• While eating right and exercising are some of the most important ways to stay healthy and happy, new research suggests that there’s an easier (and overlooked) way to improve health: self-compassion. The term describes a new area of psychological research that shows the benefits of going easier on yourself. Accepting imperfections and a having a positive self-perception leads to less depression and anxiety and may even affect eating habits and weight.

Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field, recently published Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, which extols the benefits of positivity. A study by Wake Forest University researchers showed that women who were given a message of “self-compassion” were less likely to engage in guilt and emotional eating.

• Doctors Express, the first-ever national franchise of urgent care, opened last month at 3348 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite A, Metairie. The urgent care center will implement the franchise model to health care, offering daily, extended hours of physician care, X-ray services, lab work and more, without an appointment and for a lower cost than an emergency room visit. Visit DoctorsExpress.com/Metairie for more information.

• Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center researchers recently discovered a protein that protects cancer cells from radiation and chemotherapy. Discovery of the protein, c-MYC oncoprotein, could lead to advances in preventing cancer treatment resistance. For instance, finding a way to inhibit the protein could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

• Dogs are man’s best friends, but they are also some of the best motivators for exercise and wellness. Dog owners are more likely to take regular walks and are overall more active than those without dogs. People are even more likely to walk regularly if the companion is a dog rather than a human. According to research from Michigan State University, of dog owners who regularly walked their dogs, 60 percent met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Only around a third of people without dogs meet those criteria.