Money can’t bring you happiness – but love can, says a new study from the London School of Economics.
According to researchers, it’s the relationships people cultivate and good mental health that will bring true bliss in one’s life, not economic status.
The study surveyed 200,000 people around the world and looked at the different factors that had an impact on people’s wellbeing.
After looking over the results, researchers found that doubling a person’s income only raised happiness by under 0.2 points (on a scale of zero to 10).
“One would, therefore, have expected economic growth to bring considerable increases in life satisfaction,” the paper reads. “But in many countries, it has not.”
Researchers believe that people adapt to higher levels of income over time but still compare their own income to that of others. So any happiness associated with income has more to do with how they compare themselves to their peers similar in age, gender and region, which only amounts to a very small impact on happiness.
Having a partner increased the happiness of those surveyed by 0.6 points. The same amount of happiness was lost when they separated from their partner either by a breakup or death.
“People need to be needed and need to be in meaningful relationships,” the authors told The Telegraph.
The biggest indicator of happiness, however, was mental health status.
Those who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders recorded a 0.7 loss in happiness points. In fact, suffering from such illnesses was more common than unemployment.
An earlier study this year from UCLA also found that happiness couldn’t be bought.
Researchers surveyed over 1,200 people – 61 per cent saying they preferred to have more money and 39 per cent saying they preferred to have more time.
Those surveyed were then asked to report their happiness and life satisfaction, as well as subjective and objective available time and money and demographics, The Washington Post reports.
They found that the more people preferred time over money, the happier people were.
However, another study this year by the University of Cologne concluded otherwise.
According to researchers, money has the ability to help us overcome daily stresses in life and help us buy the most basic of our psychological needs.
But how much money impacted happiness depended on the age group.
“The higher a person’s income is, the less likely it is that he or she will become lonely,” the study says. “The correlation is particularly strong in mid-adulthood – money is more important in this phase than in early or late adulthood…The rise in loneliness in older age is mainly attributed to the loss of one’s spouse or to health problems.”