The Weirdest Way to Instantly Feel Happier, According to Science

Do you ever hear of scientific studies so seemingly random you wonder how the researchers even came up with the idea in the first place? Well, you’re about to hear about one of those studies. Happiness is a heavily studied topic, but we think the researchers at Utretch University in the Netherlands have discovered the most interesting, if not the grossest, way to boost your mood: smelling sweat. But not just any sweat. In fact, not even your own sweat, but rather the sweat of a happy person.

How did they figure this unusual fact out? Researchers showed participants movie scenes that either inspired fear or happiness, along with a control group that saw neutral scenes. Then they collected sweat samples from each viewer and had another group of individuals smell the vials of sweat. The research team measured the facial expressions of the participants smelling the samples and found that sweat from happy subjects garnered smiles more often.

Back to the question of how they came up with this whole “happy sweat” theory. Previous studies showed that negative emotions can be shared through scent via “chemosignals,” so it makes sense that positive emotions can be transmitted this way, too.

So what’s the takeaway? Perhaps rather than choosing the one secluded treadmill in the back of the gym, choose the one next to the fellow gymgoer who seems to having the most fun with their workout. Then again, if smelling sweat isn’t exactly your cup of tea, try sniffing Archetypes’ Topical Pheromone ($50) in Euphoric for a boost of happiness.

Will this study change your gymgoing strategy? Tell us below!