According to a new psychology study from Cornell University in America, experiences will make you far happier than buying a new iPhone or outfit.
Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University.
After ten years of studying the correlation between money and happiness, Gilovich has found that overall you’ll get more happiness spending cash on outdoor activities, learning new skills and travelling.
While having more money does make you happier – it’s got its limits. “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you.
“In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
Shared experiences particularly make people happy – because you’re more likely to connect over the time you spent paragliding in Canada than over the fact that you both own Apple computers.
So next time someone scoffs at you for spending all your cash on plane tickets, remind them of this study. After all, travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.