Don’t Worry Be Happy


Your Genes Will Thank You

Do you remember the 1988 hit song by Bobby McFarreen, Don’t Worry Be Happy?

It was the first a cappella song to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stayed there for two weeks. Some radio stations played the song so often many people got sick and tired of it.

1 a geneWell new research out of California may prove that song to be a bit prescient; at least if your happiness comes from a sense of purpose and meaning as opposed to happiness that just comes from self-gratification.

According to a report over at Science Daily, “  good state of mind — that is, your happiness — affects your genes…” in a positive way.

“In the first study of its kind, researchers from UCLA’s Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and the University of North Carolina examined how positive psychology impacts human gene expression.”

Long story short the study found that when it comes to positively affecting human genes there are two types of happiness:

Positive Antiviral and Antibody

1. “…….the kind of happiness that comes from having a deep sense of purpose and meaning in life (think Mother Teresa) — showed very favorable gene-expression profiles in their immune cells. They had low levels of inflammatory gene expression and strong expression of antiviral and antibody genes.

Negative Antiviral and Antibody

2.  “…….people who had relatively high levels of hedonic well-being — the type of happiness that comes from consummatory self-gratification (think most celebrities) — actually showed just the opposite. They had an adverse expression profile involving high inflammation and low antiviral and antibody gene expression.

It appears that doing good as opposed to just doing something that makes you feel good has a different and a positive effect on our genes and thus our health. Apparently human genes are so sensitive they pick up on nuances in how we achieve happiness.

On Monday I will follow up on this theme by exploring happiness and longevity.




 Featured Recipe        Teriyaki Fish


I love my HP cookbooks. At least I love the two I have: Cookery For 1 or 2 and Fish and Shellfish. Wish I had a few more, even though they are out of print.

The books usually have delish recipes that are easy to make.

Today’s fabulous recipe comes from the HP cookbook Fish and Shellfish. Like Monday’s pork chops this dish is full of taste yet is quick and easy to make.

It is simple. I like simple. I am a simple person. Don’t confuse me too much detail. Keep it simple. I am a big believer in the K.I.S.S. principle ~ Keep It Simple Sweetheart.

Like Monday’s recipe, this is a quick and easy dish to make. Even better it is full of flavor. KISS!

I used tilapia in today’s recipe.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1 –1½ pounds fish fillets of your choice*

¼ cup teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice ~~~ I used lime (about 1-2)

2 tablespoons butter

*4 fillets ~~~ I used tilapia

Optional Toppings

Chopped green onions ~~~ I used

Toasted sesame seeds ~~~ I  used

Chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Chopped cilantro or parsley


Here is what you do:

Pat the fish dry with paper towels.


In a shallow bowl or pan combine teriyaki sauce, lemon or lime juice.


Add fish and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning the fish several times.


Toast the sesame seeds and set aside to cool. Wash and slice the green onions as well.



Melt butter in a large skillet with a cover.

Drain the fish. Reserve the marinade.


Add the fish; quickly sauté over medium high heat no more than 30 seconds on each side.


Then add the reserved marinade to the skillet. Cover pan and reduce the heat. Gently simmer 3-5 minutes until fish is done.





Arrange cooked fish on a platter. Sprinkle with one or more toppings.


Serve immediately with some vegetables or fresh fruit.


Bon appétit!!!


1 –1½ pounds fish fillets       $6.59

¼ cup teriyaki sauce            $0.66

2 tablespoons lime juice       $1.98

2 tablespoons butter             $0.78

Optional Toppings

Chopped green onions          $0.57

Toasted sesame seeds          $0.68

Total cost = $11.26
Cost per person = $2.82

Quote of the Day

Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Albert Schweitzer


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7 comments to Don’t Worry Be Happy

  • I wasn’t aware of the genes of the thing but when I do something for someone else, I always get immense satisfaction from it. More than buying something. (although I’m guilty of that as well)

    I love teriyaki sauce.. not so big on fish but this looks very good.

    • Roberta

      The genes link is fairly new info based on new research. Who knew.

      The nice thing about this recipe is that the teriyaki sauce does not over power the fish. Very subtle.

  • Could be part of the reason many celebrities go off the rails and why many of those who suddenly receive wealth they have not worked for (lottery winners), squander it.

    Some of the happiest people I came across in Africa, worked hard, lived in mud huts without running water and had none of the amenities we take for granted.

    Some of your recipes could tempt me to indulge in the hedonic happiness of consummatory self-gratification.

    • Roberta

      Good point about celebrities, etc. I have met poor people here in U.S.A. who are happier than friends who have much. Always seemed strange to me. Now, as you say, we may know why.

      Well, as for the food here….I hate to lead you, or anyone, into temptation…….but thanks for the fabulous compliment anyway. 🙂

  • Interesting article. The comments are especially interesting.

    • Roberta

      Yes, I agree. I have interesting visitors and commenters, including you. Very eclectic bunch! 🙂