Recent studies suggest it can. “There’s no group in America that’s happier than the wealthy,” says Jim Taylor, Vice President of Harrison Group. Roughly 65% of millionaires say that money “created” more happiness for them, notes Taylor. In fact, higher income also correlates with higher ratings in life satisfaction, according to a study by economists at the Wharton School of Business. But there is a caveat; it's not more material items that lead to greater levels of happiness, “It’s the freedom that money buys,” says Betsey Stevenson, coauthor of the Wharton study.
Further, rates of depression are lower among the wealthy, according to the Wharton study, and the rich tend to have better health than the rest of the population. The wealthy even seem to smile and laugh more often, according to the Wharton study, not to mention getting treated with more respect and eating better food. “People experience their day very differently when they have a lot of money,” Stevenson says.