Is gossip good for your health? -

Is gossip good for your health?

A new study says gossiping could be good for your health. Some experts claim gossip is driven by a sincere desire to help others and can even relieve stress.

Experts say it could be the release of tension or a coping mechanism for some people.

Amina Coghlan was thrown off when she heard about the gossip study.

"It's kind of hard, because I don't think gossiping is good," said Coghlan.

But whether it be workplace banter or malicious words, gossip happens every day, everywhere.

A new study by the University of California-Berkley suggests a little chit-chat could benefit your health.

"I think gossiping can be a form of social control. It can be a way of reinforcing norms. No one wants to be the gossip," said Dr. Gail Wallace, an assistant director in the sociology department at the University of Alabama - Birmingham.

Wallace says she can understand the benefits of talking about others.

"After I put it into a social-scientific context, I saw that gossiping could work in many ways that could actually have positive outcomes that could affect a person's health," said Wallace.

But use your words wisely.

"I think that it could be negative if it's the only form of coping, because that person doesn't have an opportunity to directly confront the situation," she adds.

Micah Brooker, a student at UAB, says, "I think that gossiping is bad. I think that it doesn't really help anyone, particularly. I think if you have a problem, you should go straight to the person."

While it may help people cope and perhaps relieve some tension when spreading a little gossip ultimately, Wallace says it's best to face the problem up front and talk to the person one on one.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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