Make Yourself Happy. Experience Something with Someone. Perhaps the Theatre?

CNN had a very interesting piece come up today: A recent study has shown that possessions don’t make us happy — experiences do. Specifically, psychological research presented this week at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting suggests that, in the long run, experiences make people happier than possessions. That’s in part because the initial joy of acquiring a new object, such as a new car, fades over time as people become accustomed to seeing it every day, experts said. Experiences, on the other hand, continue to provide happiness through memories long after the event occurred. According to Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, “When people spend money on life experiences, whether they also take someone with them or buy an extra ticket or whatever, most of our life experiences involve other individuals”.

So, as I said, go to the theatre. Your only take-away possession is a program, which you can recycle if you want!

By the way, related to going to theatre or other events is some good news, courtesy of lat_cultrmnstr (the LA Times Culture Monster Blog, syndicated to LJ). There’s now yet another source for half-price tickets in Los Angeles, as StubDog is joining the frey. I haven’t used them yet, but I have used at least two of the other three half-price ticket services mentioned in the blog: Goldstar Events (my referral link, which will earn me a $1 service credit if you join) and LA Stage Tix. I’m also a member of the third service he mentions, Theatremania, but I haven’t bought tickets with them. I’ll also note that TheatreMania, Goldstar, and StubDog also cover other cities (so those of you reading this who live elsewhere might be able to benefit). In particular, both TheatreMania and Goldstar cover the SF Bay Area, DC, Boston, New York, and TheatreMania covers Seattle.

P.S.: One other thing to save money: USA Today is reporting that stamp prices are going up on May 11th: 44¢ (from 42¢) for the 1st oz 1st class (no change for 2nd oz); postcards up 1¢ to 27¢; 1st oz of large envelopes up 5¢ to 88¢; 1st oz of a parcel up 5¢ to $1.22, and new international postcard and letter rates. Specifics are here. So buy those forever stamps while they are still 42¢. Of course, if the 2¢ increase doesn’t bother you, you can be like me and buy commemoratives.