A study surveyed over 35,000 French speakers and found that emodiversity (emotional diversity) is related to less depression. This was the case for all types of emodiversity: positive (experiencing many different positive emotions), negative (many different negative emotions), and general (a mix of both positive and negative emotions). In fact, people high in emodiversity were less likely to be depressed than people high in positive emotion alone.
With almost 1,300 Belgian participants, the second study linked emodiversity to less medication use, lower government health care costs, and fewer doctor visits and days spent in the hospital. It was also related to better diet, exercise, and smoking habits. Surprisingly, the effect of emodiversity on physical health was about as strong as the effects of positive or negative emotion alone.
The message? Emotional monotony is a drag, so we may be better off mentally and physically if we seek out and embrace a variety of emotional experiences—even the negative ones.