The classic carol claims that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But for some, the holidays are a time of melanholly, a.k.a. the holiday-season blues (as dubbed by last week’s issue of the New York Times magazine). And those moody feelings could end up costing you more than a gift-buying spree at the mall.
New data from Harvard and Columbia University has found that feelings of sadness can cause you significant financial loss. Participants in a recent study that watched a video which induced feelings of unhappiness and impatience made financial decisions that earned more money in the short-term—but then had smaller, overall gains over a longer three-month period of time. Researchers concluded that depressed feelings can cause people to seek instant gratification with their spending and investments.