7 Ways Baking Can Boost Your Mental Health
By Beth Rush
How does baking help with mental health? Baking is an art and a science—and the process can be healing when you feel down. Creativity, concentration, and socialization come into play when working in the kitchen. The psychology of baking can be a powerful tool to boost your mood on bad days or as part of a greater treatment plan. You can certainly visit your local bakery, but baking these foods yourself can make you feel much better. Here’s why.
1. It releases stress.
You might be wondering, “How does baking help with stress?” If you’ve never taken out your anger on some bread dough, you should try it. Bread and other baked goods need tough love to activate the gluten and form their desired texture before entering the oven. Did you have a bad day? Make some dough that you can punch and knead to release your frustrations. The bonus is the delicious treat that comes afterward.
2. You use your creativity.
Using your creativity helps occupy your mind when it goes to negative places, boosting your mood and energy levels. You can get creative with your recipes, adding different flavors, fillings, and toppings until you have a creation that’s all your own. Also, have fun decorating your products with sprinkles and frosting and use cookie cutters that make you happy. Be sure to brag about your baking skills to your friends and family, even if it’s not perfect. Just taking the time to heal in a healthy way is something to take pride in.
3. It boosts your confidence.
Making an enjoyable treat for you or others can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. Take pride in using ingredients to create something that can fuel you or someone you care about and bring joy. Knowing you can make something delicious can make you feel better after a gloomy day.
4. You’re doing good for others.
Research shows that doing a good deed makes you happy. Baking for others can help you feel more positive when you’re feeling down. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is—making something that someone else can enjoy can bring you happiness. That’s especially true when you get positive feedback.
Want the other three ways you can boost your mental health? Find out in the January/February 2023 issue of ACD!