24/02/2017 8:52 AM AEDT | Updated 24/02/2017 9:10 AM AEDT

Is Laughter Really Still The Best Medicine?

Humour is serious business.

HuffPost Humans
Comedians Celeste Barber, Anthony Ackroyd and Thomas Kuzma.

By consensus, 2016 was not a year that inspired much joy.

From Brexit, to the ugly spectacle of the U.S. election and the rise of alt-right politics across the globe -- not to mention all those celebrity deaths -- our conversations and social feeds were preoccupied less with laughter and more with disillusionment.

But don't they say that laughter is the best medicine? How can we draw light from the darker moments?

"The big events (in 2016) were all quite negative... there's too much quote-unquote seriousness... people taking themselves too seriously," 'Laugh Coach' Anthony Ackroyd told HuffPost Humans.

"Serious people are dangerous," Ackroyd said, adding that bringing more laughter into your life gives you a "different energy".

Comedian and actress Celeste Barber says laughter helps in all manner of ways -- from office politics to the family home.

"If we don't laugh and yell at each other, I'll flick a match at the house, it'd be too much," she laughed of her family of five.

"I think (laughter) gives perspective. If you don't have any control over something, you have to find the OK side of it."

And what about when you're faced with a serious personal challenge? Thomas Kuzma found that he could transform the experience of being diagnosed with Aspergers with humour.

Writing in September for HuffPost Australia, Kuzma said that Aspergers allowed him to see the humour in humans.

"To me it was like that one giant leap for Thomaskind," Kuzma joked of his diagnosis -- adding that laughter helped him make more sense of his life.

"I could finally be defined."

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