Find Happiness Inside This Box

January 26, 2015

8:00 am

Can happiness be found in material things?

The common answer is no; modern-day gurus encourage us to favor experiences – a vacation or an afternoon with friends – rather than buying the latest gadget or car. (But do we listen? Hell no.)

It turns out the truth is more nuanced than that, though. A study last summer from San Francisco State University discovered that “experiential products” like books, video games, or sporting equipment provide the same happiness boost as experiences. Experiential products express our identity and enhance our feelings of competence.

That’s lucky for Thrive Box, which is trying to sell happiness in a box for $39. It’s actually a box full of experiential products for six activities that are proven by science to make us happier:

  • Doing good: A deck of cards gives you suggestions for random acts of kindness.
  • Savoring: A selection of specialty teas and a recipe to make with others engage your senses.
  • Gratitude: A gratitude journal is ready and waiting for you to record your positive moments throughout the day.
  • Being present and mindfulness.
  • Learning, growing, and stretching yourself.
  • Feeding your soul with self-love.

(Thrive doesn’t want to tell you everything that’s in there, because surprises are proven to make us happy, too!)

When you purchase a Thrive Box, you also get access to a playlist of music, members-only content online (such as books, videos, and articles), and a digital community. So far, almost 70% of Thrive Boxes sold were sent as gifts.

Thrive Box is created by the people at Thrive, a Cleveland-based “happiness incubator” that helps spread happiness in the community with events, random acts of kindness, and consulting services. All the boxes are packed and shipped by local organizations that employ mentally and physically disabled adults.

So far there’s only one Thrive Box, but the team assures me that they’re planning new versions of the box and a subscription service in the future.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact