A well known song of Charlie Chaplin (performed in a very moving way by Jermaine Jackson, at the memorial service of Michael Jackson, and below by Nat King Cole ) has the following passage:

‘Smile! What’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.’ 

Beautiful, right?

Laughing is healthy, they say, but why? For many reasons, actually!

Smiling is healthy physically

When you smile/laugh (the louder, the better) your brain releases a chemical called endorphin. This is a natural painkiller and has a soothing effect, which lowers blood pressure. Laughing also strengthens your blood vessels as well as increases the blood flow, so it’s very good for your heart!

It strengthens your immune system

Furthermore, your immune system is strengthened during laughing. Your body produces so called natural killer cells. This type of cell is comparable to M-O of the movie Wall-E, it scans every cell and destroys the ‘bad guys’ like tumor cells.

And gets rid of stress hormones

During a good laughing fit, antibodies are produced, that get rid of stress hormones. So laughing is seriously stress reducing! (In the clip below that fact is demonstrated in a very funny way :D)

Do the smiling test

Getting back to Charlie Chaplin, the good man was absolutely right. Even when you don’t feel well, and smiling or laughing is the last thing you want to do, it helps when you just make yourself do it anyway. Slowly, but surely, you will actually start to feel better. You are kind of fooling your own body, but it really works! A fun detail (about which I could fill a whole other blog) is that it is not as easy to fool other people. A fake smile is usually easy to spot. Try doing the BBC-test  on real and fake smiles check how well your people insight is ;)

XOXO Maruja

Follow my work for Vocal Psychology, where I will teach you to sing your heart out, putting a smile on your face for sure!

First published in 2013, updated in 2019