Baking Good for Mental Health
Image courtesy of A Little Taste of Heaven Bakery (Edwardsville, IL)
For a job that can be physically demanding, bakers generally seem to be in positive moods throughout the course of their days. Science may suggest that this can be attributed to their profession of choice.
According to study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in late 2016, creative endeavors such as cooking or baking can make people happier. As obvious as that statement may seem to those who do so, there is now important research to support that.
Researchers followed 658 people for nearly two weeks and discovered that after performing these tasks, the group overall achieved higher levels of enthusiasm. Many in the psychology field believe that creativity is associated with improved emotional functioning.
Melanie Denyer is the founder of Depressed Cake Shop, a bakery platform to increase awareness for mental health conditions and raise money for mental health charities. She touts baking as a useful technique for improving mental health. “A lot of us turn to baking when we're feeling low. Some of us even started baking because they were ill and needed something simple as a focus. And there is genuinely something very therapeutic about baking,” she told Smithsonian
This study points out that creative activity, especially baking, can be a path to flourishing. For bakers, this experience is twofold - not only do they receive the positive effect from achieving creative growth, but they also have the knowledge that their creations are making others happier as well.