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If you’re looking for another reason to fight depression, here’s one: Do it for your spouse’s health.

There’s a new study out suggesting people with happy spouses are healthier. They are less physically impaired and have less trouble with chronic illness.

And it’s not just that being with someone happy makes you happy, too, and your happiness leads to better health. Even the unhappy people were healthier if their partners were happy.

Researchers suggest three possible explanations for the link:

  1. Happy spouses take care of their partners.
  2. Happy spouses get their partners involved in health-promoting behavior, such as getting good sleep, eating well, and exercising.
  3. Life is easier when your spouse is happy.

So even if your spouse is unhappy, you can still do him or her a service by being happy yourself.

Not sure where to start? Come on in. Let’s talk about it.

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.

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