Laughter Therapy: The Healing Power of Humour on Mental Health

Written by: Zafra Aswar Ali

Photo by Sithamshu Manoj on Unsplash

There is a famous saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”, and it primarily is true. Out of many factors that contribute to our well-being, laughter therapy is also known to significantly impact our mental health and overall well-being. This article will explore the science behind laughter as medicine, the benefits of laughter therapy, and how it can be incorporated into our daily lives for a better lifestyle. 

The Science Behind Laughter as Medicine 

Laughter is a natural human emotion as a response to humans. According to research, laughter can extend life expectancy by 8 years. As a result, scientifically, laughter is considered a form of medicine that brings about positive physiological reactions that are mentioned below: 

  • Reduces stress and relaxes muscles – When we laugh, it potentially reduces the stress hormone levels (cortisol and adrenaline). Our muscles also get relaxed with tension being released, which can last up to 45 minutes after a good laugh. 
  • Improved immune system and cardiovascular function – Laughter can increase the production of immune cells and antibodies to defend against any illness. It also improves blood flow to increase the functioning of the blood vessels for better cardiovascular health. 
  • Release of endorphins – Good laughter can trigger the release of the feel-good hormone endorphins that improve the mood. 

Benefits of Laughter Therapy on Mental Health 

Laughter therapy (also referred to as humour therapy or laughter yoga) is a type of exercise where laughter is used as a therapeutic approach to promote the well-being of individuals. In addition, due to its impact on the connection of the body and mind, it is supposedly beneficial to mental health and can also be connected to the above-mentioned physiological reactions triggered by laughter. 

  1. Improves mood 

The release of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin due to laughter therapy can bring about a feeling of happiness and thereby lift our mood. 

  1. Reduction of stress and anxiety 

Laughter therapy can lower the level of stress and anxiety by reducing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. 

  1. Better sleep 

Good sleep undoubtedly has a positive impact on mental health. Hence, the sense of relaxation gained from laughter also can improve our quality of sleep for enhanced mental well-being. 

  1. Enhances coping skills 

Challenging situations can make it difficult for us to cope and handle such situations with a relaxed mindset. However, involving humour therapy during tough times can help cope with the situation appropriately. 

Ways to Incorporate Laughter into Our Daily Lives 

Be surrounded by humour – Make sure your immediate surrounding is filled with some form of humour such as reading a comic or a family or friend who can make you laugh almost all the time. 

Watch comedy programs and attend comedy shows – This is another effective way of making laughter a part of your lifestyle. You can watch TV shows, movies, or web series that contain humorous content so that you can feel yourself being relieved of stress with a dose of laughter. Apart from that, even attending a stand-up comedy event will help you get some laughter and feel relaxed. This can be done by yourself or by asking someone to join you. 

Consider joining a laughter yoga class – As laughter is considered a form of exercise, laughter yoga classes induce laughter in their breathing exercises as a means of alleviating stress. 

Spread laughter – A social benefit of laughter therapy is that it strengthens social relationships. So, consider spending time with your loved ones by sharing funny stories and jokes to laugh your heart out while creating a positive vibe. 


Laughter, which is also a form of therapy, has numerous benefits on both physical and mental health as proven by research evidence. Therefore, it is crucial to incorporate humour into our daily lives either by enjoying the moment by laughing at jokes or funny stories or by engaging in exercises that include laughter as a component. Remember that laughter alone cannot entirely resolve serious mental health issues, but while going through any challenge in life, laughter therapy can help ease the situation by uplifting our spirits.