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April 13, 2011

A Smarter You-In Mintutes

Activities that put you in a happy mood can get the creative juices flowing. In research at the University of Western Ontario, people who listened to peppy music (Mozart) and watched a happy video (a laughing baby) were better able to solve certain kinds of problems than volunteers who listened to sad soundtrack clips (from Schindler's List) or watched neutral videos (Antique Roadshow) or negative ones (earthquake news). The happy folks bested the others on problems that specifically called for classifying patterns, but you can try it for any project where you need to think innovatively, suggests lead author Ruby T. Nadler: "It doesn't require much effort or time. Just a few minutes with something that makes you feel good will work."

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