April 2017

~ News, writing prompts and other musings ~

Laughter is the Best Medicine placard with night lights on background

The month of April begins on a funny note-April Fool's Day. As a point of interest, my uncle was born on this date and in those days in Europe (1919), the husbands did not accompany their wives to the hospital. When my uncle was born, his mother came home from the hospital holding him in her arms wrapped in a soft, white blanket. Her husband stood up from the sofa to give his wife a hug, and she said, "Meet our new baby girl." Then, after some hesitation, she smiled and said, "April Fool's, we have a baby boy!" 

In light of the world's serious problems, some people may view April Fool's Day as a silly holiday; however, I believe that it's refreshing to celebrate the lightness of this holiday. Consider playing a fun joke on someone this April Fool's Day. We all need more laughter in our lives!

Speaking of laughter, April 14th is International Moment of Laughter Day. This reminds me that laughter is the best medicine, and also that a smile is part of our universal language. 

Wishing you a month full of smiles and laughter!

If you haven't had a chance, please visit my newly updated website:


Creatively yours,
Diana Raab, PhD

April Writing Prompts
  • Write about a memorable April Fool's joke that was played on you or that you played on someone else.  
  • April 14th is International Moment of Laughter Day. Write about a time when you couldn't stop laughing. 
  • April 22nd is Earth Day. Write about what you will do to honor this day. 
~ Recently Published Works ~
"Where Have All the Letters Gone?"
Black Fox Literary Magazine. March 29, 2017. 

Psychology Today. March 26, 2017.

Psychology Today. March 13, 2017. 

BLYNT Magazine. March 13, 2017. 

Zingara Poet. March 1, 2017.

~ Suggested Reading ~
The Art of Healing by Bernie Siegel, MD (self-help). 

I've reviewed this book before, but for several reasons, I feel compelled to review it again. Firstly, I'm honored that Siegel has endorsed my upcoming book, Writing for Bliss, which will be published in September 2017; and also because of his chapter in The Art of Healing called, "Laugh Out Loud." I applaud Siegel's emphasis on the importance of laughing in our lives for our physical and psychological health. 

He starts the chapter by saying, "Love and laughter are the elements we need in order to build and hold our lives together" (p. 125). Siegel reminds us that that the best therapeutic activities, such as laughing are free, and that true laughter "is an outburst or expression of breath that involves the vocal cords and comes from deep in the belly" (p. 126). 

He recommends spontaneous laughter while maintaining a childlike sense of humor throughout the entire day. This results in a lightness of being which fosters overall well-being. He also suggests finding something funny in serious situations, or to try viewing the world with the awe and wonder of a child. 

Siegel shares numerous anecdotes about his interactions with his patients, and explains how laughter nurtured  and fostered their healing. Finally, Siegel says, and I strongly concur, "Laughter is contagious, so be a carrier."

At the end of the chapter, Siegel has what he calls "Doctor's Rx." Try this; it really works: 

  • Stand in front of a mirror or while facing a friend. 
  • Raise your eyebrows, take a deep breath, and chant the meditation Ohm for three seconds. 
  • Now relax your eyebrows, smile, and make as many hee, hee, hee sounds as you can until you've expelled all your breath. 
  • Take one more breath, again raise your eyebrows, and again chant, Ohm. 
  • Now relax your eyebrows, smile, and chant, ha, ha, ha, until you use up all your breath.

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