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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 154 > Writing to heal

Writing to heal

This month, Vanessa King of Action for Happiness and author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Opening Up By Writing It Down by James Pennebaker and Joshua Smyth

Happiness Book Club

There’s a saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, but what if it’s not something we feel able to talk about? Psychologists James Pennebaker, Joshua Smyth and colleagues have spent the last 30 years looking at the benefits of disclosure through writing. Their early studies asked people to write about a traumatic experience which they hadn’t shared with anyone. The results showed that while people felt less happy immediately after writing, longer term, they were happier and had fewer health problems, too.

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About Psychologies

What happens when you don’t like what you see in the world? Our dossier gives you the low-down on what you can do to step up and make the world a better place - be it making small changes in your community to founding a charity that will make a massive impact on the world. We also invite you to lighten up and have some fun this month. Katy Regan signs up to a comedy improvisation workshop – with surprising results. Suzy Bashford channels her inner punk and delights in swearing more and caring less what other people think. Still in need of some laughs? Meet Emma Stroud, Psychologies ‘clown in residence’, who must be the first person to conduct a TED talk dressed as a banana. It’s going to be an interesting month!

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