The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 1, No 4 (2013)

The impact of laughter yoga on subjective wellbeing: A pilot study

Melissa Kate Weinberg,Thomas G. Hammond,Robert A. Cummins


Laughter has been associated with a number of physiological and psychological benefits. Laughter yoga (LY) is a contemporary technique that encourages participants to mimic the act of laughing, with the goal of achieving positive psychological outcomes. This paper describes an exploratory pilot study to evaluate the effect of a single LY class on the psychological wellbeing of people who attended such sessions voluntarily. Forty-four participants (72.7% female, Mean age = 58.86, SD = 14.12) were recruited from LY clubs around Melbourne, Australia, and completed measures of wellbeing before and after the LY class. Following the LY session, significant improvements in positive emotions and reductions in the severity of symptoms of anxiety and stress were reported. Importantly, the change in wellbeing was greatest for participants who were experiencing lower wellbeing prior to the class. These findings suggest that LY shows promise as an effective intervention to temporarily increase wellbeing.


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