By Chelsea Lacey-Mabe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Good news for people working on their fitness–exercise is good for the mind as well as the body.

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Researchers from Harvard University’s McNally Laboratory found a link between a person’s physical activity and their emotional state.

They surveyed 40 men and 40 women to determine how they were feeling emotionally. Half of the group then completed 30 minutes of aerobics exercise while the other half stretched. When the 30 minutes was up, both groups watched a film meant to invoke negative feelings and complete another survey after it was over.

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The participants then watched a happy film, ending the experiment on a much-lighter note.

The study results published in the journal of Cognition and Emotion revealed that those who had exercised were much happier by the end of the study compared to the group who had stretched. While the research couldn’t confirm that exercise made people happier, it did suggest that exercise and physical activity can help people recover from a sad or stressful event.

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So… Feel tears coming on? Bad day at the office? Receive bad news recently? Hitting the gym, going for a run or jumping on the bike may just help smooth those problems out.