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volunteer-wp

•You’ll live longer. Researchers at the University of Michigan tracked over a thousand seniors for a decade. The result: Those who volunteered on a regular basis were 40% more likely to be alive at the end of the study. That’s because volunteering increases the levels of hormones that help cells repair themselves.

•The “helper’s high.” Just thinking about doing a good deed causes your brain to release the feel-good chemical dopamine. And helping others releases so much mood-boosting serotonin that it’s just as effective treating depression as medication.

•Helping others improves relationships. Researchers studied people who took care of a spouse suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. And no matter how challenging things got, the caregiver developed even stronger feelings of love and compassion for their ailing spouse.