New Study Suggests Happiness Doesn't Make You Healthy

Being happy is supposedly good for us. But what about being cranky? Well, a new study suggests that there's nothing unhealthy about being in a bad mood every once in a while, reports The New York Times.

For the study, published online this week in The Lancet, researchers recruited 1.3 million middle-aged women from England and Scotland between 1996 and 2001. All participants were asked how often they felt happy. Then, the researchers gave them a survey every few years about their health and lifestyle, and kept track of when and how they died.

Results showed that most of the women reported being happy some or most of the time. Almost 40% said they were happy most of the time, 44% said they were "usually" happy, 16% said they were happy "sometimes," and just 1% reported feeling happy rarely. However, those grumps weren't any more likely to die from cancer or heart disease during the study than those annoyingly cheerful participants were.

Although it might seem unlikely, this study suggests that being happy may not do as much for your health as you think. As we've written before, feeling lonely is definitely linked to health problems, and having social support in your life can save you from an early death. But, while your friends might make you happy, that alone doesn't seem to be the key to living a longer life. So, get out there and frown whenever you feel like it — you've earned it.

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