couple cooking happy bigst

Listen to that…do you hear that, sweet readers?

That’s the sound of absolute silence. Well, at least, it is for me. The roofers are gone, our living room is safe again, and let’s just say this week has presented far less work frustration over it, ha!

So, this week I’ve rounded up some exciting updates, research, and other findings on how learning to cook is helping one person’s depression, why hanging with friends could actually cause super smart people to feel less happy, what advocates are saying about a plan to ease the rules on patients’ privacy regarding addiction treatment, and more.

Learning to Cook Is Helping Me Battle Depression: “Cooking often falls under the broad umbrella of behavioral activation therapy (or BA, as it’s commonly known) […] When stuck in depression, one tends to withdraw further and further from life, perpetuating a downward spiral of detachment and despair. It makes sense that any positive action — whether it be going to the gym, or finding a new hobby, or setting to work in the kitchen — could potentially counteract that process.”

Big Data and Creativity: What We Can Learn From ‘House of Cards’: Netflix used Big Data (especially the company’s collection of “user actions”) to devise some “broad creative outlines” and deliver exactly what viewers want (in this case, one of Netflix’s most popular originals, House of Cards). So…finding out what people want and using that information to deliver what people want…? Seems like common sense. Then again, as Frank Underwood has pointed out, “The problem with common sense is that it’s so common.”

For One Group of People, Seeing Friends Decreases Happiness: New research published in the British Journal of Psychology claims that highly intelligent people don’t get all that excited by spending more time with their friends.

Babies Make Quick Judgments About Adults’ Anger: After two studies involving hundreds of 15-month-old babies, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) suggest babies make generalizations about adults’ anger and come up with appeasement strategies for those adults they consider prone to anger.

Feds’ Plan To Ease Privacy Rules On Addiction Treatment Spurs Debate: The federal government recently proposed an update to regulations set forth by Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, which has advocates fervently debating how to find the best balance between access to a patient’s information and protecting that patient’s privacy.

Stress Before Pregnancy Linked to Birth Weight: According to researchers publishing in the journal Health Psychology, a mother’s stress level (or, rather, her pattern of the stress hormone cortisol) before she becomes pregnant can help predict whether her baby will have a lower birth weight.