National Hug Day: the health benefits of hugging

  • Sol Rivero

It’s National Hug Day! To celebrate this event, we take a look at the top health benefits of hugging. Hug a family member, a friend or a complete stranger, and boost up your health with just this simple expression of love.


The top health benefits of hugging

A hug is a common and simple display of affection, but who knew it can improve your health? A good hug can:

  • Release oxytocin, a hormone that fights depression and anger
  • Increase serotonin and dopamine levels, improving your mood
  • Stimulate the thymus gland through the pressure of the sternum, thus balancing the production of white blood cells which keep you healthy
  • Boost blood circulation, relaxing your muscles
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure
  • Increase the hemoglobin in the blood, which helps carrying oxygen towards the heart and brain
  • Produce empathy, understanding and feelings of safety between people.   



What is National Hug Day?

Also known as National Hugging Day, this event was instituted on January 21 of 1986 for the first time, with the intention of stimulating people to hug their friends and family, as well as overcoming the post-Holiday and pre-Valentine’s blues. This occasion was included in Chase’s Calendar of Events, and its popularity has steadily increased since then, even turning into an international celebration.

According to different studies, from four to eight a day are the number of hugs a person needs to get all the health benefits it has, so make sure you give –and receive!- a lot of hugs today!


Get more health tips:


MindBodyGreen. 10 reasons why we need at least 8 hugs a day.
National Hugging Day. About us.
The benefit of. 7 healthy benefits of hugging.