Does Wealth Translate to Happiness/Editorial

Lily Mueller, J1 Guest Writer


     A lot of people like to say that money doesn’t equate to happiness, but that isn’t necessarily true. While the feelings of contentment and bliss that occur after receiving money are only temporary, they still occur. Technically speaking, if there is a continual flow of wealth to a person, then they will continue to get that small dosage of happiness. It is strange how people like to deny that money doesn’t bring delight when it really does, even if it isn’t eternal. There isn’t anything that truly brings eternal happiness because humans don’t really ever feel completely content, they are always searching for a way that things could be better. The people that argue that money doesn’t bring happiness are probably the ones with very little money who are still happy, but the question isn’t whether you need money to be happy, but does money bring happiness. 

     Wealth and financial prosperity can cause a person to feel all sorts of happy-related emotions like success and exhilaration. It has even been scientifically proven that money can release certain chemicals in the brain that are associated with happiness. Dopamine is one of them, and it is released when a person is feeling anticipation for getting something they want, like money. Endorphins are the chemicals that tell the brain to release dopamine, and are generally associated with feelings of pleasure. Another chemical, serotonin, regulates mood and happiness, and it is heightened when spending money.     

     The ability to gain and retain wealth can give a person hope and take a weight off their shoulders. If someone is struggling to pay their bills, they can feel a lot of stress and anxiety, to the point where it could start to control their life, and with an abundance of wealth, they would be happier because they wouldn’t have to worry about their financial situation. One of the leading causes of divorce is money problems, and while people can still have money problems even if they are wealthy, a poor family who constantly has to worry about where to spend their money would be a lot more joyous and possibly get along better if they didn’t have to stress so much over a lack of wealth. 

  People like to say that family brings happiness, or friends, or many other things, and while the people you surround yourself with can definitely bring joy, money does too. Even if the feeling isn’t always temporary, it still exists. Our social placement in society relies so much on money, more than anyone can really fathom, and the more money you have, the higher up you go. A surplus of wealth can mean a person gets to choose anywhere they want to go to college, which will bring them happiness. Wealth can let them choose where to vacation, what clothes they wear, what electronics they have access to, what car they drive, so many things are dependent on the amount of money a person has. At the end of the day, people will have problems either way, but wealth can solve so many, and still equates to feelings of elation and peace of mind. 

     It bothers some people that money could possibly bring happiness, because it seems unfair and shallow. It is important to remember that money is not the only thing that brings happiness, and when it does, it is usually only temporary. Even if a person had all the money in the world, that wouldn’t be all they needed to be truly happy and content. Society as a whole needs to step back and recognize the impact that wealth has on us, and how much control we have given it. We need to learn how to harness the power of wealth and accept that it does bring happiness, it does not bring contentment. 


LINK: brain chemical information