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Watch Comedy

Watch Comedy

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Watch comedy on a regular basis in movies, TV shows, stand up, or other formats.

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Possible Benefits

  • May improve mood 
  • May decrease stress level 
  • May decrease anxiety 
  • May improve creativity
  • May improve social skills
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How to Do It

Search for a comedy show or movie on your favorite streaming service. If you choose a TV show, you will have the advantage of watching it regularly, making it easy to create the habit of watching comedy.

You can also choose to find live comedy shows and attend them.

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Why it works

  • Professor Rod Martin [1], from Western University (Canada), has studied humor and laughter for over 30 years. His main findings: 
    • People with a higher sense of humor cope better with stress and are less affected by it. 
    • People with a greater sense of humor tend to have a more stable perception of themselves.
    • Humor tends to promote activity in the brain's pleasure circuits.
  • Laughter and joy tend to generate greater familiarity with other people.
  • Comedy generates positive emotions which lead to relaxation.
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Time Commitment

15-30 minutes

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Suggested Frequency

At least 2 times per week

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Time of Day

At night, as part of your wind-down routine.

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Possible Side Effects

None known. 

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  • Watch comedy when you feel sad or bored
  • Ideal for short work breaks 
  • Share this habit with other people to increase benefits  
  • Look for comedy clubs in your area
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Three Decades Investigating Humor and Laughter: An Interview With Professor Rod Martin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991054/
  2. Evaluation of a comedy intervention to improve coping and help-seeking for mental health problems in a women's prison. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25137108/ 
  3. The reward of a good joke: neural correlates of viewing dynamic displays of stand-up comedy. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21750952/ 
  4. Humor as a reward mechanism: event-related potentials in the healthy and diseased brain. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24489683/ 
  5. Humor, laughter, and physical health: methodological issues and research findings. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11439709/ 
  6. Humor modulates the mesolimbic reward centers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14659102/
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 Happiness  Stress  Productivity  Creativity  Sharpness
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