Good news, selfie lovers: A new study published in Psychology of Well-Being now suggests that taking selfies might actually give you a mood boost.
In the study, 41 students were asked to download an app to their smartphones and track their moods over the course of four weeks. The students were then assigned into three groups: The first group was asked to take a smiling selfie every day, the second was asked to take pictures of things that made them happy, and the third was asked to take photos of things they thought might make other people happy, then send the photos to those people. At the end of the month, the study found that all three groups had experienced an overall increase in happiness.
"Qualitative results showed that those in the selfie group observed changes in their smile over time; the group taking photos to improve their own affect became more reflective and those taking photos for others found that connecting with family members and friends helped to relieve stress," the study concluded.
In the selfie group, they saw themes of "changed mood, due to feeling more confident, comfortable, or creative." Conversely, a few of the people in the group reported "stress" over having to smile in every photo—but overall, the response was definitely positive.
"As days went on, I got more comfortable taking photos of myself," one of the participants said. "If you feel good about yourself, then [a] selfie would be a way to capture that.”
Of course, 41 students is a pretty small number for any study, and it would need to be expanded quite a bit for the results to be more conclusive. But hey: At least you can now claim that psychology is on your side the next time you snap a picture of yourself.
You can read the rest of the study right here.
Follow Gina on Twitter.