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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    5 Ways Cuddling with a Friend Can Improve Your Life

    The Unspoken Power of Cuddling

    The power of a warm hug or a comforting touch is universally acknowledged. In an increasingly digital world, physical connections are more important than ever. Cuddling, an activity often associated exclusively with romantic relationships, has plenty of benefits that extend to platonic friendships as well. But what exactly happens when you cuddle with a friend?

    Our bodies are designed to respond positively to touch. Cuddling triggers the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the 'love hormone.' This hormone is responsible for feelings of bonding, trust, and happiness. And the good news? You don't have to be in a romantic relationship to experience these benefits.

    In addition to oxytocin, cuddling helps reduce cortisol levels—the hormone associated with stress. By hugging or cuddling with a friend, you can effectively decrease anxiety and feelings of loneliness, resulting in a positive impact on your mental and emotional health.

    However, navigating the delicate line between platonic and romantic touch can sometimes be tricky. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of the boundaries and have open conversations with your friend before cuddling. Now that we've set the context let's dive into five incredible benefits of cuddling with a friend and how to make the most out of it.

    5 Benefits of Cuddling with a Friend

    1. Enhanced Bonding and Trust: Cuddling releases oxytocin, which aids in building trust and deepening relationships. This is particularly helpful in friendships where emotional bonds are valued.

    2. Improved Mental Health: Physical touch, like cuddling, helps decrease levels of cortisol, reducing stress and anxiety. This can serve as an effective, natural, and nurturing method of promoting mental well-being.

    3. Better Sleep: Believe it or not, cuddling can improve your sleep. The comfort and sense of security offered by cuddling can make falling asleep easier and more restful.

    4. Emotional Healing: Cuddling after a traumatic event or during difficult times can provide a safe haven. It's a non-verbal way of saying, "I'm here for you."

    5. Increased Happiness: Simply put, cuddling makes us happy. The combination of physical closeness and the release of feel-good hormones creates a sense of joy and contentment.

    How to Navigate Cuddling with a Friend

    Discussing and setting boundaries: While some may find cuddling with friends a natural and comfortable experience, others may not. It's important to have an open conversation about comfort levels and personal boundaries before proceeding.

    Respecting personal space: Just as you respect your friend's emotional space, their physical space deserves the same consideration. If at any point they seem uncomfortable, stop immediately.

    Understanding body language: Non-verbal cues are as important as verbal ones. Pay attention to your friend's body language during the cuddling session.

    Keeping it platonic: Keep in mind that cuddling is not inherently romantic or sexual. It's about warmth, comfort, and friendship.

    Remember that everyone is different: Everyone has unique comfort levels with touch. Don't be disheartened if your friend prefers a different method of bonding, like talking or spending quality time together.

    Cuddling with a friend is an incredibly enriching experience, provided it's done with mutual consent and respect. It's time to challenge societal norms, embrace the power of platonic touch, and reap the myriad benefits it offers. So, why not give your friend a comforting hug or a warm cuddle the next time you meet?


    1. Field, T. (2010). Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review. Developmental Review, 30(4), 367–383.

    2. Uvnäs-Moberg, K., Handlin, L., & Petersson, M. (2015). Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1529.

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