Hugs are Important for your Health and Someone Else

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, 12 hugs a day for change, 16 hugs a day for transformation.” – Jack Canfield, Author, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”

There is scientific evidence that a hug a day can save your life. “Scientists are increasingly interested in the possibility that positive emotions can be good for your health. Support from a partner, even in a hug from a loved one, can have beneficial effects on heart health,” Dr. Manny Alvarez wrote for Fox News. Hugs may (or may not) be your norm with friends and family, but everyone could use a hug from time to time. 


Everyone I meet knows that I am a hugger, more so now than ever. For the last three years, I have been wearing a pin that says iHug™. It is an experiment to see how people react. Some look at it like it is promoting some type of technology. You can see the wheels turning in their mind…iPad, iPod, iHug? As they say it to themselves, it hits them, and they will throw out their arms with a big “I hug too” for a warm embrace. In other cases, it is a warning to people that I am coming in for a hug. If you wish to avoid it, you’ll need to stop me. 

I have found that people want and desire more hugs than they are getting. I had one woman say, “I never get hugs unless I come to events like these,” referring to the transformational events I attend and create. 

As human beings, we seek human contact and even need it for our health. That’s why when someone is in pain, we naturally reach out to hug them. So be a giver of hugs to share that connection. Think about doing it more often because even when we are unable to physically see someone’s pain, they may be suffering a great deal. 


I was suffering once at an event I was managing. It had failed to turn out as I had hoped. Mistakes were made, and it was less successful in many ways than I desired. A dear friend of mine was the emcee for the event. He read my body language and could see that something was wrong. Without a discussion of any kind, every time our paths crossed, he would give me a hug. It got me through the three-day event. Now, whenever I see him, it is our tradition to come in with arms outreached to come into a big wonderful hug, embracing one another. It makes my day. 

When traveling, I have a tendency to sleep on airplanes, and this one trip, I slept the whole flight. I was in the back of the plane, so I decided to wait for all the others to get off before I disembarked. I had completely forgotten I was wearing my iHug button. As I walked down the aisle the flight attendant looked at me and said “I hug too.” I said, “Do you need a hug?” She responded, “Yes, I do!” So of course, you know what happened. I could tell you many more delightful stories of how hugging has changed my life. 

Make someone’s day today by giving them a hug. You’ll be surprised at their reaction and how much better it makes you feel. “A hug given is a hug received,” which means you, too, benefit from giving hugs to others.

LuAnn Buechler is a transformational trainer, coach, author and speaker. Her book “iHug Diaries” is due to be released on January 21, 2017, National Hug Day.

National Hug Day also known as National Hugging Day, this is an annual event dedicated to hugging. It was created by Kevin Zaborney and occurs annually on January 21. The day was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA. The holiday is also observed in may other countries. The idea of National Hug Day is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often. Zaborney cautions to ask first if on is unsure of response.