We get it—you’ve got a million things on your to-do list this holiday season. But here’s a case for adding one more: Volunteering doesn’t just help those in need, but it can also boost your own happiness.
That’s according to a report published in BMC Public Health in which researchers reviewed 40 studies from the past 20 years. They found that volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being and a higher sense of life satisfaction. Oh, and a 22 percent reduction in the risk of dying, so you know, not too shabby.
Whether it’s putting in a shift at your local animal shelter, chatting with seniors or providing food and clothes for the homeless, there are plenty of places that could use your help.