Money headaches? Take two dollars and call me in the morning


According to the old Beatles song, money "Can't Buy Me Love." However, a recent article in Psychological Science suggests that greenbacks may be able to do the next best thing.

According to the study's authors, money can help users deal with pain, social discomfort, and even the loss of love.

One one level, this revelation isn't all that surprising: as anybody who has ever undergone "shop therapy" can attest, the rush that comes from brand new purchases can sometimes help dilute -- or at least cover up -- the pain of heartbreak, disappointment, or anxiety.

Generally, this seems to be a matter of distraction and misdirection. Rather than being forced to deal with amorphous, unpleasant feelings, the mind gets to focus on pretty baubles. Beyond that, some studies have shown that compulsive spenders also get a rush of dopamine and endorphins that can translate into feelings of comfort and security.

While previous research has uncovered a link between purchase and pleasure, this study goes a bit further, suggesting that money itself can help users to tolerate physical pain.