If having negative emotions like stress can make you gain weight, get stomach ulcers, experience headaches, develop heart disease, and all sorts of other nasty health outcomes, should positive emotions make you healthier?
You probably don't hear about this side of mental health nearly as often as you get warned that being stressed will fuck you over -- very helpful and calming -- but it's exactly what a group of researchers at Harvard is coming together to focus on.
Harvard recently opened the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness within its School of Public Health, which, bizarrely enough, came to be thanks to a $21 million donation from the Lee Kum Kee family. They decided that the center should be named after their ancestor, Lee Kum Sheung, who rose to fame when he allegedly invented oyster sauce -- the company he founded is now a major player in the Chinese sauce game. Since oyster sauce has brought deliciousness and happiness to so many people since then, it seems appropriate... but wait, does it actually? Why is there a center for happiness at Harvard? Aren't the students there supposed to be stressed out from the intense competition? One of the directors, Dr. K. "Vish" Viswanath, helps explain the circuitous path from oyster sauce to Ivy League studies of happiness.