The Science of Happy

When our startup team first began testing Treatmo, we felt inexplicably excited and happy. This excitement wasn't only born from the happiness of building something that officially worked. It came from the happiness of receiving a treat to a piece of cake through the app.

Now we know for sure what we definitely knew three months ago: Giving something to someone for absolutely no reason other than to be kind induces a state of legit happiness. And research conducted by Professor Jennifer Aaker and coauthors, University of Houston’s Melanie Rudd and Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School, sticks some science to it. 

To get that Pharrell "Because I'm happy" feel, or the 'helping high', as Ms. Aaker coins it, do something nice for someone. You don't have to make it complicated. It's as simple as wanting to make someone smile. The benefit to you and by extension to the receiver? Better health. 

The authors demonstrate that givers with a specific, concrete agenda — trying to make someone smile, for instance — experience greater happiness than those pursuing a more abstract goal, like trying to make someone “happy.”

For a sustained level of happiness, the researchers believe there is a formula: Commit yourself to Five Random Acts of Kindess over a six week period.

We know this could prove to be a daunting and even difficult task, especially if most of your day is spent either in your car or at the office. Make it easy on yourself. Send a friend a treat through Treatmo. You might be surprised by how easy it is to be randomly kind and as a result, happy.

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Read the article by Susan H. Greenberg on Stanford Graduate School of Business.