Why fake laughing helped strengthen Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall’s relationship

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·4 min read

Watch: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall talk about why laughter is so important in their relationship

In their new podcast Before We Say I Do, Denise Van Outen and partner Eddie Boxshall have been trying out various types of therapy, which mostly rely on talking about their feelings. However, the latest episode features a much more hilarious type of therapy – laughter yoga!

Pete Cann, aka The Laughter Man, took the pair through a session of laughter therapy, which involved arguing in gibberish and fake laughing. So why does having a giggle work to make you feel more connected as a couple?

“Laughter is the most important thing for a relationship, it makes us feel younger, more connected with each other and helps get us through the tougher times,” Cann told Yahoo! Style after the recording.

“When we laugh, we feel happy, when we are happy, we are open, when we are open magic happens.”

Listen: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall attempt to argue in gibberish!

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For the Celebrity Gogglebox couple, laughter is very much part of their relationship, with Van Outen citing that laughter is what keeps them together.

“If you haven't got laughter, you've got nothing!” she told Cann.

A good laugh releases endorphins, which is the body’s natural feel-good chemical, plus it can help boost your immune system. One survey in Norway even found out that laughing regularly could help you live longer!

Read more: Denise Van Outen on why her relationship with Eddie Boxshall is her longest one yet

One of the exercises Cann took Van Oute and Boxshall through involved faking a laugh. It may sound like a strange thing to do, but Cann said the mind and body can’t tell real and fake laughter apart.

“The body doesn't know the difference between a fake laugh and a real laugh,” he told them.

“So, basically, we can fake laugh for five to 10 minutes — even five minutes of fake laugh and the real laughter will generally come!”

Pete Cann, aka The Laughter Man, believes a good laugh can strengthen any relationship
Pete Cann, aka The Laughter Man, believes a good laugh can strengthen any relationship

The pair went through various laughing exercises, including one where they had to laugh like kids. This is because Cann encourages all his clients to find their inner child.

“Children laugh two to 300 times a day, and as adults, we laugh 10 to 15 times a day!” he told the pair.

After their session, both Van Outen and Boxshall said they could feel the benefits. Boxshall said the real laughter did come after faking it, while Van Outen said she felt: “sort of lighter and buzzier and I have a spring in my step!”

After the recording, Cann said he thought they both got quite a lot out of the session.

Read more: 55 of the longest celebrity relationships

“I know that we were all laughing and having fun by the end of the session,” he said.

“Both Denise and Eddie said they were tired before the session, but the laughter energised them both, which is wonderful.”

He continued: “I think they now have the power to not take things too seriously and be able to communicate through laughter when words could hurt.”

Van Outen said that the session made her feel like their relationship was much stronger and she felt much more connected to Boxshall, her partner of seven years.

Denise Van Outen says Eddie is the only man who has really made her laugh
Denise Van Outen says Eddie is the only man who has really made her laugh

“It also made me realise that — because I do feel like we've got a lot of laughter in a relationship — but just how brilliant it is to actually laugh together,” she said.

“Sometimes I will laugh with my mates, or I'll be at work and have a laugh, but actually, when you laugh together, it just makes you feel like your relationship is so much stronger.”

While therapy is often seen as emotional and sometimes stressful, Cann wants couples to realise that having fun is just as important for a strong relationship.

“Laughter and playfulness is really important in a relationship,” he told the pair.

“It increases your partner's happiness. It's not just your own life, but it's life that you share together. Laughter costsnothing… So injecting laughter into your relationship will help you thrive and survive!”

Hear what happens in a laughter therapy session by listening to the latest episode of Before We Say I Do on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Watch: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall talk about their inner most feelings in a psychotherapy session