Are Recessions Good For Your Health?


You might have awaken this morning with a huge frown of your face given you don’t feel like spending another day telling bill collectors you died six months ago hoping that they may finally leave alone.

It’s highly possible you could currently be sitting in front of a computer doing a job that you hate to keep up the payments on your mortgage so you won’t end up on some homewrecker’s couch like other unfortunate souls. (Yes, I finally finished watching Bobby Brown’s Behind The Music).


But there may be a silver lining for those of you that are in for a rough day but can’t afford a nice Happy Hour to at least help end everything on a high note.

According to a study from the University of Michigan our health and overall well being improves during hard times. This is due to times of economic strife forcing us to cut back on indulgences like drinking, smoking, and eating rich foods. Moreover, we all typically sleep more and appear to be less stressful.

These researchers’ findings are rooted in the fact that death rates during the Great Depression fell before ultimately rising once the economy picked up.

The study – published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – says the number of people who died from heart disease or cancer also fell.

However, the number of suicides increased as unemployment rose – which practically negates the notion that people are less stressed out when unemployed, no?

Still, researches argue that high unemployment isn’t as harmful to your health as most let on.


Lead researcher Jose Tapia Granados from the university's Institute for Social Research explained to the Telegraph, "There is more time to sleep, and because people have less money, they are less likely to spend as much on alcohol and tobacco,” he said.

But once the economy picks up traffic will get worse, which will result in some of us turning into crash test dummies. And once business is booming employers will require longer work hours and performance at a faster pace. That in turn leads to stress which is associated with more drinking and smoking.


Do you really believe destitution is the new multi-vitamin?

What would you prefer: A steady check and a pack of cloves (get them while you still can) or extra sleep and no money?


Leave your answers below and please send your recession stories to

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.