Revisiting the Money and Happiness Connection

A worldwide poll published earlier this year showed that money only goes so far when it comes to providing happiness and life satisfaction. A new study by famed economist Richard Easterlin and peers looked at the income-happiness relationship with a long-term lens, surveying people in 37 countries for an average of 22 years per country. Their conclusion? Long term peace of mind, happiness, and well-being to not rise when income rises. The daily specificities of our lives—our relationships, our values, and our personal struggles—are what define us more than the money we make. Yes, stressing about money can decrease a person’s well-being and mental health. But accumulating more and more money does not accumulate happiness.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Jermaine


    December 15th, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    Money’s basically a necessary evil…It’s something that can cause problems when not present butdiors not guarantee happiness when it is present…And may even bring in problems with it’s presence sometimes…! :)

  • Elisabeth


    December 15th, 2010 at 5:28 AM

    The case of Mark Madoff and his recent suicide proves this theory that no matter how much money you have this can in no way buy you real happiness. It can buy you stuff as was well exhibited by he and his family but it can in no way make you happy than any other “thing” can. The only thing that can truly make you happy is a loving family and a strong relationship with God.

  • Mary Alice Long, PhD

    Mary Alice Long, PhD

    December 15th, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    I agree that wealth does not equal happiness. However, having adequate food and shelter and health care is necessary for all. Money issues are often difficult to reflect on and talk about in our culture so continuing dialogue is important.Sharing our “money” stories with others can help us create more playful living for ourselves and others. By re-writing our story we can re-imagine the future. Women in particular de-value themselves and don’t receive adequate compensation for their work. It is difficult to be playful and creative when you are without a roof over your head. Lets help each other by sharing our stories and supporting each other’s goals toward the greater good of all.

  • and-drew


    December 15th, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    I, for one, stand by the statement- “Those who say money can’t buy you happiness certainly do not know where to shop!”

    That’s because there is just so much you can do when you have money and also because it solves most of the problems. Come to think of it-Most of the problems and conflicts with other people happen because of money. Money being the reason may not be apparent all the time but if you think of it deep enough you will soon realize that it is the bone of contention in most of the conflicts and the reason for most of the problems that you face.

  • Scott


    December 16th, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    a minimum is required to avoid problems but excess does not guarantee happiness…strange but true…money is like no other…

  • Shawn


    December 16th, 2010 at 5:35 AM

    I would be happy to try the having money thing for a while and let you know if I was happier with it or without it. I can pretty much guarantee you ahead of time what my answer will be.

  • tiara


    December 16th, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Different people different views…it dont make us a difference. But we need to be firm in what we believe

  • kelli


    December 17th, 2010 at 5:49 AM

    Has the feeling that the love of money is the root of all evil fallen away?

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