When you’re feeling down on a drizzly day, a steaming hot bowl of mac and cheese can really hit the spot. But why is comfort food so, well, comforting?
College students who ate chicken soup and thought of it as “comfort food,” associated the soup with loved ones. What’s more, comfort foods reduced feelings of loneliness.
Even just thinking of comfort foods helped: When subjects wrote about a relationship conflict, they felt less lonely if they were allowed to write about their comfort food after.
Of course, college students may have an extra dose of homesickness, but if life experience tells us anything, comfort foods can still tug heartstrings long after you’ve flown the nest.