137 Studies that will Improve Your Mental Health

1. Long visits to nature linked to improved mental health. (Source)

2. Higher income is associated with less daily sadness but not more daily happiness. (Source)

3. Treat your spouse well – Heart disease risk linked with spouses’ social support. (Source)

4. Lack of stimulation in the workplace and dirty working environment has long-term cognitive effects on employees (Source)

5. An office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 percent (Source)

6. Wearing a Suit Makes People Think Differently: Formal wear elicits feelings of power, which change some mental processes. (Source)

7. Action video games improve brain function more than so-called ‘brain games’ (Source)

8. Being in a position of power can fundamentally change the way you speak, altering basic acoustic properties of the voice, and other people are able to pick up on these vocal cues to know who is really in charge. (Source)

9. Regular walking can help ease depression. (Source)

10. Men who can tell a good story are seen as more attractive and higher status (Source)

11. Valuing your time more than money is linked to happiness: “It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness,” said lead researcher Ashley Whillans (Source)

12. Awakening several times throughout the night is more detrimental to mood than getting the same amount of sleep uninterrupted. (Source)

13. People with less active social lives may be happier — If they have a high IQ and live in an urban setting. (Source)

14. People who believe most strongly in God tend to make an especially strong psychological connection between feeling clean and seeing their own behavior as good and moral. (Source)

15. Stop cheering people up. Researchers discover that people with low self-esteem don’t want to hear uplifting tales, and just need to be left alone. Or hear that their feelings are normal. (Source)

16. Men’s historical dominance of the workplace may, in part, be because of their ability to reconcile with enemies after conflict. (Source)

17. Moderate exercise not only treats, but prevents depression: This is the first longitudinal review to focus exclusively on the role that exercise plays in maintaining good mental health and preventing the onset of depression later in life (Source)

18. Believing you’ve slept well, even if you haven’t, improves performance. (Source)

19. Live music shown to reduce stress hormones – “For the first time, a study has demonstrated that attending a public cultural event can induce a measurable effect on an individual’s internal hormone levels.” (Source)

20. Be Happier: Spend More Money on Others ” … Psychologists report that the benefits of helping others ‘are evident in givers old and young in countries around the world, and extend to not only subjective well-being, but also objective health.'” (Source)

21. 15 minutes mindfulness meditation can help free the mind of biased thinking (Source)

22. Socialising in pubs boosts mens’ mental health. (Source)

23. Even when test scores go up, some cognitive abilities don’t: MIT neuroscientists find even high-performing schools don’t influence their students’ abstract reasoning (Source)

24. Casual sex is commonly considered negative, but a new study shows that amongst people who like it, casual sex is linked to higher self-esteem and life satisfaction as well as lower depression and anxiety. (Source)

25. The happiest marriages are ones where wives are able to quickly calm down during conflict. (Source)

26. A lack of REM sleep may raise the risk of chronic depression and anxiety (Source)

27. Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists: Chimpanzees are sensitive to social influences but they maintain their own strategy to solve a problem rather than conform to what the majority of group members are doing. However, chimpanzees do change their strategy when they can obtain greater rewards (Source)

28. Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension: research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term. (Source)

29. Consciousness has less control than believed, according to study. (Source)

30. How poverty changes the brain: Growing up poor is so stressful, it damages brain development. (Source)

31. Parents: let your kids fail. You’ll be doing them a favor. (Source)

32. Testosterone seems to help people with social anxiety. (Source)

33. Laughter, then love: Study explores why humor is important in romantic attraction. https://news.ku.edu/2015/08/27/first-comes-laughter-then-love-study-finds-out-why-humor-important-romantic-attraction

34. Two stressed people equals less stress: New research shows how emotional similarity reduces stress. (Source)

35. Study suggests acting immorally in video games actually makes players more moral. (Source)

36. Training elderly in social media improves well-being and combats isolation. (Source)

37. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking. (Source)

38. Why you should really start doing more things alone: People consistently underestimate how much they will enjoy seeing a show, going to a museum, visiting a theater, or eating at a restaurant alone. (Source)

39. Don’t tell your kids they’re smart–Instead, praise their strategies for solving problems to make them less averse to challenges (Source)

40. Feeling connected to nature is linked to reduced anxiety. (Source)

41. People who engaged in psychotherapy, counseling, and/or medication were, on average, significantly less neurotic and a bit more extraverted after the interventions than they were beforehand. These are the findings of review of 207 studies involving more than 20,000 people. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/uoia-cac010617.php

42. Individuals who blame karma for their poor health have more pain and worse physical and mental health, according to a new study. (Source)

43. How awe makes us generous – “A new study finds that feeling small in nature makes us more generous to other humans.” (Source)

44. Self-control is just empathy with your future self. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/self-control-is-just-empathy-with-a-future-you/509726

45. Caffeine at night delays human circadian clock. (Source)

46. The hard data on being a Nice Boss – “Tough” managers often mistakenly think that putting pressure on employees will increase performance. What it does increase is stress—and research has shown that high levels of stress carry a number of costs to employers and employees alike. https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-hard-data-on-being-a-nice-boss

47. Caffeine could remedy unethical behavior by sleep-deprived workers: Lack of sleep can lead to unethical behavior in the workplace but the equivalent of a large cup of coffee can help sleep-deprived employees bolster their ability to control their behavior and resist unethical temptations (Source)

48. A philosopher’s 350-year-old trick to get people to change their minds is now backed up by psychologists: to tell someone they’re wrong, first tell them how they’re right (Source)

49. Couples who drink together are “less irritated” by each other. (Source)

50. A new, more rigorous study confirms: The more you use Facebook, the worse you feel. https://hbr.org/2017/04/a-new-more-rigorous-study-confirms-the-more-you-use-facebook-the-worse-you-feel

51. Study finds trees are linked to the reduction of psychological stress. (Source)

52. LSD could make you smarter, happier and healthier. Should we all try it? Researchers are again exploring the therapeutic possibilities of psychedelics. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/01/lsd-could-make-you-smarter-happier-and-healthier-should-we-all-try-it

53. Study shows that cerebral blood flow within the left and right hippocampus significantly decreases after just 10 days of without exercise (Source)

54. Can money buy happiness? For some, the answer is no: Many shoppers, whether they buy material items or life experiences, are no happier following the purchase than they were before. (Source)

55. Anticipation of pain can be worse than pain itself. (Source)

56. Mental exertion is contagious: if a person near you is straining their synapses in mental effort, their mindset will automatically intensify your own concentration levels.” (Source)

57. Stress undermines empathic abilities in men but increases them in women: Stressed males tend to become more self-centered and less able to distinguish their own emotions and intentions from those of other people. For women the exact opposite is true. (Source)

58. Study suggests belief in demons and evil spirits is harmful to mental well-being. (Source)

59. Testing yourself on material you’re trying to learn is more effective than studying and re-studying. (Source)

60. Outdoor exercise has more benefits for the depressed than indoor exercise. (Source)

61. If your mental health problem was a maths problem, the longer you spent trying to “solve” it, the more complex and unsolvable it would become. (Source)

62. Pretending to understand what babies say can make them smarter – “New research suggests it’s how parents talk to their infants, not just how often, that makes a difference for language development.” (Source)

63. Rudeness in the workplace isn’t just unpleasant: it’s also contagious. Encountering rude behavior at work makes people more likely to perceive rudeness in later interactions, a study shows. That perception makes them more likely to be impolite in return, spreading rudeness like a virus. (Source)

64. Getting excited helps with performance anxiety more than trying to calm down: Simple statements about excitement could have big effects, research shows (Source)

65. Planned hedonic deviations for goal pursuit may be beneficial for long-term success across a variety of goals, such as weight loss and financial saving, new study finds. (Source)

66. Poor sleep in early childhood linked to later cognitive and behavioral problems. (Source)

67. Meditation training increases the ability to perceive the self in a more healthy, present-moment way. (Source)

68. Students learn better when they think they’re going to have to teach the material. (Source)

69. When people have common knowledge, they’re much likelier to act in each others’ best interest. (Source)

70. Most of your Facebook friends don’t care about you and probably wouldn’t even sympathise with your problems. (Source)

71. Sunshine, rather than temperature, pollution, or rain, matters a lot to our mental health. https://knowridge.com/2016/11/sunshine-rather-than-temperature-pollution-or-rain-matters-a-lot-to-our-mental-health/

72. Physical activity is the no. 1 way to keep your brain young. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201510/physical-activity-is-the-no-1-way-keep-your-brain-young

73. Unemployment takes its toll on young people’s mental health. (Source)

74. Chill-inducing music enhances altruism in humans. (Source)

75. Eating fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of depression. https://knowridge.com/2016/09/eating-fruits-and-vegetables-may-help-reduce-the-risk-of-depression/

76. Being true to yourself may protect against the harmful effects of loneliness. (Source)

77. The solution to (nearly) everything: working less. From stress to climate change, from inequality to meaningless work – the solution is, time and again, a much shorter workweek. (Source)

78. Feeling powerless increases the weight of the world… literally: New research shows that the more personally and socially powerless you feel the heavier objects appear to weigh. (Source)

79. Clinical Psychology says hiding from anxieties makes it worse. (Source)

80. Why boring cities make for stressed citizens – “Boring cityscapes increase sadness, addiction and disease-related stress.” (Source)

81. Feeling “in control” helps some live a longer life: The less education you have, the more your attitude counts when it comes to staying alive and well, study finds. (Source)

82. Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing. (Source)

83. Gym workouts and sunbathing do more for your brain than crosswords and Mozart. (Source)

84. Depression makes us “biologically older” – Depression can make us physically older by speeding up the ageing process in our cells, according to a study (Source)

85. Having children later makes parents happy: A study shows that delaying family formation is associated with higher satisfaction levels. (Source)

86. Happiness makes your brain work better: Researcher explains that rather than thinking of success as the source of happiness, we should think of happiness as a source of success – and one that’s more under our control than we imagine. (Source)

87. Sad music is depressing; It’s also healthy and good for your mind. (Source)

88. Being moody may help us adapt to change – Mood draws on experiences and can, in fact, help us quickly adapt to changes in our environment. (Source)

89. Negative emotions are key to well-being – Feeling sad, mad, critical or otherwise awful? Surprise: negative emotions are essential for mental health https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/negative-emotions-key-well-being/

90. New study finds that saying “I can have it some other time” instead of “no, not ever” increased ability to resist temptation. The authors argue that this leads to a reduction in desire and has powerful consequences for our understanding of self-control. (Source)

91. New study finds that doing acts of kindness creates an increase in positive emotion and reduction in negative emotion while focusing on doing acts of kindness towards oneself had no effect. These results further challenge the perception that focusing on oneself is an optimal strategy to boost mood. (Source)

92. Washing dishes is a really great stress reliever, science says. (Source)

93. Napping on the job could boost productivity. (Source)

94. Belonging to multiple groups that are important to you boosts self-esteem much more than having friends alone, research has found. (Source)

95. Home-delivered meals reduce loneliness, study finds. (Source)

96. Closing your eyes boosts memory recall. (Source)

97. Being socially active may boost late-life satisfaction and ease decline. (Source)

98. Money may corrupt, but thinking about time can strengthen morality: Priming people to think about money makes them more likely to cheat, but priming them to think about time seems to strengthen their moral compass. (Source)

99. Leisure time physical activity linked to lower depression risk: Being physically active three times a week reduces the odds of being depressed by approximately 16%. (Source)

100. The adaptive mind: Children raised in difficult circumstances show enhanced mental flexibility in adulthood. (Source)

101. No matter your age, making mistakes can help you learn. Experiment suggests seniors benefit from trial-and-error learning just as much, and in the same ways, as young adults. (Source)

102. Being forgiving to yourself and others can protect against stress and the toll it takes on mental health. (Source)

103. When men drink, their smiles get more ‘contagious’: According to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science. That could explain why men are much more likely to drink in excess than women are — they just have more fun. (Source)

104. Does a junk food diet make you lazy? A new UCLA psychology study provides evidence that being overweight makes people tired and sedentary — not the other way around. (Source)

105. Research shows that working together boosts motivation: When people are treated by others as partners working together on a task, their motivation increases – even if they worked on their own (Source)

106. Recipe for a Happy Life: Less Materialism, More Gratitude: New research finds materialistic people are less happy in large part because of their lack of gratitude. (Source)

107. New research is suggesting that happiness is determined not by how much money one earns, but rather, how one spends it. (Source)

108. Daydreaming may be why neurotics are so creative. (Source)

109. Food with high levels of tyrosine, like bananas, peaches and almonds, allow us to think harder and more creatively, study shows: Test subjects who drank orange juice with added tyrosine were better at solving puzzles than those who were administered a placebo. (Source)

110. Meaningful activities protect the brain from depression – A new study of adolescents found that those who derive joy from selfless deeds were less likely to be depressed over time. (Source)

111. Higher levels of omega-3 in diet are associated with better sleep, study shows: A randomised placebo-controlled study suggests that higher levels of omega-3 DHA, the group of long-chain fatty acids found in algae and seafood, are associated with better sleep. (Source)

112. Study shows where you are is who you are: Good environments are fundamental for well-being. (Source)

113. Helping others dampens the effects of everyday stress: Providing help to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers can mitigate the impact of daily stressors on our emotions and our mental health. (Source)

114. Want a higher exam score? Take the test first thing in the morning, study finds. Every hour later is equivalent to missing 10 days of school. (Source)

115. Ecstasy research: Scientists find MDMA could help tackle pathological self-criticism. (Source)

116. Laughter is an effective catalyst for new relationships – “If you want someone to open up to you, just make them laugh. Sharing a few good giggles and chuckles makes people more willing to tell others something personal about themselves.” (Source)

117. Study shows media coverage can cause more stress than being at a bombing site. (Source)

118. The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling – “Humans are inclined to see narratives where there are none because it can afford meaning to our lives, a form of existential problem-solving.” (Source)

119. No room to think: depressive thoughts may have a negative effect on working memory. (Source)

120. Listening to sounds of nature even as a recording for just 3 minutes restores negative moods back to normal, compared to artificial or mixed sounds (Source)

121. For healthy older adults, forget brain training games – the best form of cognitive training is simply being more social. (Source)

122. Human sounds convey emotions better than words do. Researchers have discovered that we pay more attention when an emotion (such as happiness, sadness or anger) is expressed through vocalizations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech. (Source)

123. Your brain is primed to reach false conclusions. (Source)

124. Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery. (Source)

125. Long-term study shows that adding more external incentives to do something can decrease internal motivation. (Source)

126. Sleep promotes analogical transfer in problem solving. (Source)

127. The future is now: reining in procrastination – By thinking in terms of days instead of years, we’re more likely to achieve our goals, researchers find (Source)

128. Anticipation of experiences is linked to greater happiness. (Source)

129. An new study suggests that listening to music makes strenuous workouts feel easier and may nudge people into pushing themselves harder than they had thought possible. (Source)

130. Healthy mood spreads through social contact, depression doesn’t. (Source)

131. The more committed we are to achieving a goal, the more likely we are to assume others have the same goal as us. (Source)

132. Meditation may help with anxiety, depression and pain. (Source)

133. The brain prioritizes rewarding memories by replaying them at rest, strengthening the memory. https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/memory-replay-prioritizes-high-reward-memories

134. Saving information to computer frees your mind to learn new material – “The critical finding is that the students performed better at remembering this second list if they were earlier given the chance to save the first list to computer. (Source)

135. Your likeability and ability to influence others are affected by others perception of your thoughtfulness during decision making. Psychologists find that thoughtfulness must be tuned to complexity of decision, and over- or underthinking reduce influence and likeability (Source)

136. Asking for compliments and recognition can boost our chances of success in the future, a new study suggests, because being reminded of times when we’ve done our best work can motivate us to attain those same levels of performance again the next time around. (Source)

137. Having a Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Your Life: Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (Source)