The science is in – money can buy you happiness

If there are two things that human beings spend their life pursuing, it’s happiness and money. Self-help gurus will tell you that you can’t buy happiness but they’re wrong. Science now shows that you can indeed buy happiness…if you spend it the right way. Instead of spending money on things, or indulgences on ourselves the key to lasting happiness is to give money away. This is what DoGoodology®  – the Science of Doing Good, reveals.

Says author Hailey Cavill-Jaspers “Spending money on others, and in particular giving to charities and those in need, releases a chemical cocktail in the brain, equivalent only to sex!  This flies in the face of the idea that we are all selfish at heart, as stated in the best-selling novel by Richard Dawkins ‘the selfish gene’.   A chemical reaction equal to sex proves beyond doubt that we are hard-wired to do good, it suggests that it’s as vital to our survival as passing on our genes”.

The publication, a world first 5 years in the making, compiles all the science and latest cutting-edge neuroscience from around the world, on the power of doing good.  The publication reveals:

  • Acts of altruism, or doing good, release a chemical cocktail of dopamine and oxytocin
  • Dopamine (the pleasure or reward hormone) activates brain regions association with motivation and reward, the same regions activated by food, sex and money
  • Oxytocin (the bonding or love hormone) makes you feel more connected and increases generosity, making the act of doing good self-perpetuating
  • It is the joint activity of these two chemicals that result in the so called ‘Helper’s High’ (giving high, warm n fuzzies)
  • Very few acts can prompt the release of these hormones – only childbirth, breastfeeding, sex and doing good (so men you are at a disadvantage)
  • Acts of altruism increase life satisfaction, improve physical health, help us to live longer and provide a greater sense of purpose
  • Humans are hard-wired to do good
  • Doing good makes us happy

Author Hailey Cavill-Jaspers believes that the endless pursuit of happiness and the delusion that money makes us happy is actually making us all very unhappy and sick.  “It’s like we’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places.  We seek solace in the bottle, drugs, food, shopping, plastic surgery and other fleeting highs.  And when you look at society, we’re out of control.  Alcoholism and drugs and the resulting social violence is at an all-time high.  We have skyrocketing rates of depression and suicide, we’re choking the oceans with our throwaway plastic, 2 in 3 adults are overweight…you don’t have to look far to see that pursuing money and focusing only on ourselves has created a society in chaos”

There is hope however.  By spending our money in pro-social ways, such as giving to charity or those in need, we can start to solve some of these societal problems and in turn begin to fill up on happiness ourselves.  And the great news is, you don’t even need to have money to trigger the Helpers High.  Volunteering your time and expertise creates the same chemical reaction, and so does social activism – such as using social media to end live sheep export for example.  So it doesn’t really matter what you actually give – it’s the act of giving which is important.

If you’d like Hailey to come and speak to your peeps about the power of altruism, – send us a note. Her provocative talk Better than Sex® is both humorous and profound.


DoGoodology® – The science of Doing Good is completely free! Yes no payment and no data capture! Gotta practice what you preach hey?


DoGoodology® is an important publication with a very simple yet profound message

Dr Fiona Kerr, Scientist & Author

Happiness is a skill, compassion and altruism are skills and like any skill they need to be developed

Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk & author