The History of Happiness "Cures"From orgasms to mood rings to Xanax, see the good, the bad and the truly nuts!
300s BC: The Greeks love a good tragedy. To paraphrase Aristotle, watching drama unfold onstage can ease real-life anxieties.
Middle Ages: Magnet therapy is used to treat disease. Today, some still believe it stimulates blood flow and cures emotional ills. We’ll keep ours on the fridge, thanks.
Mid- to Late 1800s: Hysteria is the diagnosis du jour for high-strung dames. The treatment? Orgasm, courtesy of a new invention now known as the vibrator. Write us an Rx!
1896: Freud coins the term psychoanalysis. Lie back on the couch, relax, and let your id hang out. That will be $250, please.
1919: Congress enacts a ban on booze, which “corrupts the public morals.” Of course, we all know how Prohibition ends. #Fail.
1960: Hippies popularize Transcendental Meditation, based on Indian spiritual traditions. P.S.: It’s still a groovy way to find inner peace, chanting and all.
1970s: John Lennon is among those who treat inner pain via primal therapy, which involves crying, screaming and, yes, sometimes thumb-sucking. So what’s the excuse nowadays for men
acting like babies?
1970s: Mood rings (purple equals passion!) are all the rage. And let’s not forget about those cuddly pet rocks.
1987: The FDA approves Prozac as a treatment for depression. Within 20 years, about 11 percent of all Americans are on some kind of antidepressant. Can you say Prozac Nation?
1995: Get ready to LOL, peeps. Madan Kataria, M.D., aka the Guru of Giggling, develops laughter yoga after studying the health benefits of a good chuckle. Picture a combo of breathing exercises and lots of hahahahahas.
2002: Oprah-endorsed Dr. Phil launches his shrink TV show, now going into its 11th season. His no-BS catchphrase? “Get real.” Therapy for the masses.
2006: The Secret hits shelves. The big reveal: You can get what you want simply by visualizing it. Other claims are sketchier: Avoid observing fat people to slim down? Um, no.
2010: More than 46 million scripts for Xanax and similar antianxiety pills are doled out. (Source: IMS Health)
2012: Get twitchy when your iPhone dies? We feel your pain. Unplugging is the latest thing we know we should try. All together now: Phones down.
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