From a researcher’s point of view, laughter should be used more therapeutically. “I don’t think the potential has been exhausted. Even if we don’t get around to being prescribed laughter,” said psychologist Jenny Rosendahl from the Jena University Hospital to the German Press Agency on the occasion of World Laughter Day on Sunday.

Targeted offers could be helpful, especially for stress prevention or for lonely people, said Rosendahl. With the clinic clown movement, the issue has already reached hospitals.

Because laughter doesn’t just have a positive effect on your mood, she emphasized. The cardiovascular system and immune system also benefited from this. Studies have not only measured that laughing at a joke or for another reason has a positive effect. Artificial laughter – such as laughter yoga – also has measurable effects. World Laughter Day comes from the laughter yoga movement and is always celebrated on the first Sunday in May.

Is laughter really healthy? Yes.

But a quick laugh isn’t enough, said Rosendahl: “You need a dose of laughter to achieve health-promoting effects.” In 2022, together with her student Katharina Stiwi, she published a review study in the journal “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice” that examined the question of whether laughter is really healthy. The short answer: yes. The researchers evaluated a total of 45 studies from the past 30 years.

They weren’t the first: in 2019, Dutch researchers analyzed several studies on the effects of laughter therapy. Their conclusion: Artificial laughter probably has even more positive effects than humorous laughter. And laughter therapy could be a promising approach. But there is still little good research on this, they said.