The science behind happiness and giving

Why you Should Give to be Happy + 6 Apps and Extensions


The science behind happiness and giving

Are you guys ready for the holiday season? Do you have your ugly sweaters, pumpkin pie recipes, and decorations out of the closet?

I’m going to tell you one thing: I AM READY FOR THE FOOD. It will be hard to stop myself before my stomach explodes…

What is your favorite holiday dish? Personally, I love French log cake. Last year I made one with chocolate and pistachios. It took forever to bake since I don’t know how to cook, but it was delicious! I might even give it another try this year 😀

Oops, I’m derailing from the subject of the day! So let’s get to it.

The holiday season is about food, family, friendship, and giving. Not only giving presents but giving to people in need.

In this article, I’m going to share a few tools to easily help charities!

But first, let’s talk about why giving is good for you.

Why giving makes you happier

Studies have shown that giving to others is good to fight depression and make you a happier person.

Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, and Michael I. Norton, the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, carried out several studies that found positive and negative correlations between money and happiness.

Their team discovered that people who give are happier than people that spend money for themselves.

You can watch Dr. Elizabeth Dunn’s 15-minute pop tech talk below, or
Michael I. Norton’s TedTalk here.

So why does giving make you happier?

In a short interview with Scientific American, that you can listen here, Dr. Elizabeth Dunn explains “the more money people kept for themselves the more shame they experienced. And the more shame people felt the more we saw their cortisol levels rise.” And cortisol is linked to stress.

So the more you give, the less shame you experience and the less cortisol you have, leading to less stress.

Apps and extension to help you give to charities

1. Donate a Photo for charity

Donate a Photo is a free charity app available on both iOS and Android.

The idea is simple, you donate a photo within the app and Johnson & Johnson will give $1 to the cause you selected.

It doesn’t cost you anything! Just a picture that you already have on your phone!

2. Charity Miles Walk&Run Tracker

Charity Miles is available on both iOS and Android.

This app is perfect if you are often on the move! If you commute with public transportation, walk your dog, love shopping, hiking, biking, or for a run.

It acts like a fitness tracker and gives money to your selected charity for every mile you walk, run or bike. And it doesn’t cost you anything! So go download it now.

3. ShareTheMeal

ShareTheMeal was created by the United Nation to fight against hunger in the world. It’s available on both iOS and Android.

You can start a challenge with your friends to help feed people around the world. It only cost $ 0.50 to feed one child for one day. So don’t wait and go help to fight hunger in the world!

4. GoFundMe

Help friends or strangers with GoFundMe available on both iOS and Android.

In GoFundMe people create fundraisings for specific causes, like paying medical bills, start education funds, memorial campaigns, and more. You can browse for causes and just give to the ones that touch you personally.

Most people only give to campaign for friends and families, but why not help someone you don’t know?

5. Smile Always

Did you know that Amazon is giving money to your selected charity for everything you buy on their store? It’s called Amazon Smile, but to do it you need to shop from instead of, and people probably forget most of the time.

This is why you need to download the extension Smile Always on the Chrome Webstore here.

This extension automatically switches to Amazon Smile when you shop online! It’s free and makes you feel better about your spending spree ;D

6. Loftii

Loftii is another free extension helping you to give while shopping without costing you anything! Well, except what you’re buying.

All you need to do is create an account, select a charity, download the extension and shop online as you usually do. That’s it.

You can download it here.

Did you know that it was scientifically proven that giving to others will make you happier? Discover the science behind it and how you can easily start giving today on!


Julie was diagnosed with anxiety and depression during the summer of 2016 and have since been fighting mental health stigmas by bringing awareness on the subject and sharing tips to help people become happier. Read Julie’s inspiring story, “My Journey Into Acknowledging The Depression.” Feel free to send a message to Julie here.

  • joseyphina

    November 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm Reply

    Thanks for the info. Out of your list, I know only of go fund me. Great post

  • Sarah Harris |

    November 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm Reply

    …and the key is to give without expecting anything back!
    Glad you explained these apps. I’d seen a few friends do the charity miles but didn’t know what it was. I may sign up now!

  • Danielle @ Follow My Gut

    November 27, 2016 at 10:19 pm Reply

    I love that you created this post, and especially right before Christmas which is like the most giving season ever. The apps you suggest here are so simple and ranged greatly. From contributing images to money and everything in between, you really describe it so well that it can help out anyone (myself included) who wants to donate. Can’t wait to explore these apps more!!

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