Emotions

How much does it hurt?

Aching, throbbing, searing, excruciating – pain is difficult to describe and impossible to see. So how can doctors measure it? John Walsh finds out about new ways of assessing the agony.

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A serious business: what can comedy do?

After years spent in dark comedy clubs and cramped rooms above pubs, Mary O’Hara knows what makes her laugh. But what else can a good joke do? She meets the performers and researchers who say that comedy can change how we think and even how we act.

Why are so many of us over-sensitive?

When a gentle glow feels like a spotlight and everyday sounds hurt your ears, life can get anxious and painful. But, discovers Emma Young, there may be an upside to being a highly sensitive person.