Yelling Can Help Your Health

Feel the need to scream? Go ahead: it's an ancient form of Chinese medicine.

Admit it: Sometimes, you just want to scream.

We all have days like that, when the dog’s made a mess on the floor you just cleaned, or your friend canceled a lunch at the last minute that you’d rearranged your whole schedule to attend. Chances are, you just grind your teeth and bear it.

But according to ancient Chinese wisdom, you’d be better off letting out a loud yell. In fact, it’s good for your health.

“Chinese people have passed on the practice from generation to generation as a part of traditional medicine,” Mrs He, a 60-year-old woman from Hangzhou, told CNN. “My parents taught me. It’s a part of our folk culture.”

Mrs He is part of a group of yelling enthusiasts. Each morning, she and some of her friends climb to the top of a hill, and let out some loud shouts before starting their daily exercise regime. The yelling is good exercise for their lungs, they believe—plus, it’s just plain fun.

“Sometimes I yell out and others yell back,” says Mrs Gu, another yeller. “It makes you happy. You laugh and then you’re in a good mood.”

Dr Peter Calafiura, an American psychiatrist, agrees that yelling can have a positive mental influence. “[Yelling] might trigger some endorphins, a natural high,” he says. “They might feel calm and it might even be a little addictive. It’s really similar to a runner’s high. They’re getting the same effect in a different way.”

So, if you miss out on your morning run every so often, you may want to try a good screaming session instead. Just don’t do it in line at the DMV, as tempted as you may be.