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But donating directly to someone – as opposed to on a website – feels even better. That’s according to the International Journal of Happiness and Development. That’s because giving in person allows you to see the positive impact of your gift – which gives us a bigger emotional payoff. So you may want to volunteer somewhere and then give a check before you leave to get the biggest feel-good boost for your money.

On Mother’s Day, my family visits a local nursing home to pass out flowers to the residents. We also bring our dog Lucy with us because of her gentle disposition. She brightens everyone’s day.