Laughter Is the Medicine You Won’t Mind Taking

Athena Merritt avatar

by Athena Merritt |

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I’ve noticed that when doctors pitch something that will be good for my health, what usually follows is something I don’t like much. The reason is that achieving that goodness usually comes with some drawbacks. Taking another medication. Giving up foods I like. Sweating it out at the gym. 

There is a remedy that my doctors failed to mention though. Not only do I love doing it, but also I can indulge in it as much as I want for relief from sarcoidosis and the stressors of life. It’s laughter. This month is National Humor Month, a 30-day celebration of the therapeutic value of cracking up. 

Laughing your way to better health

When it comes to LOLs, I don’t have to worry about cost like I do with my prescriptions. There is no such thing as too much, as can be the case at the gym, which I found out the hard way. And the side effects of laughter are good. 

When I hit a rough patch last year and toxic emotions were getting the best of me, watching nightly episodes of “Schitt’s Creek” got me through it. Chuckling through the show’s seasons relaxed me, relieved my stress, and made me feel better. Those are all short-term benefits of laughter, which increases the endorphins (often called the feel-good chemicals) released by your brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Finding something funny to watch, read, or listen to is one of the top ways I deal with my aches and pains without reaching for pain medications. Pain relief and an improved immune system and mood are among the long-term benefits of laughter, the Mayo Clinic said. 

Getting your laugh on

Even in the current climate there are plenty of ways to still get your laugh on, and numerous streaming service deals to save while doing it. Several apps allow you to stream free movies and television shows, including on your iPhone and iPad. 

SiriusXM has launched a channel for women comics. With stay-at-home orders in place and venues shuttered, many comedians have moved their acts to the web. A Virtual Distancing Live Open Mic hosted by comedian Ali Sultan and livestreaming shows by stand-up comics in Connecticut are among the many offerings that recently were rolled out nationwide.

If you would like to get your laughs alongside friends and family while still practicing social distancing, try Netflix Party, a new service that synchronizes video playback and enables group chat while watching shows. 

Humor abounds

But you don’t need television for laughs. I often just think of funny things people have said or that have happened. And I’ve created a list on my laptop and phone of funny quotes, comments, pictures, memes, and videos that I’ve bumped into over the years that is forever growing.

Even with the limitations of current medical literature and the need for more research, a 2016 study reports that enough evidence shows a prescription of laughter could help your health. So this month, why not make it a point of getting a daily dose?


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


Dave Boydell avatar

Dave Boydell

I do hope that you do not get to the same level of lung damage as myself, the best I can manage is a controlled chuckle, full on laughter ends badly deep desaturations and unable to regain breath, so with sarcoidosis of the lung you can literally die laughing. raise spirits yes but know your subject.

Athena Merritt avatar

Athena Merritt

Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience. Sarcoidosis symptoms can vary widely among us. I hope that if you are unable to find useful tips from my experiences, that you will from the other columnists, news articles and information on our site. Please stay safe and put your health first always.

Gabrielle Regney avatar

Gabrielle Regney

Hey Athena,
I hope this finds you and that you are feeling well, Goddess2!


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