Arts and Health

The integrative, reparative and restorative powers of the arts

Humor: The Human Gift for Coping and Survival

High gas prices and global warming got you down? Humor is a natural stress-reducer and symptom-reliever that has been related to improved health, increased life expectancy, and overall well being. Whether you get a deep belly laugh from watching a comedy routine or “you fake it ‘til you make it”-- it’s all good. Read More

Humor as A New Perspective

Great article.

Another benefit of humor is that it gives us a new perspective. The construct of a joke leads us down one path and then changes direction (A three-legged dog walks into an old west saloon and says, "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."). The change in direction via the punchline is nothing more than a new perspective. A new perspective is the same mechanism that occurs in creativity.

Soooo, we can become more creative and also manage stress through humor by seeing a new perspective.

See more blogs on humor in healthcare here:

Appreciate the comments!

Thanks! I have a feeling that due to the nature of this topic, people [including Psychology Today itself] possibly think it is frivolous and simplistic. Just the opposite, it has a number of mechanisms and outcomes associated with it-- and as you say, it is intrinsic to creativity itself.

This is my first time writing about humor and its importance, yet it is a central part of my day-to-day work and relationships. And thanks for sharing the blog link too!

The worst of times

Laughter helped my friend and I through some pretty rough times. We both got divorced around the same time and used humor to survive the feeling of our lives falling apart. I remember one day in particular. My friend had gotten into a horrible argument with her now ex-husband and had moved back in with her parents. I had just split with my ex but was still living with him for lack of a place to go. She asked me to meet her for a drink after work with the text message, "Well I'm living in my parent's basement and in debt up to my eyeballs, plus on the way to work I rear-ended another car. Wanna get a beer?" I walked into the restaurant we agreed to meet at and for some reason when we saw each other we just burst out laughing. It seemed a good belly laugh was the only way to deal. Now we have both moved on and are doing well in our lives but we still share chuckles over "the dark times."

smiling over a book

I have been listening to the Harry Potter books (now on number 5) and notice how fine it is to laugh out loud with a good book. I was just thinking today about all the incredibly funny names and characters there are in the series. And I like that it's for children. I recommend getting to know Lord Dumbledor, Cornelius Fudge, Luna Lovegood, and on and on. Okay, it's not all funny and I don't know how it will end. But I know I'm hooked. BTW, I love the picture of the cat, Cathy!

what to do with that picture

print it out many times and tape it to the walls of your school/workplace

the reaction is funny

i tried this and when i did it somebody walked up to the printer in my class room the teacher saw it and waisted the whole rest of the class explaining how this is anamal abuse- it's not realy anamal abuse shees just a cat lover- no homework today thanks tom!!!!!!!!!

i was in that class to

ha ha no homework

Proof that laughter is a great survival tool...

If you are looking for more laughs than insight on the true state of dating, compatibility, love and relationships you will enjoy the book "Relationslips" by author Adam Kirk Pruden.

Relationslips is a collection of humorous revelations from one man's experiences with the opposite sex. Adam really bares his soul and puts the often embarrassing truth about his failed relationships out there for the world to read.

Though he has suffered a lifetime of ridiculous and sometimes life-threatening experiences in his pursuit of the right woman, he has successfully made it through the ordeal with his sense of humor intact.

Quite admirably, Pruden developed the ability to laugh at himself and his own shortcomings. You'll definitely want to share Relationslips with friends.

You can find it by searching Google for “Relationslips by Adam” or going directly to the publisher at


Really, a very funny looking picture, laughter is really a best medicine, I know one more website name, having cool collection of photos and videos, visit today

Nice article. When you are in

Nice article. When you are in hurt and down what you need is to laugh. Just like what they say "laughter is the best medicine".

I'll take Demetri Martin with a flip chart over all of 'em

Martin is absolutely insane. If you haven't heard his "These Are Jokes" CD I grieve for you. His delivery is amazingly dry and quirky, but terrific. To (badly) paraphrase one of the bits:

"Ever notice how some words are just fillers? Like "sort of?" Except sometimes they're really important. Like...

"I love you ... sort of."
"You'll live ... sort of."
"It's a boy ... sort of."

And it gets better from there.

I think one of us misunderstood

While I agree with you that Demetri Martin is hilarious, the article mentions Dick Martin who co-hosted Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

Knowing that humor will help

Knowing that humor will help in the near future to get over a very rough day can be encouraging to get through the worst of it. I was having one of those "everything's going wrong" days. I couldn't help but notice in the moments of unfolding how silly it would be in hindsight, and how it would make a great laugh to tell my friends about later.


You need humor throughout life for good and bad times. Also visit my blog at

The Prescription of Laughter

The Prescription of Laughter does not need a script nor a insurance company , nor a copay. An Extended milligram dose . That may come via another yet it is not like a drug deal it is rather like a ease of the day , a silly moment that in a joke , a smile that may brighten up even the worst of days . A dose that can be carried around even when alone when to see a streaming piece of toilet paper attached to your shoe . One that may bring a smile to others , even yours if you find the joy in the embarrassment of it all . A script that if that can be written if needed , one that can be recorded and posted for you to see . To remind you that it is OK . To set yourself free , even if it is from that darn piece of TP .

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Cathy Malchiodi is an art therapist, visual artist, independent scholar, and author of 13 books on arts therapies, including The Art Therapy Sourcebook.


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