Science Says You Should Embrace Hugging

Hugging is really good for us, confirms a new study. Carnegie Mellon University scientists interviewed 404 adults by phone each night for two weeks. Each person was asked about their mood, whether they’d experienced conflict, and if they had received a hug that day, among other questions. The researchers found hugs were associated with an uptick in positive mood markers and reduction in negative ones– the opposite was found of relationship conflict. But on days when there was both hugging and relationship conflict, people tended to report fewer negative feelings and more positive ones than on days when they experienced conflict but no hugs. The trend held true regardless of age, gender, race, marital status, overall number of social interactions and average mood, and the effect even carried over into the next day. Study co-author Michael Murphy adds, “Hugs, at least among close others, might be a simple, straightforward, effective way to show support to someone you care about who is experiencing conflict with a relationship in their life.”