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A Hug a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

benefits of hugging

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  • A hug can improve your mood by increasing positive feelings and decreasing negative ones
  • Relationship conflict was associated with an increase in negative feelings while the opposite held true for hugs
  • On days when study participants were in conflict but also received a hug, they reported more positive feelings than days when they did not get a hug — and the positive effect even continued on to the next day
  • Hugs convey care and empathy, acting as an effective buffer against stressors

When’s the last time you’ve gotten, or given, a hug? If it’s been awhile, committing to more hugging is a simple way to not only feel happier but also be physically healthier. Human touch is a complex phenomenon, one that’s linked to the release of feel-good hormones and other physiological reactions in your body.

Hugging is just one example, and it’s a powerful one. Even on particularly trying days, such as when you’re embroiled in relationship problems, a hug can improve your mood by increasing positive feelings and decreasing negative ones. This isn’t just hearsay; a recent study published in PLOS One revealed this intriguing fact after a study of more than 400 adults.

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