Hugging and Happiness: 4 New Scientific Insights

Hugging and Happiness: 4 New Scientific Insights

It goes without saying that physical contact should be appropriate; and consensual.

But it also goes without saying that according to the research, physical contact is good for our health and wellbeing and happiness!

So read on and find out all the benefits of hugging then find someone (appropriate) to hug for happiness …

via Psychology Today by Sebastian Ocklenburg


  • A new study investigated the association between hugging, mood, and life satisfaction.
  • On average, people in the study hugged others six times a day and hugged four other people a day.
  • More hugging was associated with better mood.
  • Single people appear to benefit more from hugs than those in relationships.

Hugging has been shown to decrease stress and positively affect physical health in several ways, including lowering blood pressure. However, scientific studies on how it affects psychological well-being are rare. A new study, now published in the scientific journal Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (Packheiser et al., 2022), was therefore focused on investigating how hugging relates to general life satisfaction and daily mood. (Disclaimer: I was one of the authors of this study.)

My co-authors and I used a research method called “Ecological Momentary Assessment” (or in short: EMA) on 94 adult volunteers. EMA means that volunteers were not invited to a lab and tested there, like in many traditional psychological studies. Instead, they received an online link to a short questionnaire about hugging, mood, and life satisfaction every day for a period of one week. This method is thought to more realistically capture everyday behavior compared to laboratory testing, which puts people in very artificial situations.

Our research team found several new insights into hugging, including:

1. Saturday is hugging day.

On average, participants in the study hugged about six times per day, but there were huge differences between people. While some people never hugged, the participant with the most hugs hugged 150 times.

Interestingly, the day of the week had a statistically significant effect on how often people hugged. The most hugs happened on Saturday (about 10) followed by Sunday (about nine hugs). The fewest hugs happened on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (about four each), while Thursdays and Fridays were in between (about six hugs)…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE