Hangover heaven or hell?


If you’re feeling depressed by the news which assaults us from every direction, don’t be so quick to shut the curtains and go back to bed.

As our mothers always reminded us, the darkest part of the night is just before dawn. 

But, sometimes, it works in reverse.  After joy in the morning comes a sort of “happiness hangover.”

We’ve all been there — that funk at

the end of a fabulous vacation, the disappointment after some anticipated holiday is over. What’s with that?


According to psychologist Gary Stollak, PhD, professor emeritus of clinical psychology at Michigan State University in East Lansing, most people have a “happiness set point.” No matter how you’re feeling at the moment (overjoyed to be lounging on a tropical beach or sobbing over the collapse of the stock market), your happiness meter will eventually balance back out.

That could be why your happiest highs are often followed by depressed lows.

It works both ways.  With global depression over a flailing economy, maybe being down in the dumps can give us reason for hope – that the pendulum will swing back in the other direction and we can feel hopeful again.

It is what it is, and the best we can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember we’re all in this together – well, all except the numb-nuts in Washington. (Darn it, I uttered a negative which isn’t on my program for today – so I pop myself with my rubber and band and move it to the other wrist. No negatives spoken here.)

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