Five ways to put more laughter in your life

Grown-ups don't laugh enough - it's a fact. So what can we do to fill our days with funny moments? Here are some simple tips...

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In the July issue of Psychologies, I have written about how humour plays an important part in the management of my depression. It has a dual role. It helps me to understand when I'm not feeling well (I stop finding things funny and stop being able to be funny). And it helps to bring me out of the doldrums - a good dose of Friends, The Office or Miranda seem to be like a visual antidepressant.

I've been thinking - if it's so important, how can we all make sure we have more of it in our lives? As the statistics show, most of us grown-ups laugh just 7.2 times per day compared to children who manage up to 400 times per day.

Perhaps it'd be difficult to squash 400 times into your daily adult life - for a start, your boss may look askance if you're sitting at your desk guffawing all day long. But come on, we can surely do better than 7.2 times in a day? I'm throwing this down as a challenge to you, to all of us, in fact.

Here are some tips on how to make sure there's humour in your life. And, if you will, please report back and tell me how you get on. Oh and if you've got any good jokes, I'd love to hear them...


Do a daily humour audit. Each day I recommend you say to yourself, 'So, have I laughed today?' If you haven't - even if it's nearing the end of the day - try to redress the balance. Go onto YouTube and watch some clips that you know will make you laugh, wether they are from comedy shows or some funny animal clips. I challenge you to watch at least five of these each day.

Spend time with children. Whether they're your own or someone else's, being with children and seeing how they find humour in the most seemingly small things can help you to access your own humour reserves. I find that even when I'm feeling grilled, my seven-year-old has the ability to say something (or do one of his priceless impersonations) that lifts me up. The same may apply if you love animals - my friend's new kitten leaping at an invisible feather or suchlike also had me laughing recently.

Hang out with funny friends. I love my friends for different reasons and certainly there are some I particularly love because they are very funny. When I'm with them I laugh so much I feel like I'm going to end up with a six pack because my stomach muscles are worked so hard.

Picture yourself laughing. Post a picture of yourself laughing (or others who make you laugh) where you can see it everyday. I have a photo in my living room of the first time I caught on camera my son belly-laughing at the age of around three months and it makes me laugh every time I clap eyes on it.

Keep a book of 'joke notes'. I don't know about you but I only have the capacity to remember about three jokes at any given time, and when I hear a new one, one of the old ones is bumped off! Whether you have a notebook of jokes to add to (that's what comedians do, apparently) or you send them to yourself by email (subject title 'JOKES' so you can always search for it), this is a great way of remembering those little gems that tickled you.

Martha Roberts

Mental health blogger and award-winning health writer and author , -

I'm a seasoned journalist for national newspapers, magazines & the internet, where I focus on health & wellbeing issues. I'm also a blogger on mental health at, plus a nutritional therapist & author (I wrote 'Sugar Addicts Diet' with celebrity trainer Nicki Waterman for HarperCollins).