Photos improve mood more than chocolate

LONDON, July 13 (UPI) -- Looking through personal photo albums makes a person happier than chocolate, music, TV or even a favorite alcoholic drink, a British study finds.

Psychologist Peter Naish of the Open University compared the moods of people using four typical cheer-up treats with those browsing their favorite photos.


He found viewing photographs consistently improved the mood of 11 percent of the subjects in mood-measuring tests, while the groups who tried to eat, listen, watch or drink their way to happiness registered a mere 1-percent increase.

The study, for the cell-phone company Orange, shows that looking through personal photo albums produces an improvement across all measurements including a person's sense of relaxation, brightness, calmness and alertness and even their sense of being valued and popular -- resulting in a higher happiness score overall.

"I was aware of the potential positive effects of looking at personal photographs, but I was surprised by its ability to produce shifts in specific factors, such as being more relaxed, calm or bright," said Naish.

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