To Laugh is the Best Medicine – Here’s How to Learn to Laugh Again

by | Emotional Burnout

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Mark Twain

Forgot How to Laugh?

I love to laugh. With Larry Dale, the boys, their girls, the Grands, with a girlfriend, at the movies, or just with me, myself, and I. In my book, the ability to laugh is the best medicine! In fact, I value the giggles. And even believe laughter is one of the prominent ways we connect with the essence of who God is and the abundant life he’s given us.

That said, have you ever lost your laugh? Funny things might be happening all around you, but the ability to laugh seems locked up. It’s not that you’re trying not to laugh. No. It’s more like being tongue-tied. Like your soul has gone to sleep. Numb for so long, you forgot how to laugh.

Such was the state of my girlfriend, Allison, as she sat across from me one day at lunch. Battling stage-four breast cancer, she was physically exhausted and finding it impossible to navigate the perfect storm swirling in her soul. Reaching over the table to hold her hand, we sat in silence as she collected her thoughts.

And then, as if landing on the bullseye of the problem she said, Sandy, teach me to laugh again.

Is Laughter Good for the Soul?

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

But when you’re wondering, Will I ever laugh again? Because the truth is your heart’s been so heavy you forgot how to laugh. It’s so understandable how you might doubt, To laugh is the best medicine? Really?!

Absolutely! The more we learn about the brain and how God designed our brains, the more we discover the benefits of laughter!

  • Laughter can release the neurotransmitter serotonin
  • Laughter can release endorphins
  • Stress hormones can also be reduced
  • A belly laugh can ease tension
  • A bit of silly can quickly de-escalate conflict
  • The giggles can lighten everyone within earshot
  • Laughter can create a bad mood escape hatch
  • Laughter increases oxygen flow
  • Increases blood flow
  • And even lower pain levels

Wow! To laugh is good for the soul!

How to Start Laughing Again

Okay, back to my girlfriend Allison and her honest, vulnerable request, Sandy, teach me to laugh again.

Hmmmm. Let me think. How do you teach someone to laugh again?

I hadn’t a clue.

I mean Allison wasn’t a blond-haired, blue-eyed wind-up doll. Couldn’t just pull her string and she’d start laughing again. Her suffering was legit. And there wasn’t an end in sight.

So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. Because only God knows how to untangle a soul. And because only God knows why it’s tangled in the first place. So I began to pray, Jesus, teach my sweet friend to laugh again. 

He (God) will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21 (clarity mine)


Continuing to pray, Jesus, teach my sweet friend to laugh again…

A couple of weeks later, Allison shared a new insight that had suddenly come to her mind that morning…aka answered prayer✨ So curious, I leaned in anxious to hear how God was going to restore her laughter…

Well, I’ve noticed how every time I’m around Debbie Downer (name changed to protect the clueless) I feel invisible. She calls me all the time to gritch and whine. But never asks about me or my life. And every time we hang up I feel like all the energy I had has now been drained away. 

I truly believe that in answer to, Jesus, teach my sweet friend to laugh again...Jesus had revealed a need for Allison to set a boundary with this particularly self-absorbed person.

Now wondering if there might be other Kill-Joys in Allison’s life, I asked, What else empty’s your tank? 

Thinking through who and what she frequently listened to, watched, and read was eye-opening for Allison.

Bye, bye sad country songs. Tear-jerker stories Allison normally loved? Ta-ta for now. And oh yeah, see ya later daily news.

OMGoodness! It was fascinating to watch how significantly each of these changes impacted Allison’s soul. Lightening her heart.

To laugh is the best medicine, but you might also need some boundaries around the Kill-Joys.


Next, since laughter had always been a cornerstone of our relationship, we excavated our friendship in search of our most giggly rich times.

Remember that hot summer night at the carnival when we were on vacation in Santa Fe…

Remembering with me, Allison finishes my sentence, And our Tilt-a-Whirl teacup got stuck on spin!

And the centrifugal force pulled us right out of our seats!

There it is, the exquisite sound of my best friend’s laughter.

Or Sandy what about that afternoon I taught you how to drive a stick?!

And I kept popping the clutch!

Allison now beginning to howl with laughter, In the middle of every intersection!

For crying out loud, every single time! 

Now on a roll, Allison continues, Oh, and then there was the time…

And on and on we went. In complete stitches. Each ridiculous memory cracked us up more than the last. Thank you, Jesus. To laugh is the best medicine!

But here’s the thing – when you’re actively remembering, your brain doesn’t know you’re re-living the joy! Because the re-living…the remembering…is happening in real-time. Therefore, you experience present moment joy and laughter, all over again!

Awe, the brilliance in how God has wired our minds! Love it!

A Time to Laugh

God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6

What comes to mind next is the one place on the planet guaranteed to tickle us silly…Victoria’s Secret. 

Picking out our selections, we sashay to a large pink dressing room. Have mercy. Each and every negligee made us roar with laughter. Seriously, even our saleswoman had a hoot.

Loving her return to laughter, Allison suggests we go wig shopping next.

Sassy Chic. 

Flirt Alert. 

Watch Me Wow.

If You Dare.

I mean the wig names alone turned our giggle boxes upside down.

Making the long drive back north to my lake house, we decide to sing our old camp songs…

High up in the mountains, above New Mexico, Guadalupe Christian Camp the place for you to go…

Praise to the King of kings, who specializes in impossible things…

Mhmm, I want to linger. Mhmm, a little longer, mhmm, a little longer here with you…

Sidenote: In the pic above, that’s Allison, circa 1978, at Guadalupe Christian Camp where we spent several weeks each summer cooking for little campers so we could earn the tuition to attend their High School week of camp.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, The LORD has done great things.” Psalm 126:2

Before setting up shop in heaven, Allison courageously fought her way through twelve years of active stage-four breast cancer. Friend, that’s a long, arduous journey.

But in the fight, Allison lived like a 4th of July sparkler. And one of her best God-given weapons? Laughter.

To Laugh is the Best Medicine

How about you, my friend? Somewhere along the way, did you lose your laugh?

As you’ve been reading did you suddenly realize, I forgot how to laugh? 

I understand. Back in 2007, I lost my laugh too.

Thankfully, my journey with dear Allison served me well. And I remembered, just start with a prayer…

Jesus, teach me to laugh again. 

If you’ve lost your laugh, I’m so sorry. The pain you’ve endured hurts my heart.

And if you’re ready and wondering, How to start laughing again? 

Just start with this, Jesus, teach me to laugh again. And maybe invite your bestie along for the journey feeling free to give some of the ideas above a go.

Jesus, teach my friend to laugh again. Embrace them with your unfailing love. Because nothing is greater than you, Jesus, command fear to turn on its heels and slink back to the nothingness from which it came. Joy is their true home because you abide within them. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all I ask or can even imagine. According to Your power that is at work within them, restore their laughter once again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Thanks for stopping by! Until we meet again, remember – Trusting in Jesus, you’ll have more treasure than pockets. From my heart to yours,

Sandra Adcock Signature