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iVillage: 15 Bad Habits That Are Actually Good For Your Health

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Spending 20 minutes chatting with a trusted friend about other people’s news (and, yes, even their minor misfortunes) helps 96 percent of people squash feelings of stress, tension and anxiety for up to four hours straight, say researchers at Rhode Island’s Brown University. Even better? Women who spread positive, uplifting gossip found their depression alleviated by up to 72 percent within three months. “Speaking positively about others stimulates women’s natural bonding instincts,” explains Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of "The Secrets of Happy Families." “And that revs up your brain’s production of powerful, mood-elevating antidepressant hormones.” See, it pays to be nice!

(CREDIT: Juan Silva/Image Bank/Getty Images)
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