They say that laughter is the best medicine. It’s been taken for granted for so long that it’s become a cliché, just like “absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “never buy sushi at the 99-cent store.”

We’re not sure who “they” are, but there is ample evidence suggesting they are right: laughter creates benefits in a variety of ways, and humor—laughter’s big sister—is beneficial, too.

Laughter activates the immune system, relaxes muscles, reduces pain, decreases blood pressure, exercises the heart and the entire cardiac system, and deepens respiration. And if you’re laughing during a funny movie, it exercises your eyeballs, too.

Humor integrates both hemispheres of your brain, the emotional and the intellectual. And minds remember things better when they are reinforced from both sides, according to them (a different them than before.) For people who are very open-minded, like the staff here at Benefits of Laughter, to get that kind of multi-directional reinforcement, we’ve become open-minded . . . on both ends.

If you look around all the dating websites—because you’re doing research for this web page and not for any other reason at all—you’ll see all the people who are looking for a partner with a sense of humor, because people enjoy and respect someone who can make them laugh. Laughter breaks the ice and invites engagement. It opens hearts and wallets.

Humor will make you popular at the workplace, too. People who view their bosses as humorous also perceive them to be more effective, and they reported their job satisfaction was higher in a humor-oriented office, according to researchers at the University of the Internet. [reference pending]

Organizations that laugh—either on a regular basis or at special events, like comedy fundraisers—have higher morale, less turn-over, and better interoffice behavior.

Laughter melts away stress, anxiety, irritation, anger, grief, and depression. Simply put: it makes people feel better. Especially people who don’t have to put together another fundraiser for the same organization and are wondering what to do this time that’s different. That’s where we come in.