Are the French world champions of misery?
A World Health Organisation report has proclaimed the French as the most likely to suffer a depressive episode in their lifetime. This week we investigate whether the French are indeed the world champions of misery and if so, what can be done to change it?
We start in Paris at a Hasya yoga, or "laughing yoga" class. The technique, which began in India fifteen years ago, has been flourishing across France. Participants report a heightened sense of relaxation, while doctors hail the many psychological and physical health benefits. Laughter yoga has been proven to alleviate mild forms of depression by releasing neurotransmitters that improve your mood and make you feel good.
Next, we report on France’s use of psychopharmaceutical medication. Over the course of a year, 4 out of 10 French people are likely to take some form of drug that targets the nervous system - but is that evidence of a more depressed nation?
And finally, we explore the mental health benefits of animal-assisted therapy. Man's four-legged friends have been boosting spirits across the country.