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The Best Painkiller is Not What You Think it Is

When we say that listening to the right song makes us feel better, usually we mean it in terms of emotions. However, a new study from the University of Utah Health suggests that combining certain painkillers with certain music boosts the pain-fighting effect of the medication a measurable amount. This recent bit of research was conducted specifically on models recreating two types of pain: inflammatory and post-surgical. (Nerve pain, or neuropathic pain, was not addressed.) Low doses of four medications were explored: ibuprofen, cannabidiol, levetiracetam, and NAX 5055. As for music, the researchers went with one artist only, while the control groups were given one of the four drugs and subj

The Happiness Hack

Happiness: it’s something we all want, and in one way or another, most of us spend our lives attempting to pursue it. Multiple industries are devoted to our quest for increased joy. Now, a team of researchers at Iowa State University have carefully studied several mental strategies designed to make us happier. Their goal is to give us the low-down on the best way to lift a bad mood. The contenders? Loving-kindness, interconnectedness, and downward social comparison. Loving-kindness involves sincerely wishing for other people to be happy. Interconnectedness means meditating on the ties that we all share—for example, universal hopes and dreams. Downward social comparison occurs when you focus