8 Things That Make You Happier: Backed by Research


Wouldn’t you love a real list of things that make you happier? Here’s what scientific research says will work:

1) Thank Someone

First thing in the morning, send an email thanking or praising someone. (Texting is fine, too.)

2) Spend Money — On Someone Else

Harvard professor Michael Norton, author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, explains how spending money on other people can generate more happiness than spending on yourself:

3) Give 5 Hugs

People assigned to give or receive hugs 5 times a day ended up happier than the control group.

From Sonja Lyubomirsky’s very interesting book, The How of Happiness:

In a one-of-a-kind study, students at Pennsylvania State University were assigned to two groups. The first group was instructed to give or receive a minimum of five hugs per day over the course of four weeks and to record the details. The…

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