That’s Not Funny: 15 Reasons Why Laughing Is Bad for You


Leave it to the medical industry to find the downside to a good thing. In a Scrooge-y Christmas edition of BMJ, a peer-reviewed British medical journal, authors Robin Ferner and Jeffrey Aronson reviewed 785 research papers published since 1946 and came up with 15 unfortunate side effects from laughing. “It turns out that what is called ‘the best medicine’ occasionally causes harm,” Ferner, a clinical pharmacologist, told TIME. “Most of the time it makes people happy, but every now and again it kills them.”

Let us count the ways:

1. Weakened resolve

2. Fainting

3. Irregular heartbeat

4. Cardiac rupture

5. Inhalation of foreign bodies (e.g. gum drops, popcorn, peppermint bark)

6. Asthma attacks

7. Increased risk for lung collapse

8. Emphysema

9. Increased chance of spreading infections due to “exhaled airflow”

10. Sudden loss of muscle tone (don’t worry too much about this one – it’s temporary)


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