for $ 400. dollars.
    But on $ 1388. a month Social Security I probably will give the guy
    on the corner with the sign saying I'll work for food, a few bucks
    for a "Happy Meal" and that will make me feel good.

    Roselle, Illinois

    March 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  33. James in Cape Coral, FL

    If it is I sure hope people start getting happy at my expense. How happy would it make you to fill up my gas tank?

    March 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  34. Roslynd

    In this economy, keeping my money in my own pocket makes me happy and joyful! Especially since the government gets a Kings ransom in taxes anyway.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  35. David in Raleigh, NC

    Enjoying the rewards of your own hard work is the ultimate happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  36. Ralph Taliercio - Long Island, NY

    Maybe that's why Hillary looks so strained whenever she tries to smile.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  37. Gigi in Alabama

    It could or would if you had it to spend. Too many people now do not have the where with all to find that kind of happiness. Every penny you get has to be spent on the necessities of life not on buying or giving of gifts.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  38. mikeytherhino

    It does feel Nice to buy people stuff, but the KEY to Happiness? The statement goes a Little too far. It's Making someone else happy that may well be the key to it. That and having a fat, well fed, and relaxed cat.

    Mike, From Staten Island, New York

    March 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  39. Terry in Hanover, VA

    That depends. If I spend money on friends or relatives, I don't expect to hear anything from them nor do I think they owe me anything. Unfortunately, there are many people who spend money on others in order to get praise - days of unending praise! A simple "thank you" from the recipient isn't good enough. And it doesn't end there - they brag to friends and neighbors about the wonderful thing they just did. If they don't get to brag or don't get neverending praise, they're not happy. Quite frankly, it's those people who make the rest of us miserable. Those people have a name - "mothers." I think it's best to take a clue from my cat. When I give him cat toys, he returns the favor and gives me a dead mouse as his way of thanking me. Wonder how my mother will like getting a dead mouse the next time she goes on and on and on about giving me another butt ugly sweater for Christmas. Thank you is never enough.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  40. Kim, Canada

    Of course, helping someone is always a more satisyfing feeling. It is alway better to give then to receive. Your soul cannot appreciate a car or flat screen. But a moment of selflessness feeds the soul.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  41. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    The key to happiness is success. Successfully staying connected to family and friends. Success in the career of your choosing. Success at being able to keep at least your nose afloat. Most important of these three: family and friends.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  42. Ronald

    It's more blessed to give than to receive . . . but right now, it would be pretty nice to receive a little bit too!

    March 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  43. tim from Ravenna, OH

    Can't say Jack, all my money is spent on surviving. Hard to spend your last 5 bucks on someone when you haven't eaten all day, you're dodging an eviction notice and the car is on e.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  44. Brian, Columbia, Md.

    There's a paradox, though: if I spend money on someone else KNOWING it will make me happy, am I not really spending the money on myself? And if I'm merely spending money on myself, then, not only am I not happy, I'm also poor.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  45. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    This is not new. The Bible and every philosopher of note has always said that the key to happiness is in helping others. The reason that Americans are so unhappy is that we have become selfish and self-centered and only think about ourselves and our possessions. We would be so much better off as a society if the corporations,the wealthy and Watt Street bigshots were not not so absolutely focused on the bottom line for themselves and actually used there ill-gotten profits to benefit the rest of the American people. We would have good jobs,good schools,universal health care,good housing and our infrastructure would still be the envy of the world. We have,sadly,squandered all of our good fortune and become a nation fixated on greed and everything for the individual. I am afraid the it is too late for the United States to recover the dream. Happiness is now but a dream.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  46. Roy Munroe

    If that is the case then I have been waiting a very, very long time for someone to make me happy. They say money can't buy you happiness but I'm willing to try.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  47. Terry from North Carolina

    If I had the money I would spend it on my wife and kids that would make me happy. Unfortunately I have to spend it on my medication and gas for my old chevy. There aint much left !

    March 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  48. Kevin from Sacramento

    This is difficult logic, Jack. It is suggested that the key to happiness is to compete with others to make more money, and then give that money to those with less. Charitable capitalism is certainly irrational, but who dares argue with imperical evidence?

    March 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  49. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Happiness is a by-product of doing the right things day in and day out regardless of what other people think as well as doing something for someone else and not telling anyone and it doesn't have to involve money. It is a matter of simple radom acts of kindness like taking the time to hold open a door for another person expecting nothing in return and especially for someone who needs help.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  50. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    I don't know. But if that's what makes you happy my address is .........

    March 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  51. Ralph from NY

    Jack, the first priority when spending money is to ensure you and those you care for have a good home, are well-fed and well-clothed, have as much medical insurance as you can supply, as well as the education that is desired by members of your family; if transportation is important a good automobile(s) fit in this area. After that, vacations and other amusements have their place. Of course, it is important to spent on others, whether it is through loans to distant relatives and/or friends, your taxes, contributions, etc., but your family comes first.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  52. J. Onofre - CA

    So Bush must be the most miserable man on earth?

    March 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  53. Ken in bankrupt California

    It will go along way to capture more Hispanic votes.
    Bet the mortgage on this, that is, if the loan sharks haven’t screwed you out of yours, Bill Richardson who is more than qualified, will be the next Secretary of State.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |


    March 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Pete, Fla.

    You feel good when you help someone else, there's no doubt about it. But it's times like these when peoples' greedier sides come out. The other day I saw a lady clutch her purse and cross the street when she noticed a Salvation Army bell ringer.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  56. Brad in Oregon

    The key is under the Happiness mat.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  57. Bill

    To the extent that gratifying your own material desires brings happiness, it does so as what you own exceeds what you desire. The wider that gap, the greater your happiness. When you spend money on others, your desire diminishes – you want less for yourself. Therefore, yes, spending money on someone else is certainly a–I wouldn't say "the"–key to happiness.

    Hewlett, NY

    March 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  58. George Wilson

    I don't know if that is the case or not, but I'm willing to let as many people try to find as much happiness as they wish. I'm sure that I could find something that I don't have, but would like to have someone buy for me, so please all of you who think this is true, you got my number. .

    March 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  59. Paul

    Those with alot of money will tell you the saying "money doesn't buy hapiness" is true. It's helping others in need that makes us feel good. That is why I will be voting Democratic this year, they are the ones who want to help those in need while the other party spits on them.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  60. Joan

    I would like to suggest that anyone who can spend a few dollars on someone else, buys a little extra food, eg canned goods etc, and donates to the local food bank, I think now is the time. Anyway that is my plan for this weekend.
    Joan North Carolina

    March 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  61. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    Ask Spitzer for expert opinion.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Ken in bankrupt California

    Now I know why George W. Bush is so jolly of late, like soft shoe dancing on the steps of White house, singing at Republican parties. He seems deliriously happy giving a few trillion of our dollars to Iraq.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  63. Helen from Mifflin County, PA

    I hope the members of my congregation will believe it when I quote this study during the next stewardship drive!

    March 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  64. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    YES, if I am that someone else. I am begining to doubt that they do any research before coming out with these results because I am easy to find and willingly welcome to be a subject for this kind of research. But believe me there is some truth in it because it is very fulfilling to impact the lives of other people.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  65. David Bakody

    Jack, yes but having a poll or having people say so in public just may not be true. Who likes to be been seen as a cheep scape in public? If your words are correct where does all that stuff come from at garage sales?

    March 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  66. joe m

    i guess this is why politicians always seem so happy. they spend money like it was going out of fashion. they spend it on others like, lobbyist, special interest groups, flunkies, yes men, and lets not forget, hookers. better still for them they're spending money that doesn't even really belong to them. ha! ha! i guess the jokes on the rest of us. after all the money is ours.

    point is stuff is just stuff and some of the richest people are also the most misarable. life is about accumulating experiences and people who bring meaning to it.


    March 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  67. R S in ohio

    WHY ...SURE !!

    March 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  68. Mary

    Wow, you just made my day! I sent an Easter card to someone with only $5 in it. Haha!

    Actually, I think unselfish acts towards others is the key to happiness, not necessarily the money you spend. Time, kindness and love bestowed on others transcend the money.

    Mary from Florida

    March 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  69. Bill in Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I had this expense winter suede coat that was really warm. I gain weight and it didn't fit me anymore. I was going to sell it and use the money to buy something for myself. My wife came home from work one day and told me about a woman who worked for the temp agency at her work. She said she had several kids and walk a mile to work with only a thin jacket on. We both decided to give her my coat. The smile and appreciation on that woman's face was priceless it gave me more happiness then it would have selling the coat and spending money on myself. In fact it still puts a smile on my face when ever I think about it.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  70. Chuck B Coastal NC

    What extra money.....for me, both times that there has been a Bush in the white house I've had to work 2 jobs too survive. I would be happy too be able to just have 1 job again.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  71. John from Boston

    I think sharing memories and laughing with friends is more of a key towards happiness in life. However, taking a friend out to lunch or dinner shows you appreciate the friendship you share with them. It can be as simple as buying a friend a cup of coffee or three course meal, it doesnt matter.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  72. Eric

    If it's my decision then yes, it brings me pleasure to do things for others. When it's forced wealth re-distribution, as endorsed by the Democrats, then a huge NO.

    I'm the best decision maker of what to do with money I've earned not some jerk ass whose platform is to "take a little more" from people that have earned it and provide to those who did'nt.

    What ever happened to self responsibility Jack?

    March 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  73. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    How can you buy happiness if you aren't happy with yourself? It doesn't have a price tag. Go to a nursing home and give a forgotten senior a hug and spend some time with them. That will put a smile on their face and a smile in your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  74. Bob from Chicago

    YES. On my wife and my parents and my kids and my grandkids. That makes me happy. I don't need too much myself.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  75. Alfie --- Palmdale, Cal.

    Spending money on others is merely one key on a ring of many that we should always carry with us. Sometimes a kind word or gesture is just as good a key as any. Keep up the good work Jack, and have a great day!

    March 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  76. Chris Swansea, MA

    ...Jack money isn't the key to happiness. The someone else part of the question is the key to happiness. It dosen't have to be money it can be time, consideration, or even love ...

    March 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  77. barbara Actisdano

    What I beleive in having happiness is having good health and seeing my Children and Grandchildren all healthy. I live in a goverment housing with Seniors` and find my Friends are only Happy when their Children call them or come see them. Some have money here and their Children do not visit them,they are Happy Campers and that is so Sad! When I had money, I shared it with my Chrildren and Church and I have no regrates
    about that at all! I am not in the best of health lately, but my Children are there for me and I can watch YOU AND WOLF everyday, Thank God for T.V. HA!
    Barbara from Florida

    March 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  78. PAULA, Pennington Gap, VA

    Hey, for all of you who think so, I have some advise – – SPEND IT ON ME !!!

    March 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  79. Wings Beaverton, OR

    Looks like you got something there, Jack. Look at how much happiness is being bought for the gun-toting insurgents in Iraq by being paid by the US taxpayers not to shoot. No wonder the 37,000 man strong coalition faded sway, they had to work for nothing.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  80. Christel, Canada

    I don't think spending money on someone is the key to happiness.

    Showing kindness/concern for fellow human beings through practical "good works" is much more likely to bring happiness to both the recipient and the giver. My parents have provided me with a wonderful example of showing practical love for their fellow human beings: almost everyday, my dad will buy breakfast/lunch for someone who needs it, and, my mom knits scarves and hands them out to homeless people in the winter. Practical kindnesses such as these are far more rewarding than spending money. This is also something that most people wouldn't know about my parents, because they don't advertise it to their friends. I know that they only tell my brother and I, in order to show us by example how to care for others, and that they learned this from their own parents. "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" There's your happiness!

    March 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  81. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, we can only buy 1 gallon of gas and a loft of cheep bread with 5 bucks, the only thing I can afford to give is a smile and "Hello have a good day." and the penny in my pocket.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  82. ginger

    Well, 16 million Americans think plastic surgery is the key to happiness...and that's while 30 million Africans die of HIV/AIDS.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Greg

    Sure it does, if I'm the "someone else" whom the money is being spent on.
    Bucks County, PA

    March 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  84. Ray Kinserlow

    I think people who have money left over to donate are better money managers and are happier because of that. Charity begins at home.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  85. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    I’ve usually found that to be true. I’ve never gotten nearly as much pleasure and enjoyment as I have when making someone else happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Mark Oklahoma City

    Jack, Spending money on yourself leaves you with a hollow feeling after you have purchased your "happy item" and then realize it did not bring you a sense of fullfilment or happiness that you thought it would. But, when you spend money on others, you not only feel good about doing at the time of the event, you can "re-live" that feeling of charity and goodness every day for the rest of your life. That is REAL happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  87. Jacqueline Callan

    The Bill Richardson endorsement of Barack Obama is important because I admire and respect Bill's opinion. He served our country well during the Clinton administration and now as govenor of New Mexico has accomplished a lot for his state. This time is JUST RIGHT for ALL endorsements from ANY source.

    Jacqueline Callan
    Tarzana, California

    March 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  88. Ann - Charleston, South Carolina

    Giving of one's self, I think, is the key to happiness. That would include money, but giving one's time, skill, support, or just listening to someone else also bring happiness. For me, the money I give each month doesn't do as much for my happiness as spending an hour a week teaching a middle-aged woman how to read does.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  89. Tucker, Toronto Canada

    Yes, spending money on someone else brings me happiness. For 30 days. Then I get the credit card bill.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  90. L.M.,Arizona

    Jack according to my wife that is the only path to true happines.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  91. james hoffman, Prescott, MI

    Yes is makes us all happier, Jack. Don't you feel happier spending your tax dollars to put in new bridges and roads in Iraq rather than in America?

    March 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  92. Brett Milam

    Certainly. Also, the key to being broke, but at least your happy right?

    Brett Milam
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  93. Ram

    Our hard earned dollors are spent on Taxes & the Govt squandering it. This is certainly not "Happiness". Spend our dollors to well being of people in the US by creating jobs & benefits to our people in the US.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  94. Bruce St Paul MN

    Are you sure that study came from Harvard Business School? This could revolutionize their program. Up to now it seems like Harvard MBA's are the ones sitting in the boardrooms and the secret govt meetings figuring out how to get all of our money into their pockets. Maybe they are just trying to make us happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  95. Greg from PA

    Jack, you failed to mention which America is getting richer. When your income is so limited that you have to choose between buying medicine or food and paying your mortgage, you don't have money to give away. The research did not consider that giving of one’s self, volunteering time and energy, provides far more happiness than money ever could.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  96. George Makrinos

    I guess I'm buying tonight..

    March 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  97. Andy

    I suggest calling the former govenor of New York as an expert witness.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  98. Howard from Toronto

    No. Giving is the key to happiness, whether it's love or money.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  99. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Wasn't it obvious? Bush has spent three trillion on Halliburton and he's delirious.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  100. Brian from Berea, KY

    It ought to be. I don't know how so many people could enjoy lavish lifestyles without guilt while there is so much poverty and suffering in the world. If Eliot Spitzer spent his $4300 to provide subsistence of 20 third-world children for a year instead of an hour or two of [put your favorite word here] with Kristen, I am sure he would have been much happier now.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  101. James in Idaho

    The Key to happiness? Not sure about that, but paying it forward cetainly is sound business strategy.

    When people see potential in others, enough to put their money into that person, it sends a message that someone out there has faith in you, and that's nto something anyone forgets.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  102. Geoff from Fort Worth, Texas


    Finally a study that confirms what we already knew anyways! We're all selfish in our own little ways, so doing unselfish things like buying lunch for a friend or donating money to help others less fortunate makes us feel like we're not selfish. Anyways, just my $0.02

    March 21, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  103. Robert Vaughn

    First I think you have to have $5 that you can afford to spend on others. I am sure I would feel really great if the economy was in good shape and I wasn't worrying about whether to spend that $5 on a gallon and a half of gasoline to get to work. But back in the pre-Bush era when life was seemingly less complicated I enjoyed buying for others. And believe me this economy issue isn't something that has been going on in the last few months, for many it has been happening since 911.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  104. shauna simon

    it is disturbing to hear all these comments about bill richardson's respectability because of his beard. if all of you christians love and revere jesus so much, have you not noticed his beard and long hair? is this a case of do as i say but not as i do? have you noticed that if you shave or cut your hair it grows back? there must be something to that. perhaps a higher power, nature, or whatever you want to call it, a clean shaven man is not the only respectable man.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  105. Vanessa Benitez, Los Angeles, CA

    It is not necessarily the spending of the money that creates happiness, but the experience of doing something good for someone else. Taking the time to make someone else happy, such as helping someone move, or going out of your way to help a frail person with their heavy bags, can create the same happiness that spending money on someone else supposedly does.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  106. Jim

    There is something about helping your fellow man that makes you feel like a better human being. Maybe if people like Bill Gates and Donald Trump shared their wealth during these pressing economic times, there wouldn't be any financial crisis at all.

    Helping each other: isn't that a much better solution than having the Fed print more money and continue to devalue the dollar?

    March 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Bob from Rome NY

    It may not be the "key" to happiness but it sure makes people feel good about themselves to reach out to others. Bringing a little sunshine into someone else's life does a lot to lift the givers spirits. Works for me!


    March 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Tom, Y-town, OH

    Absolutely, being a SINCERE generous person is a major key to happiness. You cant argue against the Biggest Book, best seller for what? 400 years? The 12 step program which basically advocates the same as well as any other major religon in the world. What's really amazing is you dont have to have money to take hold of that key to happiness. Helping people and donating your time and talents works just as well.....probably even better. IF you don't believe it, then you haven't done it. Join the movement, dont worry.........be happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Frannie

    I don't know if I would call it the KEY to happiness, but it sure makes you feel good to help someone else.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  110. David

    I agree that it does make you feel good to do something nice for another person. I buy my friends lunch quite often. They usually return the favor at some point. Its only money...you can't take it with you so why not share a little of it with your friends and others. Its amazing at times the rewards a small gesture can make. This country needs more of that. In the smaller communities and rural areas it is actually quite common. Refreshing isn't it! Maybe at the end of this campaign Obama & Clinton can try it. I won't hold my breath!

    Paducah, KY

    March 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  111. chester woodbury

    how do you expect a man who doesn't even know the price of gas in this country to know anything about foreign policies if he can spell the word i-d-i-o-t he can sign his own name.this man ha sbeen the worst president in the modern era and probably of all time. heck i'm gonna be down in texas with my feet propped up!

    March 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  112. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    This anti – Ayn Rand movement has to be stopped NOW!

    March 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Franklin

    Those people at Harvard are on to something, There's something almost spirital about charity, Done right under the best of intentions we could spend our way into better karma and out of the curren economic situation. Give to the needy not the greedy. And the money will multiply throughout the world.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  114. Travis from Morehead,KY

    Hey Jack, To an extent I agree, I think we all feel better when we can do something for others. The bad part with that is, the way the economy is going now, we are all going to be broke and wont be able to do anything for anyone. Personally if I could I would do anything for anyone that needed it.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  115. Rich from Flushing, NY

    But what is happiness? And how do you measure it? Our Founding Fathers were wise enough to mention the pursuit of happiness. Not actually being happy. How long does that happiness last? Can I be just blissed out? It's question after question on this one.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  116. Mallory Rexford Perry

    Yes. I f you have it to spend. The wealthy should practice this always. It may reduce the guilt of the rich getting richer.
    Mallory Los Angeles,CA

    March 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  117. Betty---Elkhart,In.

    Spending money on someone else can make you feel better temporaily, but the real key is within ourselves, not in the material things. Some of the Happiest people i know are the people who give of themselves,in being thougthful, in just lending something so simple as an ear or a hand. This world has become far to material, Money does not buy Happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  118. Ralph

    That and being with others. The greatest investment you can make is a child. Since I am childless I give money to charities that help kids. I wish I had a billion dollars to give. Money means nothing, all that's counts is your health. Rick, Yakima, Wa.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  119. Typical White Person

    Some 'judgement' for Obama to continue to send his children to a racially prejudiced church! Obama's boasting of judgement regarding the war is to be proud of ignoring the advice and evidence of experts, at the time, as they presented it to Congress. He probably voted "No" because "Present" was not an available option! Bush's experts mislead everyone. Obama's judgements have been to NOT play with the team. How will Obama judge the advice of experts regarding Health Care, Economy, Immigration, etc.?

    March 21, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  120. Amos from Graz (Austria)

    It's certainly true for most of us! Making others happy satisfies oneself but keep in mind that money can't buy friendship! You don't need to spend huge amounts of money to associate with your acquaintances, quite the contrary! The thing is that many people think they can achieve something big with money, but it's just not true. Your true friends will stick to you without the need of feeding them with little presents.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  121. Robert Decker

    Salisbury, Maryland
    Hi Jack. Pres Bush's comments on Iran's nuclear weapons is the same he used against Iraq to start this senseless war. He is trying to scare the American public, again, to help Mc Cain's run for President. The best to you on a fine job. Deck

    March 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  122. Leevaughn Brown

    Only if I want to live like Ghandi

    Right now the key to happiness for me would be a full tank of gas in my car. Hell, a half of tank would make me giddy.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  123. Allison

    I hope that the results of the study were sent to the US government. Maybe with this new evidence they will be moved to do what the study admonishes. I hope they start their charity with me.
    Bronx, NY

    March 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  124. Linda in indiana

    Giving your time, friendship and understanding is key. No amount of money spent on oneself or others can replace this gift..

    March 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  125. Winton

    The Good Book says that giving is better than receiving. Making humans and other animals altruistic was natures way of ensuring the survival of the earth's various species. If we were all meant to receive, the human evolutionary experiment by nature would have failed soon after it began.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  126. Melanie, Lake Wales, FL

    Well I am always happy to make someone happy. When I offer something to a friend, I feel happy about myself for making my friend happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  127. Danuel Gettysburg Pa

    Sure just so long as the people you spend money on are thankful. It could be the depressing if they don't want what you have to offer.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  128. VG

    The Dalai Lama is quoted to have said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
    If you do not have the money to spend on charity, there are other ways to be kind and compassionate – simple politeness can sometimes go a long way in brightening the day for everyone.


    March 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  129. Claire from Canada

    Jack this is a great question during Easter Season.

    When we give.. our energy, our time, and our money.. and do so authentically... that is what love is.

    We cannot be truly happy, unless the love we feel inside, is shared with others.

    Happy Easter!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  130. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    The answer is: Yes and no.,

    The key to happiness is spending money on ME.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  131. Rich in Lansing, MI

    It depends on who that someone else who benefits from your expenditure. 😛

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  132. Nancy McGhee

    Yes, giving to others makes me feel great. BUT Jack, gaining happiness from making others happy can lead to dangerous codependency. One should never give beyond what one can handle and one should seek happiness within themselves and not entirely from others.

    Thanks for the report

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  133. david e.

    Let's find out...
    Can you send me a few bucks?

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  134. Bossman Owusu

    Even the scriptures support it. There's more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. Give and you will be happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  135. Gary Dahl

    We contribute quite heavily to local charities here in Southern Oregon and it's very satisfying, but no donations have made me happier than the checks I've been writing to Barack Obama.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  136. Chris Oesterling

    Everyday is Christmas if you know who Santa is! ;
    – Chris
    Troy, MI

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  137. Greg

    Then former Governor Spitzer must be very very VERY happy.

    Oak Park, IL

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  138. Elaine Frizell

    Ask Oprah. She should be the happiest woman alive if her purchase wins the election.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  139. Josh from Sunbury, PA

    Jack, the key to happiness has nothing to do with money at all.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  140. michael

    Well Jack we could be selfish self-centered grumps like you.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  141. Anthony Massimini

    Two thousand years after Jesus Christ, somebody finally figured out that doing something for others makes us happy. Great! Now let's see what we can do with peace.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  142. Susan from Texas

    Jack, spending money on someone else is happiness, especially if the money you're spending is either not yours or is in plentiful supply because if those two things aren't the case, there's always the flash of momentary happiness and then, the effect of "givers remorse" especially if you cannot afford to give. Better to perform acts of kindness that don't mean money everytime, but are in the spirit of neighborliness.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  143. Gerard Hagerty

    Hi Jack,

    I think it definitely helps, but whatever happened to good old compliments accompanied with a smile. They never cost a thing!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  144. Tim DeTellis

    Yes, I agree, when the motive is right. When you gift a gift, it must be just that; a gift. When we keep a record, it becomes a loan. When we give to others who can never pay us back, that is the ultimate charity. An express of love, kindness, and giving that is sincere. The old-time principle remains true: it is more blessed to give, than receive.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  145. Steve,indiana

    i give money away everyday to rich people like opec.and am very happy to do so,because i know that bush and cheny have there hands in it also

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  146. Terrance

    Spending money on someone else will only make someone happy if they are spending on someone else because they know that person needs it, not because it'll make them happy

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  147. Liam


    I know I am much happier when I recieve stuff, and I'm sure the buyer is happier too.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |

    Jack, I spend about $75 per week sending goodies like brownies and other edibles from home to soldiers in IRAQ and their thanks are so rewarding and man am I happy doing that.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  149. Bill

    Happiness is giving a kind word or holding the door open for a little old ladies. Giving money has turned into a canceled payroll deduction in this house. Yep, that's right. I'm going to keep my house with NOT giving. Charity begins at home, keeping it out of foreclosure makes me happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  150. Liz Afoy

    Of course it does! In a selfish way. It makes me feel good. If we had to spend money anonymously, would we still feel good?

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  151. Jo DeWitt

    Money, whether spent on someone else or on yourself, is not the key to happiness. But, having goodwill toward others and showing them kindness always is certainly a huge component of happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  152. Marc Ziegenhagen

    The key to happiness is not just making your money benefit others, but doing it in such a way that the given does not receive any credit for it. Helping others without them knowing it was you; this is the key to happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  153. Zoe

    Yes that's the key to being happy. Give to someone else.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  154. jen

    money can't buy you love

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  155. adrienne

    OF COURSE! At least I know exactly how my money is being spent, to whom, and the happiness in the eyes of those I love. Beats wondering if my tax "gift" is going to pay for a politician's lunch or private plane flight somewhere "official."

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  156. Freda

    Have you never heard "to give is to receive"? It is the only thing I do consistently that brings positive results in my life everytime. Not in material ways, although sometimes that is the case, but most often it is the unexplainable but incredible pleasure of knowing you helped someone else young or old, rich or poor everyone has a need and if we can forget outselves long enough to see the needs of others the world would be a much improved place to live.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  157. M./Brooklyn, NY

    I've spent money on others and did find that it gave me a good feeling as a human being and on a spiritual level.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  158. Felix, Memphis, TN

    It's not only spend money on others! Is sharing what really matters, specially with the people that we love and value. To me beign selfish is a type of sin!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  159. Jose from Guam

    Spending money on other people, like treating friends for lunch/dinner, if more fun when you can share the moment with them. It's the relationship that you build w/ the other people that makes it more satisfying.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  160. Charlotte Taylor

    It's not money that buys happiness; it's experience. Those experiences don't necessarily need to be tied to money either. Being able to have tea with a friend will make most people happier in the long run than a new shirt. Being able to exercise regularly and play with your children will make more people happier than a new car.
    We need to stop measuring our "wealth" in material items and start measuring it in terms of time spent having meaningful experiences with family and friends.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  161. Adam

    Yes, spending money on someone else can make you happy. But the giving of your time for someone else in need is far more valuable.

    Houston, TX

    March 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  162. veronica

    Spending money on others is good; spending time and energy is even better. I spend my life teaching and helping other people, and despite being broke and having health problems, I am always complimented on my smile and cheerfulness and youthful appearance. My ex-husband on the other hand, who values everything in terms of money and never spends on anything, is one of the most miserable people around, constantly depressed, and has no friends at all.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  163. Steven Moyers

    It's the end of money, why should mankind go to money for permission to do anything?It's man's inhumanity to man, money.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  164. Rob Preston

    I don't believe it's just giving money that is the key, I feel that giving in any form (including time) is the key. I've always felt that giving of oneself without thought of compensation is truly the key to happiness.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  165. Georgia girl

    Yes, Jack. I agree with this. Each time I make a contribution to Senator Clinton's campaign, I feel not only uplifted but empowered. I am doing something to help put my country back in the hands of a Democrat who will improve the economy and get us out of Iraq. Survey the Hillary supportersand you will find that this hypothesis you mentioned tests out. We give! We give again! We give what we can! We give because she is a relentless fighter for us. We feel good about our candidate and, yes, that makes us feel good in return.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  166. Marion Colbourne

    Nothing feels better than giving to or spending money on someone else-except when you are trying to buy them.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  167. David from Frazier Park, CA

    I'd be happier if only I had money to spend on somebody else. Perhaps that's why teachers are happier because they spend money on their students, parents are happier because they spend money on their children, grandparents are happier because they spend money on their grandchildren, and Americans are happier because they spend money on Chinese products.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  168. Dick Addison

    If spending money on someone else was the key to happiness, April 15th would be the happiest day of the year. Is it really that good for you? It surely isn't for me!

    Camarillo CA

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  169. Charlie L

    In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

    Acts 20:35

    March 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  170. Phyllis from North Carolina

    Under your theory that spending hard earned money on others will promote a person's happiness, the taxpayers of this country should be as happy as pigs in sh#% because we have been spending our hard earned money on Federal mandates and subsidies for illegal immigrants for a long time!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  171. Forest from Gainesville, FL

    I agree. For Christmas I got my boyfriend a new phone without being on his plan, so it was substantially more than those 2 year rebate phones. I at first was freaking out at how much it cost and how broke I'd be afterwards, but once I got it for him and saw how happy he was, I was incredibly happy I did it.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  172. Doug Sheldon

    jack, sure ask Eliot Spitzer

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  173. Felix, Memphis, TN

    What really will make me very happy is get rid of this lousy and corrupt Admininstration!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  174. Mark

    It's always good to spend money on others, however I think the suggestion is deeper here and only a republican neo con could have come up with this survey.
    I hear it all the time on right wing radio how we should donate more money to good causes etc because a right wing government does'nt want to, they would rather keep their own money in their pockets an let us peons spend what we don't have

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  175. Janett B - from Los Angels, CA

    Spending money on others make people feel better becuase it heals their own ego and keeps that brige of good relationships with others. In the economy of today, spending money on others will only put a hole in our pockets. I think we our generosity can be put on hold while we get out of this recession.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  176. Kristen Lombard IL

    I absolutely believe that spending money on someone else is the key to happiness. After all I have a 3 yr old son!!!! I spoil him all the time and I know that my heart is just filled everytime I am able to keep him smiling.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  177. Dwayne in Sioux Falls

    It's just seems fitting to make mention of another expert's sayings, (Especially on this Good Friday) concerning giving: "it is more blessed to give than it is to receive"! Jesus

    March 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  178. Anita

    Having enough money to spend on someone else will make you happy!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  179. Claire from Canada

    Depends on whether you are spending the money to give others flowers or bombs.

    Oh wait.. the US Administration loved giving bombs to Iraq, and the President is incredibly happy !

    It must be true.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  180. Amir

    Yes Jack. Here is my address......, I want to make you happy:)

    March 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  181. Danuel Gettysburg Pa

    Hey how about spending it on your community donate to the local emergency services or the American Red Cross. Hey 5 bucks is 5 bucks. that almost 2 gallons of gas

    March 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  182. Melanie

    I am 28 years old and although, I do not have much, yes, doing things for others does make me happy. However, it is when someone does not reciprocate that I get upset. Melanie, Philadelphia, PA

    March 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  183. Ronnie

    Jack, I'm sure I'll make you happier if I buy you a new car, but I'll be more happy if someone puts gas in my car rather than buy me a TV due to the rising cost of gas, and I bet my friends feel the same way.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  184. stefan

    Hmm..my money is spent on Iraq war and on Opec oil prices and on debts to China, but I don't feel happy yet! What's wrong with me???

    March 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  185. jake johnson

    well aint that the million dollar question, as for me, not sure, couldn't tell you, but maybe if you asked our Harvard Graduate president? you think maybe?

    March 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  186. Okezie

    It was a young Jewish rabbi 2000 years ago who said "it is more blessed to give than to receive". If it has taken science 2000 years to finally to come to this same conclusion, one wonders whether we should not be paying more attention to the instructions from this rabbi as we seek to improve our human existence.


    March 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  187. Ellyn Zaia

    Taking an older person out to dinner and horseracing was a lot more fun than shopping for clothes, I found out recently. It shows that SHARING yourself, time, and possibly money with another person is better spiritually than spending hoarding it all for yourself.

    I am from Halifax, Pa (Harrisburg metro area)

    March 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  188. Allan

    Jack, buy me a nice house in the bahamas, yatch, maybe a goal course so you can make youself happy !!!!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  189. nette5

    I think being kind to someone is very rewarding, "give on to others as others give on to you". What makes giving feel good is when you expect nothing in return. However with the economy the way it is it's hard to give anything.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  190. Travis Youngblood

    I am not familiar with the details of the study but it seems causation might be lacking. Perhaps the people spending money on others are happy because they have extra money to be generous with whereas people just spending money on themselves may only have enough to to cover their needs. Seems like the latter situation would tend to make you unhappy. When I have an income I tend to be as generous as the income allows and am happy. Currently I'm a student living on loans and grants and can't afford to be generous, its not the lack of giving that makes me unhappy, its the lack of income which leads to the lack of generosity that makes me grumpy.

    Austin, Texas

    March 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  191. Lee Stanek

    This is just another example of someone doing too much thinking, ending up with his head up his a..
    It is more likely the other way around, happy people are more likely to be generous, and not that generosity makes people happy. As a matter of fact those that give so they are liked or loved are those that are trying to buy happiness, or one could say “love”.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  192. Mbeng Taku

    If giving was to make people happy then i would recomment this therapy to all depressed persons.It is not the art of giving that makes one happy i think, but the intention in giving.When one gives just for the sake of being happy,i don't think he or she will become happy.But if one gives because he or she feals the need to help someone in need, then the art could make one happy.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  193. Helena (Greece)

    I wouldn't rush to view these findings as a sign of our innate kindness. When we spend money on people we know, we are certainly buying something from them: their loyalty, their friendship, their admiration, a future favour, etc. If, however, we find happiness when spending money on a stranger (in which case there is little chance of getting something in return, immediately or in the future), then that's something worth talking about.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  194. Faith Brown

    It's true,spending money on gift small or big for a friend or a relative make me happy and the feeling last longer than buying myself a present.But happiness is not just about the money you spend on other people,A good advice to a friend and a relative that make them feel comfortable and happy with thierself worth more than a million pound cash.
    London. England

    March 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  195. Bart

    I am not happy giving most of what I make to an ex-wife in Texas and one in my current state who only want more. This is another bad example of pop pyschiatry that is not very meaningful. Happiness comes from somewhere else. By the way I lost it and am still looking for it.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  196. Linn

    Bush must feel real good!! Look at all the free money he's giving to his no-bid contractor buddies in Iraq. I tuned into C-SPAN to see a video of some government official saying "We're open for business and we pay in cash" (literally). These guys were throwing around shrinked wrapped football-sized packages of thousand dolloar bills. I only assume most of it was US taxpayer money. I guess I should feel good too, knowing my hard earned tax dollar are going to help another Halliburton CEO play another round of golf.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  197. Bill Delli-Gatti

    dub'ya should be the happiest person on this planet. spending all of our tax dollars that he thinks is his on someone else. On McCain, he didn't need to ask in France. I'm sure the ones who are willing to accept our billions and jobs won't have a problem affording the chunnel to make their contribution!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  198. Joan Davis

    Yes Jack, I had lots of fun giving our money away to the kids and I really enjoyed it! My husband kept warning me that we were heading for retirement but I disregarded his comments.

    Now we are retired and there are only minimum wage jobs (primarily in retail) to be had at our age. With the recession and inflation, we are screwed!

    Please warn all seniors to protect themselves first because chances are that nobody will open up their wallets to help them out.

    Joan Davis
    Tenino, WA

    March 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  199. elaine

    Helping others has always made my day even when it doesnt cost me or them. Puting others first has always been my way of having a better day. Just a small smile or kind hello to someone (even a stranger)who looks down can put a lift in everyone's day.
    Try it guys I have and turned around a cloudy day into a very sunshiny day.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  200. John Doe

    I believe from experience that giving to others reaps huge benefits. I got into the habit of giving away 10% of my pay to charity – and for good measure, I do it anonymously. It's tough, but it makes me count my blessings and remember that some things matter more than me or my money. And that perspective has pulled me through some dark times.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  201. Chuck from NC

    I am a 49 year old man who is disabled from a back injury and COPD. I get $710 a month to pay my house payments,doctors bills,and medicine with trying to support my family. I would be thrilled to be charitable with my money if I had any to be charitable with!!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  202. Joe

    With All The money were spending around the world.Iraq, Billions per month,Pakistan 100 million per month,ect. Hell Jack,With that logic we should be the happiest nation on the planet.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  203. Jan from Missouri

    No, Jack. We've given a zillion dollars to the Iraquis and we're not happy. Neither are they. Something wrong with this theory.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  204. John P.

    Hi Jack,

    To see the healing power of giving you need look no further than John D. Rockefeller. At age fifty-three, worry and high-tension living had nearly wrecked his health. He was either obsessed with making or fearful of losing his money. When his doctors told him as much, he decided to change his ways and began to give away Millions! And instead of a premature death at 53 he lived to be 98!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  205. Shelley

    The key to happiness? Jack, you always end your lead up to my wonderful answer with a research-paper-like intro.

    Yes, spending money on people outside your own circle of family and friends does make one feel good – but only if it is done with no selfish motive other than satisfying the nagging feeling at one's heart strings that someone must step in and correct this situation. Selflessly giving requires investment of ones time, mind, emotion, and body for you have to get out there among people in need and get to know the need.

    I work with a woman who does just that. She has little to give and gives it all to others without looking for any commendation from anyone.

    She has inspired me to be more free with my money when it benefits someone.

    March 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  206. Chuck from NC

    PS: I do not accept food stamps,medicaid,etc and I'm not going to!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |