Laugh, Chuckle and Smile!


Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Karen and Jay share thoughts on why laughter is such a fun, positive and important part of life.


Your smile can light up a room. When you laugh, you can send out a positive vibe to others that can almost feel contagious. And, oh my gosh, the joy you can spread with a heartfelt chuckle! Yet, interestingly, while smiles, laughs and chuckles can lighten up the world for those around you, the most important benefits are those that come to you. Your mentality, your outlook, your positive attitude. And interestingly, so too, your physiology. Laughter increases the flow of oxygen to your muscles, heart, and lungs and releases ‘good chemicals’ into your bloodstream, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.

So, seems like a pretty important area for us to focus on. Let’s start with smiling. Smiling is something that most of us do every day, often without even realizing it. And though some might tell you this behavior is most often a sign of happiness, there’s more to smiling than you might think. The simple act of a smile can not only have a positive impact on someone else, but for our own personal well being too!

It is easy to take smiles for granted. Sometimes we smile out of habit without any real feeling behind it. We have all seen fake smiles -- the mouth may be shaped like a smile, but the eyes tell the truth -- it is not a real smile if there is no light in the eyes. When I do encounter that light in the eyes along with the smiling mouth, it lights up my day.

When you slow down, you may find yourself smiling more often, sometimes for no reason other than simply being grateful for the things you have in life. The truth is, we feel better when we smile, even if we’re unhappy. A friend of mine recently shared a story about a new practice he’s been trying when he becomes upset or annoyed by something. Instead of feeding into the moment, he literally ‘takes 5,’ to take a few deep breaths and work towards putting a small smile on his face. He said after the 5 minutes, his whole outlook changes, and he’s become more productive in his personal and professional life because of it.

Perhaps it sounds a little far-fetched, but there’s science to support it. Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure. And because you typically smile when you’re happy, the muscles used trigger your brain to produce more endorphins—the chemical that relieves pain and stress.

So, I encourage you to take notice of your smiles and the smiles around you. It may feel forced at first, but you will smile and maybe even laugh when you try it. Smile at the first person you see as you move about your day. Continue to greet each person with a smile from your eyes and heart as well as your face. The more smiles you see, the more you will find yourself smiling. Even a small smile can bring joy to your day and someone else’s.


NH Comedians – Granite State Stars Who Make Us Laugh!

‘Always leave them laughing’ has been the mantra of comedians ever since the first one stepped on stage. And the really, good ones are those that make it all look easy. Comedians have worked their craft in a wide variety of forms ranging from standup to film and more – with an uncanny ability to find finding something funny in pretty much anything. I am sure you can think of a comedian who has always made you laugh or is your ‘go-to’ when you need something to bring a smile to your face.

While there are comedians all over the world, not everyone knows that several of the best have deep connections to New Hampshire. Although Adam Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New York, he moved with his parents to New Hampshire when he was six. Growing up in Manchester, the actor, writer, and producer has never forgotten his New Hampshire roots while performing in some of the biggest comedy movies and shows in the last few decades such as the ‘Wedding Singer’ and ‘Happy Gilmore,’ and being a star on Saturday Night Live. Now on tour for standup, be sure to check out Adam's upcoming comedy show later this month in Manchester. But you better hurry as tickets are selling fast! And, then, if you’re really lucky you might find him at the Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester - which by the way is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and over those many years has hosted numerous famous musicians, actors, actresses and politicians.

You might know this next one by her voice from the animated film ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ as she plays Vanellope von Schweetz, the main female protagonist. Sarah Silverman was born in Bedford and gave her first stand-up performance at the Derryfield School in Manchester. An active author and actor, you can listen to Silverman's latest podcast to keep up with her humorous views of life.

The host of Late Night, Seth Meyer, spent some time in the Granite State while going to Manchester High School West. While noting that he was born in the midwest, Myers still considers himself a New Hampshire guy, particularly since his parents still live here. In 2018, he hosted a comedy night in Concord to raise money for CASA and the Granite State Children’s Alliance.

These three have made it big, but they still call New Hampshire home - seriously!


Laconia’s Great NH Pumpkin Festival

If you want to build great community spirit and create revitalization momentum in the Lakes Region this fall, what better way than to band together and drive support for the Great NH Pumpkin Festival? And to kick this off, Thursday, Sept 22nd was a night to remember at the Lakeport Opera House. The Rat Pack, a Las Vegas based show featuring Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe had just brought the curtain down to a rousing applause. Marilyn was a hoot and as part of her show she unknowingly brought the Sunshine Initiative's own Executive Director - Brian Hettrick onstage for her iconic rendition of ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ and had the audience in tears - of laughter that is!

The Sunshine Initiative had sponsored the Rat Pack and worked with the Lakes Region Chamber, Laconia Daily Sun, and the Lakeport Opera House to create this very successful and entertaining event where over 150 of Laconia’s leaders from businesses, faith-based organizations and nonprofits came together in support of Laconia's ‘NH Pumpkin Festival’ which is taking place on Oct 29th in downtown Laconia.

Here’s a quick rundown. We invite you to join in the fun. We’re on our way to creating the biggest, most successful Pumpkin Festival in the nation!

The Twin Barn Brewing Co will kick things off early as it has created a special brew for the Festival - a seasonal ale and is having a release celebration at their location in Meredith on the 14th. The NH Pumpkin Festival has more fun things to do than you can pack into a giant pumpkin - check these out!

  • The Runaway Pumpkin 5K/10K Run/Walk…9am at Opechee Park

  • Pumpkin Displays…Main St Pumpkin Stroll...explore local downtown business Rotary Park School Pumpkins Display

  • PumpCANALly on Canal Street featuring Children's Programs, Kids Games, Face Painting, Activities, Pumpkin Bowling, Exhibits & More

  • Hanover Street Happenings featuring Ax Throwing, Pumpkin Bowling, Trading Faces face painting, kids novelties by Hibbert Enterprises, Kids Games & More; Plus Experience the all new Rock N Roll Racing

  • The Great New England Craft & Artisan Show

  • Live Music

  • Rotary Park Bandstand on Beacon St E

  • Hector's Spirit Stage on Beacon St W

  • Performances by Where's Adam & Performers on the Go

  • Children's Costume Parade at 1pm…Gather at the 104.9 FM Tent by the Belknap Mill

  • KID'S ZONE featuring Kids Climbing Wall & Inflatable Fun

  • THE CAKE Theatre in Veterans Sq…Recycled Percussion will take the stage during the festival along with a costume contest & more! Get your tickets to RECYCLED PERCUSSION REDONKULOUS Friday 10/28 @ 7pm, Saturday 10/29 @ 2pm & 7pm. BUY TIX

  • Colonial Theatre on Main Street…A Spooktacular weekend filled with family friendly Halloween movies:

  • Ghostbusters 1 Friday 10/28 @ 6:30pm and Ghostbusters 2 Friday @ 8:30pm

  • Casper Saturday, 10/29 @ 3:30pm

  • Hocus Pocus Saturday 10/29 @ 6pm

  • The Addams Family Saturday 10/29 @ 8:30pm

  • To purchase tickets or get a Halloween Spooktacular Pass, CLICK HERE.

  • Pumpkin Palooza Corn Hole Tournament…featuring up to 30 teams!

  • Fun Food Trucks & Delicious Food Vendors…featuring NOBL Beverages, Friends 4 OBA "asian fusion", Beans & Greens "taco truck", Winni Wagon, Canterbury Kettle Corn, Mak'n Ends Meat, Fat Daddy's, Better Days Donuts, Jackson Effie Coffee Cabin, Gina's Greek Gyros & Gina's Eatery, Pat's Cider Donuts, Kids Stuff Amusement, Richie's Slushies, Nutmeg Concessions & More

  • Jack-o-Lantern Lighting Begins at 4:45 pm

  • Zombie Walk at 6:30pm…Get your Zombie on! Show off your Zombie Garb. Join 104.9fm The Hawk in front of Defiant Records & Craft Beer for a little Thriller. Stroll over & meet some of the lurkers, creepers, geeks, monsters or roamers to join the walk! With a Special Appearance By... The Wicked Witches of the Lakes Region

  • Pumpkin Dump Derby Begins at 7:15pm

There are still plenty of opportunities to volunteer whether it's setting up the A frames or the highly sought after and the best of all - cleanup! Plus, we encourage you to visit the local businesses as they have been hard at work thinking ‘out of the pumpkin' to offer creative and fun-filled offerings.

For more information on this spooktacular event please go to www.nhpumpkinfestival.com.

See you there!


Positive Profile of the Week: Dr. Mitch Couret

This week we are delighted to highlight a wonderful, upbeat, and generous man, Dr. Mitch Couret. Dr. Couret is a leader in the profession of dentistry and an inspiration to all those whose life he has touched – including mine. I had the good fortune of being introduced to Mitch a number of years ago by my great friend, Tom Raffio of Northeast Delta Dental, and, yes, today, Mitch is my dentist.

Mitch is well-known and respected throughout the New Hampshire community and beyond. Having recently moved from the northside of Manchester to Goffstown, Mitch isn’t only providing amazing care in dental but a peace of mind. Mitch is funny, quick witted, enthusiastic, and has a ‘can-do’ attitude. Moreover, his cutting-edge approach is second to none. He is always there to ensure the best interests of his patients. Yet, there is more to Mitch than simply delivering the highest quality in dental care.

Mitch brings a sense of humor and calm to the most intimate form of medical care. Remember Steve Martin playing a dentist, the comic approach is memorable and so is Dr. Couret. He cares about his patients and his community. And Mitch truly does make ‘going to the dentist,’ a positive experience that you can look forward to.

As Northeast Delta Dental’s Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Mitch Couret is committed to providing a service that has a meaningful impact to the community. As you all know Karen and I dedicate a great deal of our passion to veterans’ causes, and Dr. Couret is a true leader in the effort as well. Via his network and passion for the community, he has established a clinic and rotational care to help with oral care for our veterans. He believes those who serve our country and devote so much of themselves in service to America should be rewarded with care and support. Mitch Couret is simply the best. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts.


Quotes of the Week: Laughter

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

― Mark Twain


“If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.”

― Robert Frost


“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice


“I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.”

― Maya Angelou