Grab your work wife: Complaining at work is actually good for your mental health.


Look, we all try our very best to stay as positive as possible at work.

But there’s no denying that every now and then, there’s absolutely nothing better than having a good ol’ whinge with your work wife.

Whether it be a venting session over Susan’s smelly lunches or just your standard “I wish it was Friday” whinge, let’s be honest – we’ve all been there.

But thanks to a study, all that complaining might not be as bad as you think.

In fact, it’s actually pretty good for your mental health and your productivity at work.

Amazing, right?

Vanessa Pouthier, a researcher from the University of Melbourne studied a team of health professionals at a US hospital over the course of a year.

Throughout the study, Dr Pouthier found that “griping” and joking at work can both help improve your mood and help build better relationships between colleagues.

See, it’s better for you and your work wife.


“These griping rituals helped doctors and nurses realise they were feeling the same way about situations, and they weren’t that different,” Dr Pouthier said in a press release.

“By engaging in those little rituals in their care planning meetings, they processed some of that negative energy and left feeling more energised.”

Put simply, having a little whinge with your colleagues can relieve pent-up stress, build better relationships between staff and allow teams to work together more efficiently.

But be warned – although you may be encouraged to indulge in a little bit of complaining after reading these results, there are some rules.

“You can only gripe about people that are not in the room, and you need to externalise the gripe,” Dr Pouthier said.

“So, the gripe’s target needs to be something everyone can agree on, like the structure in which the team is working, or difficult practitioners working in other services. Never individuals in the team.”

Well, there you have it.

Happy complaining.