Want to Buy Happiness? Indulge in an Experience

Want to buy happiness? Then spend your money on an experience, like concert tickets or a trip to the U.S. Open, instead of buying new clothes or a big-screen TV. New research from Cornell University finds that using your money to do something makes you happier than purchasing material goods. In fact, just thinking about making vacation plans or going to the symphony raises your level of happiness more than anticipating a purchase like furniture or a computer. What if …

Relationship Test: How Close Do You Sleep?

Do you spoon with your honey to fall asleep? Or do you sleep more than an arm’s length away? A new British study finds that a couple’s sleeping position says a lot about their relationship. Researchers who asked more than 1,000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and rate the quality of their relationship found that the closer together people slept, the happier they were as a couple. “One of the most important differences involved touching,” lead study author …

What’s the Secret to a Happy, Long-Term Marriage?

What does it take to keep a marriage happy, vibrant and enduring? I’m asked that question all the time. And while I think couples all have their own unique recipes for success, I’ve noticed that most include these five essential ingredients: 1. The ability to apologize  Every person in every marriage makes mistakes. Some big, some small, but always some you wish you could un-do. That’s only human, but happy couples admit to their mistakes – and apologize. Just as important is …

5 Best AARP Research Infographics of 2013

The end of the year & beginning of a new year is the time when everyone makes their “lists,” so here’s mine. 2013 was the year of the infographics for AARP Research. Infographics allow us to succinctly communicate important facts as well as tell an overall data story in a visual manner. We learned, like many others, that visual images get more attention than text as the brain can process the visual faster. Of the 48 infographics AARP Research has …

Eudaimonia, Hedonism, and Happiness, Oh My!

Everyone wants to be happy – it’s a no-brainer. But what is happiness? The Greek word for happiness is “eudaimonia” which means “having a guiding angel.” In 1776, the Founding Fathers felt it important enough to mention the” pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. By the 19th century, economists felt they could measure happiness in units of pleasure, but they learned that money could not buy happiness because a person with twice as much income as another was …

Why Complaining Is Bad for You… but Might Feel Too Good to Stop

My dad was a master complainer. A king of kvetching. He had a symphony of noises and a palette of winces and scowls to make his annoyance known to all. Dad would never have taken part in a growing fad: purple rubber bracelets carved with the words “A Complaint Free World.” Ten million bracelets are supposedly out there in more than 100 countries, although who knows how many are being worn. The bracelet is inspiration for nitpickers, grouches and grumblers …