Jorge Moll – How Contributing To Other’s Happiness Helps Us

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Jorge Moll, MD., PhD.,

Experimental Pathophysiology

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit

Head – D’Or Institute for Research and Education, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,


Dr. Moll studied and wrote about how giving makes us have a happy feeling and is good for us and our community. We can feel this within our bodies and can see this in brain scans. When these feelings occur certain parts of the brain light up in the pleasure areas and a euphoria is felt. Dr. Moll and his colleagues conducted a study at a national health institute in 2006. The study revealed when people give it activates regions of the brain and creates the “warm glow” response. They found that endorphins are released into the brain which makes the person feel positive and causes a feeling of “helper’s high.” Giving physically feels good and you know it. We have learned all our lives that giving feels better than receiving and yes there is something to that (LikePage).


Dr. Moll went on to say that giving gives us a feeling of happiness, giving makes us healthy, cooperation and social connection are a part of giving, and we are gracious when we give. Cultivating gratitude causes a person to feel more optimistic, and feel better about their themselves and their lives overall. Also, giving is contagious. Every person can influence one or even hundreds of people. “Warm-glow giving” attempts to explain why people give to charity. Why do we help when it sometimes costs us money? It is because our brains have evolved to maximize our own survival.


Giving also releases the chemical Oxytocin, a feeling of warmth and connection. When we give to others we feel closer to them as well. People who perform good deeds have the sensation of “Helper’s high”. Helping others we can forget ourselves and our own specific problems. It happens when people perform good deeds for others. So go to homeless shelters and serve meals and share. Donate your unused clothes and household items that you no longer use to Goodwill stores or the Salvation Army. So do something.

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