Cancer Mental Health

Laughter’s healing power: It really is the best medicine

“A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.”

Good advice from comedian Groucho Marx. Being able to appreciate humor even during pain, chronic illness or disease not only benefits your mood, but just might be good for your health too.

According to the American Cancer Society, laughter can promote pain relief, encourage relaxation, reduce stress, boost attitude and stimulate the circulatory system during cancer treatments.

So laugh on: Here are five easy tips to add more smiles to your life:

  1. Look for humor even in a tough situation. There are genuinely sad situations that aren’t laughing matters, but many have an ironic or ludicrous side. Next time you feel stress rising, take a minute to think about the irony and allow yourself to relax and laugh over the things you cannot control.
  2. Remind yourself of funny moments from the past. Perhaps a friend told you a great joke, your kids did something amusing or you watched a funny movie that had you in stitches. Call on these moments and relive them to relieve sadness or anger.
  3. Surround yourself with fun people who laugh a lot. Laughter is contagious, so make a point to seek out positive people who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves or find humor in life’s situations.
  4. Get a pet. Animals are great for boosting happiness and encouraging laughter because they love to play and they do amusing things without even realizing it.
  5. Join a group that’s built for laughs. Start a “funny movie night” with friends or a “funny book” club.


Staying active and involved is another way to add humor and enjoyment to your life. Visit to get started.

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.

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