When Pharrell Williams croons the lyrics to “Happy,” you gotta smile! The melody and words seem to make his positive feeling positively contagious. Investigators from Warwick University in the U.K. would agree, because their recent research shows that Williams got it just right when he wrote: “Here come bad news ... give me all you got ... I’ll be just fine ... because I’m happy.”
Data on 2,000 U.S. teens from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health indicates that being around happy friends slashes in half the risk of becoming depressed and doubles the probability of recovering from depression! And while happy friends can help a buddy who’s down feel better just by hanging around, a person who is depressed does not necessarily pull upbeat folks downward. In other words, happiness is a lot more contagious than the blues.
This study doesn’t surprise us, because we’re believers in the power of happiness to remake your life! So over this coming year, we’re making a promise to YOU to explore all the amazing ways you can increase your happiness quotient, which will fuel a quantum leap in your mind-body health.
Here’s our happy-by-association tip: Join a group of enthusiasts who are dedicated to doing something that you always wanted to try or already feel great doing, such as playing bridge, biking, going antiquing, volunteering at a charity or church, walking or jogging, learning a language or participating in community theater. You’ll be amazed at how it’ll get you singing “Happy” tunes, too.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.