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    Actual writers shocked to learn that “writing can make you healthier.”

    Jonny Diamond

    April 24, 2023, 10:24am

    Well this doesn’t sound right at all.

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    In an op-ed today at The Guardian, David Robson makes the case that “expressive” writing can make you healthier, and not just through some vague sense of personal satisfaction. In suggesting that writing “doesn’t only soothe a troubled soul, it can even boost our physical health,” Robson cites a study from the 1980s by James Pennebaker and Sandra Beall in which they found that

    After writing about their feelings for four consecutive days, people’s white blood cells started replicating more quickly in response to foreign invaders. Subsequent studies have found that expressive writing can accelerate recovery after a biopsy. It also seems to reduce blood pressure and improve lung function.

    The key here, of course, is that candidates actually wrote, and most did not identify as writers. As any self-identified writer will tell you, the feeling of having written is great, but it can often wear off pretty quickly, particularly when you make the mistake of reading what you’ve just written; not to mention the guilt at not having written enough (or not at all!) that leaves most of us to regularly confront the failure we’ve made of our one wild and precious life, lying awake at 4am wondering what happened…

    Or maybe that’s just me?

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    Anyway, for all you non-writers out there, I guess writing in your diary for 15 minutes a day could literally save your life.

    Good luck with that.

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