Laughter isn’t just for fun anymore- it’s also great for your health.  Research indicates that patients who have a sense of humor and laugh easily actually heal faster than “humorless” folks with the same illness and the same treatments.

Laughter does more than brighten your day and make you feel happy. Here are some of the physiological benefits of laughter:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Amplified breathing
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Enhanced circulation
  • Increased blood levels of epinephrine-often called” the alertness hormone”-and other hormones that aid in healing
  • Possible release of endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller

The antithesis of humor-stress anger, frustration-fills the body with adrenaline and adrenaline has been shown to inhibit healing.


Sheila Birnbaum’s professional career has been devoted to enhancing patient care. As the Director of the Patient Advocacy Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), Hamilton, NJ, she instituted numerous programs, many which received statewide recognition, including several prestigious rewards.