Give money awayiStock/Catherine Lane
Donating $500 has the same effect on how wealthy you feel as earning an extra $10,000 in income, a Harvard Business School study found last year. Other studies have found that donating much smaller amounts of money makes people feel pleasure. Whether it’s spare change or a higher-than-expected tax return, consider giving to a favorite charity to be happier. Before you donate, make sure you know how charities really spend your money — the truth is shocking!
Think of buying an “experience”iStock/gilaxia
Earlier studies had found that spending money on experiences (i.e., concert tickets, a trip) increases happiness more than shelling out for material goods; now new research show this mood lift can come from simply drafting your list. A 2014 Cornell study found that people who merely anticipate making an upcoming experiential purchase, such as ski lessons, report higher levels of happiness than those who plan to buy, say, a new tech gadget. Travel experts reveal the top 10 places everyone must visit!