It Is Okay To Laugh During Sad Times

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By Jose Torres ’25

Many people believe that during a sad moment, a funeral for example, it is inappropriate or disrespectful to use humor. But I strongly believe that humor should thrive and that you should laugh during dark times.

Now, I see why people may find laughing during these sad times inappropriate. It may seem as if the laughter is making fun of the person. For example, people may think that if you are laughing during a funeral, you are laughing at the person who passed away. Another reason may be that the joke was simply just not funny. If you say a joke at the wrong place at the wrong time, people might not appreciate the timing of the humor.

Though all of these are good reasons as to why it may not be okay to laugh during sad times, I still believe that you should. Actually, laughing is a good thing. Humor, especially in these moments, can keep you calm and relieve you of any stress you may be feeling. When you laugh, you suppress the stress hormone, cortisol, and you also release serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. This change can make a person feel a lot better and happier in minutes. Laughing also helps to get over challenging situations, like a hard test that you might have coming up. 

Anna Moore at The Guardian gave a perfect example of this thought. She said that her brother’s friend was in a hotel in Mali that was invaded by Islamists militants, where they took and killed many hostages. The friend texted her brother asking him to give him some funny jokes to calm him down. The brother did exactly that, and after three long hours, it all ended and the friend ended up safe. This is a perfect example as to how humor, even in very bad and scary situations, can calm someone down and make them a little more positive.

Another reason is simply that it’s good to laugh every once and a while. A survey made by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas found that laughter rates decrease at 23 years old. The decrease continues with age. A 4-year-old can laugh up to 300 times a day, but a 40-year-old only laughs up to 300 times every 3 months. Life gets more serious and for some, more stressful as we grow and age. 

And due to this fact, I believe that you should laugh during any difficult times you may experience. It can calm you down, make you less stressful, and make you an overall happier person.


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