The radio show host believes laughter is a great way to get through the hard times. Here’s why.
We’ve all got those important people in our lives who have helped us get to where we are today. Our husbands or wives, our friends, our colleagues.
Or, if you’re Lawrence ‘Moonman’ Mooney, a former prime minister of Australia.
That’s right, the Triple M funnyman credits none other than Malcolm Turnbull for securing him his breakfast radio show. It was Mooney’s hilarious impressions of the former PM that he says catapulted him from show guest to show host.
“My favourite impersonation is Malcolm Turnbull,” he says.
“I can thank him for the fact I have my own radio show in the biggest city in the country.
“Doing Malcolm might have got me here but there has been so much more new material over the past four months.
“Nothing beats the panic buying — I will never forget the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, and I’ll never let the hoarders forget, either.”
I’m talking to Moonman this week because things are still feeling a little bleak around the country and we could all use a good laugh.
It’s the middle of a cold winter, the economy is hurting, the job market looks tough, and, just when we thought the pandemic was behind us, coronavirus cases have begun to spike again in Victoria.
We might not feel much like laughing, but it’s actually one of the most beneficial ways we have of dealing with stress.
Aside from the proven physical benefits of a daily chuckle, research has uncovered serious mental health benefits, too. In fact, studies have found laughter releases serotonin in the brain, working in the same way as SSRI antidepressants, and also releases endorphins (the brain’s happy chemicals) and reduces stress.
So laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s up to people like Moonman to deliver them.
“Laughter is absolutely the best medicine,” he says.
“Well, unless you’ve got a nasty infection, then antibiotics are definitely the best medicine. And, well, laughter is no good for other serious diseases, either.
“But other than that, laughter is the best. I take making comedy seriously. The Moonman in the Morning team is saving Sydney’s sanity single-handedly!”
WHY YOU SHOULD LAUGH MORE THIS WEEK
1. It releases feel-good chemicals
Laughter acts as a natural antidepressant, releasing serotonin in the brain, in the same that prescribed medication might. In fact, a Korean study found that laughter therapy was a key plank in controlling depression.
2. It’s good for you
The physical benefits of laughter are pretty well-known, but one recent study found it could actually be more powerful than medication for certain ailments.
The study focused on 60 patients with irritable bowel syndrome, and found laughter yoga was more effective in easing symptoms than traditional medication
3. It relieves aches and pains
Feeling a little stiff and sore? Laughter can save you a trip to the physio. A major UCLA study found that laughing not only increased hospital patients’ pain tolerance, but also reduced aches and pains by 50 per cent, with the effect lasting several hours.