What The Heck Is “Laughter Yoga”?

Just when I thought I’d seen it all…

I came across a website today for something called “Laughter Yoga”.

My first question was, “What the heck is ‘laughter yoga’?”

Turns out it’s exactly what it sounds like.

People get together in a Yoga-class type setting, and they LAUGH.

There’s even a “Laughter Yoga Home Study” set, which is a bunch of DVDs that will set you back $195.

I kid you not.

Now after a little Google research I found out that doctors and patients say that this weird kind of yoga relieves stress and anxiety and could even strengthen the immune system.

It seems kinda like a stretch to me, but a lot of people swear by it and are willing to pay their hard-earned money for it.

Just Google “laughter yoga” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

So what can we learn from this?

It’s just this: making money is simple if you remember that all people really want is to FEEL BETTER.

I mean, c’mon.

If people will pay $195 to earn how to do “laughter yoga”, doesn’t that say a lot about what people really want?

How about diet books?

We all know (don’t we?) that most people who buy diet books (or “get out of debt” books, or “get a better relationship” books, etc.) don’t every really lose weight (or get out of debt, or get a better relationship, etc.).

So why do they buy those books?

TO FEEL BETTER.

The book makes them feel better about themselves. It makes them feel like they COULD go on the diet, or the budget, or whatever.

Now, I think your product or service should provide real value. So that if your customer actually USED the product they would get the result.

But you should also think about making certain that your product itself provides a way to feel better.

And for darn sure, you’re marketing and sales material should absolutely make the prospects feel more positive, more focused and more hopeful.

While I don’t think any of us should be selling “false hope”, I definitely feel we should be selling “hope”.

Because hope makes people feel better, and that is ultimately what most human beings want.

Just to feel better.

That’s what I think – but what do you think? Is is good to sell “hope” to prospects… to make  them feel better? Post your comments below…

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.punintended.com/blog Bamboo Forest – PunIntended

    This is right on. I do believe it would be unethical to sell something that makes people feel better but fails to offer any real benefit.

    That said… it’s bad business not to strengthen the feel good aspects of your product.

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      Your comments are always appreciated because they always add something to the discussion. I appreciate you dropping by (and reading)!

  • http://www.jeremiahbaker.com/ Pay Per Click Management Guy

    Great post Ray!

    I think it is good to sell hope if you truly feel that you can deliver for your customers.

    This is just my personal opinion and it is how I was brought up.

    Would you sell what you’re selling to your Mother or Grandmother? If not then don’t try to sell to others. That’s my feeling.

    Don’t use hope just because it works, use it because you want to truly help your customers.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks

    Jeremiah

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      I suspect that in order to use hope for the good of your customers, you must first be hopeful yourself.

  • martecliff

    If you read and believe “Money and the Law of Attraction,” you believe that feeling good attracts more things that feel good. The problem most have is that they focus on bad feelings (lack, illness, etc.) and thus they attract more bad, even though they say they want good.

    Too many people are not feeling good or feeling happy too much of the time.

    What does this have to do with anything? Because people have a hard time training themselves to focus on what they do have that's good, one of the exercises Abraham teaches is to make small adjustments in thinking. When you begin to think an unpleasant thought, you shift.

    You say to yourself: “No, think a better thought.” Then, for instance, forcefully move yourself from thinking about the client who canceled his account to the new client who called asking for a quote.

    You shift your thinking from the nasty call you got from your son's teacher because he threw a spit wad in class to the wonderful memory of snuggling with that same kid while you read him a bedtime story last night.

    So, even though a course like that isn't necessary to feel better, I have an idea it does deliver on the promise and does make people feel better. Studies now show that laughter can even cure serious illness, and my guess is that it does a lot to cure emotional/mental maladies such as depression.

    Yes, I think it is wonderful to sell hope. It would be more wonderful if more people actually used the things they bought and made the effort to help themselves. Unfortunately, when just reading the book or listening to a CD once doesn't do the trick, they give up and go on to buy yet another promise.

    I said unfortunately, but it isn't unfortunate for the folks selling the programs. And who knows, maybe folks who keep trying will finally soak up enough information and learn enough about being happy that one of those programs will click with them and they really will learn how to feel good!

    I think now, more than ever, it's important for people to have something to hang onto – some way to feel hope. And as long as you're offering something real, I think you should sell it to them.

    So, as a copywriter, I'm very happy to help my clients bring these products to the marketplace.

  • http://twitter.com/LonNaylor LonNaylor

    Really excellent post Ray! A very interesting perspective to think about as I write my video scripts…
    Thanks!

    Lon

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      Thanks Lon – I've always thought your video stuff is top drawer. Appreciate you dropping by!

  • http://www.thetaxpert.com Tim Cumberland

    Good post Ray,

    Hope is definitely one of the most needed ingredients. Many studies have proven that the removal of hope causes people to give up and become susceptible to depression and despair, not to mention manipulation.
    But another tool of manipulation, and unfortunately one extremely prevalent in IM, is the “false”hope – that not grounded in truth. Haven't we all been subject to some of that?
    That's why I so appreciate your comment about providing products that give good value, so that there is a foundation for the hope that we try to instill in our clients.
    Thanks for your timely words in a growing bleaker world. It IS important to bring into our sales efforts an attempt to help people see how they can feel better about themselves and their circumstances through the product/service we offer.

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      Well-said, Tim, and thanks for the kind words.

  • http://b2b-techcopy.net/ Randy Kemp

    It's interesting how this relates to copywriting and marketing. ABC News interviewed Deepak Chopra this week, who's a former medical doctor turned New Age guru. Yet this person – according to ABC news – grosses about 22 million a year. Deepak must also be a master markerer, emphasizing the point Ray is making.

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      Yes, Deepak is indeed a master marketer, and seems to genuinely care about people (although I find some of his spiritual views outside the bounds of acceptability for me, I respect his heart for people and his intellect – as well as his marketing prowess).

  • bethterry

    All marketing is selling HOPE. And right now, the world is desperate for any glimmer. We are in a desert, and it needs badly to rain. The confluence of events that brought us here will not fix themselves. Anyone with a glimmer of an idea on how to bring us back to confidence should give it a try… As long as they aren't a con artist. What we need right now are people who CARE, who have some ideas and some wisdom that might help us move out of this swamp. Then we need to replace every man and woman in Congress and see if that helps…

  • http://twitter.com/marinacondo Marina Condo

    I feel good…. :)

  • TechMike

    Rather than a scam, consider this a “niche market.” The American School of Laughter Yoga sells a how-to info product for $29.95 and a certification course for $297, with customers in 125 countries. Apparently, there are over 5,000 “laughter clubs” in 53 countries. Just because it's not practiced in the US doesn't mean there isn't money to be made.