Do Comfort Foods Really Improve Your Mood?

What comes to mind when you think of comfort food? Visions of chocolate cake, a glazed donut, mom’s meatloaf, or that first sip of morning coffee? Here’s an interesting finding to share in your fitness / wellness practice, newsletter, or include in your sales literature. A new study, recently published in Health Psychology, examined whether or not so-called comfort foods actually affect our moods.

mac & cheese comfort foodThe findings were interesting.

The study concluded that our favorite comfort foods–chocolate, mac and cheese, chicken soup–do indeed improve our mood! Yep. You betcha. Knew that. Figured.

But wait…this is the more surprising part: yes, eating comfort foods significantly improved moods…but no more than eating other, “non-comfort” foods or eating nothing at all.


Does that mean when we impulsively want to grab a chocolate bar to feel better, we might as well go for the carrot sticks? Well, according to the study…yes (so disappointing!).

Of course, the research has limitations and so it’s not so easy to draw an indisputable conclusion.

Research findings aside, what are some of your go-to comfort foods? Do you have a favorite snack that calms your nerves or that sparks pleasant memories? You can use the comment section below to share.