Definitely do the upgrade. I had a 2009 13” 2.26 GHz MacBook Pro with SSD, and the upgrade to 8 GB made the beachballs go away. This back in 2017 and earlier was my main mobile machine and it made quite a noticeable difference when I was multitasking even just with MS Office, etc.
I then bought a cheap 2008 13” aluminum MacBook off Kijiji and put an old SSD in it and put the 4 GB from the MacBook Pro above in it for a nice kitchen machine.
Or so I thought...
Even though the latter 2008 2.0 GHz MacBook was used mainly just as a kitchen surfer and breakfast email machine, I would still occasionally get those beachballs too. I lucked out on a flash Amazon.ca sale and picked up two sticks of Transcend 4 GB RAM for $22 each on clearout. Upgraded the thing to 8 GB and those beachballs went away. I haven’t seen pricing anywhere near that low lately for name brand RAM though, but $60 CAD is decent.
So yes, these days even just for a kitchen surfing machine, 8 GB is recommended. 4 GB should just be considered the bare minimum, but is not ideal even for basic use.
P.S. I am running 10.13 High Sierra on both those machines with a macOS installer hack and it works well, with a few small caveats. 10.14 Mojave is not recommended though, since the issues are much bigger. Probably the sweet spot for a lot of people is either the supported 10.11 El Capitan, or else the unsupported 10.12 Sierra, but 10.13 High Sierra is very much like Sierra on that machine, with APFS support. In terms of compatibility with legacy third party software though, out of all those, 10.11 El Capitan is the best of course.