​Stealing Your Boyfriend’s Hoodie Is Actually Really Good For Your Mental Health

Almost every woman will argue that they prefer wearing their boyfriend's hoodies to their own, not just because it smells like them but also because they are definitely a lot comfier.

And almost every boyfriend just accepts that once they have given a hoodie to their girlfriend, they're never getting it back.

But now you can use actual science behind the reason for stealing your boyfriend's hoodie because it has been proven to be really good for your mental health.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia's psychology department found that you can reduce your stress levels by smelling your partner's clothes.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

The smell of the person you love can also help those who are suffering from loneliness and anxiety.

Published in the <span class="NormalTextRun SCXW223422642" "="">Journal<span class="NormalTextRun SCXW223422642" "=""> of Personality and Social Psychology, the study tested 96 women who were in a relationship with someone from the opposite sex.

The men were asked to wear a t-shirt for 24 hours and then the clothing was frozen to retain their natural scent.

Afterwards, the women were asked to smell one of three t-shirts at random. The women could either smell the one belonging to their partner, one belonging to a complete stranger, or the neutral smell of a brand new t-shirt.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

To see how they coped with stress after smelling the pieces of clothing, the women were asked to take part in everyday stressful situations.

These included a mock job interview and a maths test. I mean we're stressed just thinking about them.

As well as being asked to verbally describe their stress levels, swabs were taken of their saliva to determine levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the study.

Women who had sniffed their partner's scent were significantly less stressed.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

However, those who smelt the scent of a stranger were more stressed, and this is only thought to happen when a woman smells a man's scent.

Speaking to The Guardian, psychotherapist and psychologist Peter Klein said: "Research suggests women have a better developed sense of smell and men are more visually stimulated, so men would be more likely to experience stress reduction through seeing their partner's clothing.

"How close a woman feels towards her male partner - how much oxytocin she experiences when she's with them or how happy she is in the relationship - will also affect how comforting she finds smelling the clothing."

The other interesting point from the study is how women felt more stressed when they smelt a stranger's scent.

The study's lead author Marlise Hofer spoke about the point raised: "From a young age, humans fear strangers, especially strange males, so it is possible that a strange male scent triggers the 'fight or flight' response that leads to elevated cortisol.

"This could happen without us being fully aware of it."

Anything that can reduce someone's stress or anxiety is definitely a good thing, however if you feel like you need more help and support click here or visit your GP.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Bethany Gleave

Bethany Gleave is a Freelance Journalist at PRETTY52 and joined the team in 2018. She is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, and started her career at a national press agency, writing breaking and trending news for the national newspapers.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp