Emotions

What are the health benefits of laughter? What is happening in the brain when you're in love? What are the effects of isolation on the mind? Find out in these articles about human emotion.

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Normally, we laugh because something's funny, but sometimes laughter can be something more serious -- a medical symptom. What separates a hearty guffaw from a signal of poor health?

By Victoria Vogt

Birds are chirping, and you're walking on the sunny side of the street. Then you see an elderly woman trying to cross the intersection. Does your good mood influence your good citizenship?

By Cristen Conger

What are your happiest childhood memories? What do you remember most about them -- the things you bought or the gifts you received, or the events themselves?

By Josh Clark

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From giggles to guffaws and from chuckles to cackles, we laugh in a lot of different ways -- and what's more, only about 90 percent of our laughter is related to jokes or humor.

By Molly Edmonds & Joseph Miller

Smiling isn't complicated: your mouth turns up, your cheeks lift and your eyes crinkle. You're happy and it shows. But can every smile -- even a fake one -- spread that cheerful feeling?

By Julia Layton

A self-help book on how to become sadder wouldn't even make it to a publisher's desk. Nevertheless, psychologists regard sadness as having a functional value. What is it?

By Cristen Conger

Think musicals are cheesy? You're not alone. But even the most cynical among us can't deny that hearing a favorite song can completely change our mood.

By Molly Edmonds

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We love to play with and fuss over our pets, but have you wondered if they were having as much fun as you were? Can animals actually feel happiness?

By Josh Clark

Money can buy important stuff like food and shelter, which brings a smile to anyone's face. But after you cross a certain financial threshold, how much happier can a new Jaguar and a Versace bag really make you?

By Jennifer Horton

How does a laughter milkshake sound? What about a joy cocktail? Though the former may sound like part of a kid's meal and the latter like a happy hour order, they're both related to laughter yoga.

By Molly Edmonds

If you want to quantify how happy someone is, do you count the number of smiles he or she cracks in a single day? Some researchers are stumped as to how happiness can be measured.

By Cristen Conger

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The authors of chain emails often tell you to smile more, with the added claim that it takes more muscles to frown. Ever questioned this piece of wisdom? We have an answer for you.

By Tom Scheve

People love chocolate. They eat it to drown their sorrows and to celebrate love -- some might say it's even better than sex. Chocolate clearly helps people feel good, but can it actually get you high?

By Josh Clark

Whether you belt out a tune in the shower, at a karaoke bar or in a choir, singing has some real, tangible health benefits. But can it also make you happy?

By Julia Layton

Would you be happier if you had the perfect body? A better job? A bigger paycheck? Being happy with yourself is less about the pursuit of happiness and more about finding it within you.

By Shanna Freeman

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Marriage entails waking up beside the one you love and sharing cozy, homemade dinners for two. But when the honeymoon haze clears, are married people happier than singles?

By Cristen Conger

Laughter is good medicine, but you probably won't be asking for a stand-up comedian after you break your arm. As far as your health goes, can a belly laugh help take the inches off your midsection?

By Tom Scheve

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most significant documents in American history. However, the origin of one of its signature phrases -- the pursuit of happiness -- is shrouded in mystery.

By Josh Clark

Ignorance is bliss. But what if you're more than just unaware? If you are dumb as a doornail, flat-out foolish or dim-witted, are you happier than the genius next door?

By Cristen Conger

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Predicting the future is a tricky business. We've long been promised flying cars and robot maids, only to be disappointed year after year. What might the crystal ball have in store for us in 2050?

By Molly Edmonds

Yes, they do. According to studies, people who smile their way through life are likely to outlive Debbie Downers by a significant number of years. How many?

By Jennifer Horton

Laughter may be the best medicine, but can it actually cure an illness? Some doctors are prescribing a daily case of the giggles along with conventional treatments.

By Victoria Vogt

Turns out sunshine isn't all about wrinkles and cancer. By covering up, staying inside and lathering on sunscreen, we may be missing out on the happier powers of the sun.

By Julia Layton

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Do you remember what it was like to feel that happy as a kid, when life was less complicated? If not, these 10 tips might get you grinning again. C'mon. Turn that frown upside down.

By Jacob Silverman

If girls just want to have fun, does that mean boys are serious stoics? There's no real way to measure joy, but studies have turned up some interesting facts about men's and women's happiness.

By Cristen Conger