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The Upside of Giving

​”Giving activates the same part of the mind as sex and chocolate.”

What??​ Wait. For real?

Upon hearing that, I thought it was ridiculous. I would have dismissed it but the source behind it was someone whom I would believe if she told me the sky was purple.

So I scoured the internet. It turns out there is evidence that the act of giving stimulates the brain’s pleasure center. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheryl Wudunn (and spouse to Nicholas Kristof…writer swoon) is somewhat of an expert on the topic and says the effect of giving is “comparable to the stimulation one experiences when tasting sweets or falling in love.” In fact, her newest book is centered around the theory.

​What does this have to do with anything? It has to do with everything. Not only is it thrilling because we here at Fifty & Fifty work with social good organizations who mainly rely on the generosity of others to further their work, but it’s just such a valid argument for giving in general. It’s literally good for you!

P.S. Let’s take a moment to note that “giving” can mean more than donating money. Research shows that volunteering your time for a cause can decrease your mortality risk by as much as 44%. This is so exciting.