Having a good laugh can help improve your memory -- and that's no joke!

You’ve probably heard the cliché that “laughter is the best medicine,” But why?

Some researchers think that those who laugh more have a positive attitude toward life and that can help make them feel better. There have even been books written on the subject.

But a new study from Loma Linda University has found another “side effect” of laughter.

It can help improve your memory.

To find that out, researchers divided subjects into three groups, the first two were shown a funny 20-minute video, and the third asked to just sit quietly.

All three groups also were given memory tests, both before and afterwards. Researchers found significantly better recall, learning and memory in those who got to watch the funny video.

They also found that the video watchers had less of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies have shown the memory connection might be because cortisol can damage the hippocampus, the part of the brain that forms new memories. Other research has also linked stress to memory loss.

So if you’re going out for a movie night, it looks like choosing a comedy might be your best bet if you want to feel — and remember — better.

Sources:

“Improve your memory — laugh!” Julia Merz, April 28, 2014, Rodale News, rodalenews.com