Big or Little, Your Giving Gives Back

Woman holding a jar of money.

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Know what will happen if you drop a dollar in that holiday donation bucket? The reward centers of your brain will probably light up.

In fact, they are the same brain centers that light up when you enjoy food. Scientists call it "warm glow." So put yourself in a happier holiday mood by engaging in a small act of calorie-free kindness.

Any way you slice it
In a study, women were given $100 to parcel out online to charities. Some of the donations were mandatory, and some were free choice. Regardless of the circumstances, the reward centers of the women's brains became active when they gave. No cash to give? Donate your time.

Learn other cash-free ways to get happy.

Get that glow
Try a couple more guilt-free ways to feel good:

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