Feeling Blue? Let Standup Comedy Be Your Antidepressant

kids-in-the-hall-brain-candy-originalPerhaps you’ve had a rough day. Maybe you overslept, stepped in the cat’s water dish, arrived late for work, or accidentally set the break room on fire with the coffee maker. Perhaps you’re simply suffering from an existential crisis. Whatever the shade of your ennui, standup comedy could be the solution to your melancholy.

The evidence, from a study performed at Utah University:

“We put together tapes of stand-up comedians. They (the depressed people) watched these tapes for 30 minutes a day for four weeks… There was a 42 percent reduction in symptoms.”

This begs the question – what about standup comedy is so effective in alleviating depression? The answer could be in the self-effacing nature of the medium. Most comedians embrace their shortcomings as ammunition for jokes. Not only is the audience laughing, they’re watching someone bare their soul and make light of it. In turn, they may leave the comedy club feeling more comfortable in their own skin. At the very least, they’ll leave giggling.

If insecurity isn’t the problem, trying out standup for yourself could be the solution. For someone who enjoys performing, the act is accompanied by a rush of endorphins, plastering a smile on a previously maudlin mug. In addition, twisting your deepest anxieties until they sound humorous, at least to others, might make them sound humorous to you. If the crowd laughs along, you’ll get to experience the thrill of peer appreciation and acceptance. You never know – an inventive form of therapy could turn into a calling that also boosts your self-esteem.

Like any medicine, humor must be taken regularly to be effective in the long-term. Fortunately for you, RISE Comedy Playhouse has your prescription in stock several times a week, whether you get your jollies from standup, improv, performing at our all-arts open mic, or from sexy, sassy burlesque. Take a look at our calendar for show times and ticket information, or contact us with any questions or comments.