The best books on therapeutic humor & laughter

The Books I Picked & Why

Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient

By Norman Cousins

Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient

Why this book?

This is the book that started the therapeutic humor movement. Cousins reveals how laughter helped him heal from a life-threatening illness. When he was diagnosed with a crippling and irreversible disease, he forged an unusual collaboration with his physician, and together they were able to beat the odds. This remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit is truly inspirational reading.


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Humor and the Health Professions: The Therapeutic Use of Humor in Health Care

By Vera Robinson

Humor and the Health Professions: The Therapeutic Use of Humor in Health Care

Why this book?

Another pioneer in the therapeutic humor field: this one written for the health professions. In spite of that, any reader can get a lot from this book. It introduces the benefits of humor not only as a healing tool for the patient, but as a stress management tool for the health professional as well. Certainly, any reader dealing with stress can benefit from the coping characteristics of humor.


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Laughter Therapy: How to Laugh About Everything in Your Life That Isn't Really Funny

By Annette Goodheart

Laughter Therapy: How to Laugh About Everything in Your Life That Isn't Really Funny

Why this book?

The first part of this book provides a theoretical framework for understanding laughter and why it is cathartic. The second part contains 25 ways to help you laugh or relearn to laugh in order to maximize healing. As the subtitle states, it will show you How to Laugh About Everything in Your Life That Isn't Really Funny.


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Laughter: A Scientific Investigation

By Robert R. Provine

Laughter: A Scientific Investigation

Why this book?

If you are curious about the ins and outs of why we laugh, this is the book to read. Among other things, it will answer such questions as to why we laugh, is laughter contagious, and has anyone ever died laughing. Written by the world’s leading scientific expert on laughter.


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Laughter the Best Medicine: A Laugh-Out-Loud Collection of our Funniest Jokes, Quotes, Stories & Cartoons

By Reader’s Digest

Laughter the Best Medicine: A Laugh-Out-Loud Collection of our Funniest Jokes, Quotes, Stories & Cartoons

Why this book?

It is useless to talk about how humor and how laughter can be therapeutic without experiencing it. I’m therefore suggesting this series of books published by Reader’s Digest. Each one contains 1,000 jokes, quotes, and cartoons. With that many funny things, it is most likely you will find something to tickle your funnybone.


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