Think of the last time you had a really, really good laugh. Proverbs 17:22 says a merry heart is good medicine.

Is this merely a “spoon full of sugar”, or is there actual scientific evidence to support this metaphor?
Why, yes! Otherwise this would be a very short article.

Recent research demonstrates that when we laugh, our immune system is strengthened, our mood is boosted, pain levels diminish, and stress levels decrease. 1

Sounds like good medicine to me!

Here are just a few more of the positive benefits of having a good belly laugh:

  • It’s good for your brain.
    Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • A good, hearty laugh relaxes the whole body.
    It relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.2  “Aaaah,” cue the spa music.
  • It protects the heart, improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, helping to protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter may even help you to live longer. One study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer 3.

And lastly (drum roll, please),

  • It burns calories. One study found that 10-15 minutes of laughing a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose a whopping 3 or 4 pounds over the course of… a year. So, it’s not a replacement for going to the gym (shoot!), but you’ll sweat less. Probably.
horses laughing

So, in conclusion, laugh often and live lighter! And just a tip – it feels even better with a friend or two laughing (or groaning) along with you.

When’s the last time you had a really good laugh?

A joyful heart is good medicine… – Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

Article provided by Heather Tomes, revised by Jayna Snider

Jayna Snider

Jayna is the Communications Coordinator for Horizon College & Seminary

Want more?

Sign up with your email address to receive the latest news and updates, event reminders, or encouraging articles. Simply check the boxes below to let us know what you are interested in.

* indicates required
Send me: