Playing Cupid makes us healthier

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Cupid Valentine's Day
Cupid must be one incredibly happy fellow.

Are you fond of Cupid? You know, the little winged fellow who shoots his magical arrow at people to make them fall in love with each other. Perhaps, you’ve even played the matchmaker yourself, pairing up two friends who have a crush on each other. If so, you’re likely healthier than non-matchmakers, because a recent study found that people who play Cupid are happier and healthier than most!

One study asked 301 participants how often they brought people together into a relationship. Those who were successful at shooting those magical love arrows at their buddies scored higher on a well-being test. Another test had 118 people either match couples who they thought would get along, pair up folks they knew would likely not get along, or match them based on a random characteristic. You guessed it – the group who paired up others based on who they thought would get along scored higher on happiness.

Still not convinced? A third study asked people to make matches either for 1 cent, 2 cents, or for free. Surprisingly, the ones who did it for the money were less successful than those who did it for free! See, it’s got to be about having a good heart. If you don’t genuinely want to make other people happy, it won’t be as rewarding or likely to succeed. That’s not to say it should always be easy, because a fourth study found that matchmakers who successfully brought together two strangers felt happier than bringing together two people who already knew each other.

It’s not all about love, either, because the researchers found that the same emotional boost happens when it comes to pairing up two co-workers to succeed at a project or helping a younger person team up with a more experienced mentor. So, grab those charming Cupid arrows and get your matchmaking on!

Featured image courtesy of Victoria M. Horton on Flickr. Image of cupid courtesy of Liz West on Flickr.