For the price of a bouquet of flowers, your home will stay neater, your worries will melt away, and you'll be happier at work. That sounds fake, but okay? Turns out there's a Harvard study backing it up.
In 2006, researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital kept track of 55 women from all walks of life. Over the course of two weeks, the women kept diaries of how they felt — including when researchers surprised them with flowers. It seems intuitive that a gift like that might make your day, but the study showed some surprising and surprisingly long-lasting results. Having flowers in their home for a few days increased participants' feelings of compassion for others, decreased anxiety and mild depression, and gave them more energy, enthusiasm, and happiness at work.
The study received funding from the Society of American Florists and the Flower Promotion Society, which may make the results seem like confirmation bias. Still, anecdotally, some claim that keeping flowers around their living space compels them to keep it neater. "There's something sad about looking at beautiful flowers sitting in a mess," writes Julia Brenner for Apartment Therapy.
There's less science to back that up, but there's no denying that keeping plants in your home can provide a big boost to your physical and mental health. In 2015, NASA released its Clean Air Study, naming the houseplants that did the best job getting rid of irritating chemicals in the air for space stations (and your apartment). Not only do those ferns and spider plants help purify your environment, but keeping living green things around can help lower your blood pressure, make you quicker on the uptake, and just generally help you relax. (No wonder we love hiking and gardens!)
So, how about it? A weekly bouquet for yourself more than pays for itself, especially for those things that money can't buy.