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Psychology Today: Beyond Fun and Games: Playfulness May Help Combat Depression


New research suggests that one week of daily "playfulness training exercises"—which are done 15 minutes before going to bed and are designed to make adults more playful—can lead to increased playfulness for weeks after the seven-day intervention.

Notably, boosting playfulness in someone's daily life was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and an uptick in well-being scores. These findings (Proyer et al., 2020) were published on Aug. 25 in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

First author René Proyer of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in Germany and co-authors found that their playfulness-based interventions "increased expressions in all facets of playfulness, had short‐term effects on well‐being, and ameliorated depression."

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