Can Laughter be Therapeutic? | Yale Scientific Magazine

Man laughing

We love the idea that laughter can make you feel better and at The Health Dispensary we certainly appreciate doing a serious job with a lot of fun and laughter. It certainly makes the day go quickly and we think it rubs off on our customers. This research from world renowned Yale University explains how laughter raises our feel good chemicals.

Whether we giggle, chortle, chuckle, guffaw or “lol,” everyone laughs. Smiling, a natural part of laughing, is a universal indication of happiness or pleasure across all cultures, according to psychologist Paul Ekman. When we smile, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness. Interestingly enough, this effect works both ways: the release of dopamine when we feel happy causes us to smile, and the mere act of smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which in turn makes us feel happy.


There’s a huge amount of concern recently around mental health and rightly so. Depression and Stress are often treated with medication but there are non-medical approaches that can also help or work in combination. I’m not sure we’ll be offering laughter prescriptions or laughter yoga just yet, but who knows in the future. Customers who know us will testify how much we try to innovate and find solutions that help that little bit more.

Categories: Mental Health