Today is ‘Hug a friend’ Day

You shouldn’t need an excuse to hug loved ones but did you know that today,  26 April, is ‘Hug a friend Day’?

 A study led by psychologist Dr. Karen Grewen, at the University of North Carolina, found that there are health benefits to hugging. They discovered that when you are involved in a hug lasting at least 20 seconds, your body releases a “bonding” hormone called oxytocin. As this hormone increases in the blood, it has been shown to have the following positive health benefits for your body.


  • lowers your blood pressure;
  • lowers your heart rate;
  • reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol (which is produced by your adrenal glands when your body reacts to stress);
  • improves your mood.

You could play Musical hugs in class

You will need:  a song CD with fun music for children

You need to do this in a space where the children can move around a little.

In class:  Play the music and the children dance. Stop the CD and the children find ONE friend to hug (show the children that you mean gentle hugs!). They say: Hello (or any other greeting) + the name of the child they are hugging.  You can make a rule such as every time the music stops, find a different person to hug.

And remember:  

“A hug overcomes all boundaries. It speaks words within the mind that cannot be spoken.”
– Author Unknown

Send someone a surprise hug:



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Melinda said,

    Hi Vanessa! I stumbled upon this post because I am doing a blog on a year of hugs. I love your idea about sending someone a surprise hug. I’ve been thinking about doing something similar on my site. May I link to this post on one of my upcoming posts? Thank you and happy blogging! Melinda

    • 2

      Thanks for checking out my blog. No problem about the link. As I say, although we shouldn’t need an excuse to hug, it good to remind everybody how important they are! I also did an entry for this year posted on 2011/04/23. I will add yours to my mine.

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