Laugh your way to health? Yep.

Since laughter’s good for the soul, it’s no surprise that it’s good for the body, too. And now researchers at the University of Maryland have given us a physiological reason to believe it. Experimenting by measuring blood pressure after people watched either sad or funny movies, they found that laughter, like exercise, expanded the funny-movie-watchers’ blood vessels, whereas the stressful movie watchers actually had reduced blood flow. <a href=""
target=blank>”It was a pretty dramatic difference,” Miller said.

The researchers also speculate that laughter triggers the release of endorphin which fights the negative effects of stress hormones—and could thus be a valuable preventive treatment. They say this isn’t yet positive evidence but, like claims that laughter boosts the immune system, the proof is getting closer.