WBFN and the Health Benefits of Comedy

Moira Weinstein, Staff Writer

According to the MayoClinic, laughter can improve your immune system, ease physical pain, relieve your stress response and even stimulate organs.

In college, things like anxiety, illness and depression are extremely common. As someone familiar with them, I know the claim they can stake on willingness and ability to actively function, especially when it comes to self care. Something you used to love can easily wilt away into a mere burden. When you don’t know where to go from there, sometimes it’s best to resort to scientific solutions that have proven effective and beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing.

Comedy might not be the answer to every problem, but it is a source of light in a dark tunnel. This past week, I attended an improv show in the ELC Forum, performed by our campus’ own improv group, We Brake For Nobody. This is definitely not my first show and will not be the last. Knowing quite a few of the members, I was introduced to the club freshman year and immediately got hooked on their performances. I found myself waiting for the weekend to attend and dreading the ending, proceeded with line games and echoes of laughter in Uptown and the Forum. Everyone I have brought to the shows has continued to return, making it a routine every few weeks to see WBFN perform. It has become a point of relaxation, something to look forward to, and a reason to get out of my dorm on a Friday night. 

The reason things like improv shows and stand-up events are significant is because of the environment created during them. While concerts and movies are entertaining and important in their own way, comedy shows are unique in that they thrive off of participation and openness of the audience and encourage a sense of community lost in many places. WBFN is a group that uses the voices of the crowd in their act, but never pressures anyone to go out of their comfort zone or get on stage to humiliate them, which I feel can often be a downside of comedy outings.

In my experience, seeing these amazingly talented students do something that clearly makes them happy and making people smile in the process is so special. There is a sense of comfort and kindness that they present, which has built up an audience that not only enjoys the performance but also supports the members as peers and parts of the school community, something that is not always the case for other on-campus activities.

In the end, a good laugh is a good laugh. And you can’t deny the scientific basis of that. Everybody has their own thing that makes them smile, laugh and simply enjoy life. But nothing can make a person feel as happy as fast and as effectively as comedy. Bottom line: humor is medicine. So, go support our university Improv group, you won’t regret it.

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