Giving Not Receiving Boosts Happiness

A new study of American’ spending habits published last week has revealed that earning more money makes little difference to happiness levels while those who spent more of their money on others were significantly happier all round.

Researchers at Harvard University quizzed 632 people and discovered that altruistic spending boosted people irrespective of their income, prompting Dutch social scientist Professor Ruut Veenhoven to query ‘rational behaviour’ assumptions central to most business models.

"This may come as a surprise for economists who have learned that humans are essentially egoists," the Professor told the Guardian, “ Often people don't know what really makes them happy. Doing nice things to other people isn't so bad after all,” he said.

Torch song electronic pioneer Dave Ball of Soft Cell and The Grid repute was not so sure, telling Skrufff ‘Happiness and money do go together; as they say ‘I'd rather be rich & miserable’.

“I think as long as you don't have to worry about money is the main thing,” Dave added, “I don't aspire to be mega-wealthy just to be able to sleep at night.”

The iconic electro star sold millions of records both with Soft Cell and later the Grid though started his career living the penniless clubber lifestyle depicted so accurately in Soft Cell’s 80s anthem Bedsitter.

“The most broke I've been is when I was homeless in Leeds living out of a suitcase on a friend’s couch with mice running around me.” he recalled. “I was determined that Soft Cell was gonna’ make it so I stuck it out and luckily I was right.”

“As a naturally melancholic person I am probably happiest when I'm sad,” Dave continued, “It's like ‘the Blues’ really, a kind of euphoric despair but something beautiful comes out of it.

What makes me happy is beauty, art, music, food and beautifully formed people(physically & mentally).Oh yeah, not to forget the squirrels in my garden; actually I love animals generally; As long as they're cooked properly,” he joked.

London acid techno star D.A.V.E The Drummer (a one time member of way before their time London Records’ signed agit-prop band Back To The Planet) was equally ambiguous admitting he’d been happy both when skint and flush.

“I was a new age traveller at the age of 17-18 around 1988 and I used to live off 40 quid every two weeks; that basically covered food and some petrol and that was all; But I was happy,” said D.A.V.E. (real name Henry Cullen), “I started squatting again in London once I’d had enough of poverty and slowly got into the real world through my music making me money.

If it wasn't for that I'd probably be a sad old hippy squatting with 19 year old students and telling them how clever I am because I can live off 20p for a month etc etc,” he laughed, adding that he finds most gifts ‘worthless’.

“Over the years I've had my fill of socks, jumpers, scarves, gloves, books, hankies, chocolates etc, all of which just scream ‘I have no idea what you like’; so you come out in sympathy and say ‘Oh thanks , just what I've always wanted’.

“However I once found a book left behind on a table in a coffee shop called "the Book of Answers". I was in the middle of a relationship breakup and I thought it was an amazing bit of karma to find a book like that. It turned out to be an amazing book. I tracked it down from Amazon (I couldn't just steal it, could I?) and gave it to my wife. I thought that was a good present.”

"Doppelganger" the new Grid album is out; Soft Cell’s remix album Heat, is out in May. (Book Of Answers_ online version- uncannily accurate)

Article by Jonty Skrufff (

Subscribe to Skrufff music newsletter at


Search Directory


Top Nightclubs

  1. Club Cubic (macau)
  2. Zentral
  3. Volar
  4. Levels
  5. Dragon-i
  6. Play
  7. Bungalow
  8. Drop
  9. Oma
  10. Pacha Macau (closed)
Show more...

Top Restaurants

  1. The Globe
  2. New Punjab Club
  3. Carbone
  4. Pastis
  5. Finds
  6. King Ludwig Beer Hall (tsim...
  7. Fofo By El Willy
  8. Braza Churrascaria Brazilian...
  9. Tikitiki Bowling Bar
  10. Meats Hong Kong
Show more...

Top Bars

  1. Tazmania Ballroom - Pool Hall...
  2. Ozone At The Ritz-carlton
  3. Woobar
  4. Arena Bar By Zerve
  5. Djiboutii [closed]
  6. Vibes - The Mira Hong Kong
  7. Sugar (bar.deck.lounge)
  8. Salon De Ning - The Peninsula...
  9. Club Primo
  10. Peel Fresco Music Lounge
Show more...

New Listings

  1. Tmk (wan Chai)
  2. Lady Nara Hong Kong
  3. The Londoner Macao...
  4. Izakaya Kuki
  5. Searock Lounge
  6. The Legacy House
  7. Brighton Hotel Hong Kong
  8. Cheeky Dog
  9. Aussie Grill By...
  10. Virgo Bar & Restaurant
Show more...