How to Wake Up Happy Every Day, According to a Laughter Therapist

Laughter therapy—it's a real thing. And it's exactly what it sounds like: a therapeutic philosophy that relies on myriad techniques to make a person, well, laugh. "The body cannot tell the difference between simulated laughter and spontaneous laughter," explains Francine Shore, who founded the first "laughter yoga club" in New York City 13 years ago. "It's still going to release all the feel-good chemicals—dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins—and you get the same physiological and psychological health benefits."

Most adults have depressingly little laughter in their lives. "Children laugh about 150 times a day; adults laugh 12 times per day," Shore says. It's a shame, considering the dozens of mental health benefits a simple bout of laughter can have. "It decreases depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, is a natural pain analgesic, encourages positive thinking, boosts morale, enhances creativity and productivity, burns calories, and more," Shore says.

Shore has been both a teacher and practitioner of laughter therapy for years, and in the process, she has learned the (surprisingly simple) secres to lifelong happiness. Want in? Keep scrolling for nine easy happiness tips from a laughter coach.

Next: Read about the weird meditation technique that made me happier.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.