Our animals can help more than we think when life gets tough.

Next time you're sad for any reason you might want to hang out with your pet. According to Men's Health, Arcadia University researchers found participants who were primed to recall times they were socially rejected got a mood boost after viewing photos of dogs and cats.

Study author Christina Brown says this happens because we tend to ascribe human-like emotions and personality traits to animals.

That makes them a close second to people—and the obvious choice to boost our mood when our actual peers have let us down.  Brown explains, "When we feel rejected or lonely, we want to feel connected to other people again. If we think animals have emotions and relate to use like humans do, then they can give us the feeling of social connection we're lacking from other people."  She says animals provide comfort without the risk of rejection.

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