10 'Vices' That Are Actually Good for You

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Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Playing hooky

There’s a reason it’s called a mental-health day. Studies confirm that time off—whether on a trip out of Dodge or a 24-hour staycation—relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease. It also promotes creative thinking (attention, bosses!). And women in a 2005 study who took two or more vacations per year were less likely to be depressed than women who took one every two years.

Can’t swing more than a few days away? No problem: The length of a vacation had no bearing on how happy it made people, according to a recent study in the journal Applied Research in the Quality of Life. What’s more, the biggest thrill came before the vacation. So spread around the joy of that sweet anticipation by planning short jaunts throughout the year instead of one big blowout trip.

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