12 Apr 2024

Hugging your way into feeling better and fighting depression

From Afternoons, 1:15 pm on 12 April 2024

A hug can boost your health, even if you're hugging a robot.

That's according to Dutch and German researchers who found physical touch from both humans and animals reduces pain, feelings of depression, and anxiety in both adults and children.

They re-analysed data from 212 previous studies of touch, and for the first time considered the influence of other variables, such as the types of contact or who applies the contact.

Jacqui Maguire is a clinical psychologist and a big fan of hugging. She talks to Jesse.

Two women hugging

Photo: Public domain