Cow Hugging: A Unique Approach to De-stressing


Stress is a common part of life. Whether it’s due to work-related pressures or personal conflicts, stress can be both emotionally and physically draining. Finding ways to reduce stress is important for overall wellbeing. One of the unique approaches that have been gaining popularity in recent years is cow hugging.

Cow hugging is a therapeutic activity that involves hugging cows to release stress and promote relaxation. While it may seem unusual, research has shown that interacting with animals can have significant benefits for mental health.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the practice of cow hugging, its benefits, and how to get started.

History of Cow Hugging

The practice of cow hugging, also known as cow cuddling or cow therapy, first gained recognition in the Netherlands in 2007. It was developed by a farmer named Ruurd Jelle van der Leij, who noticed the calming effect that cow interactions had on him and his visitors.

He opened up his farm for cow hugging sessions, which instantly became popular. Today, cow hugging is a common therapy across Europe and is gaining recognition globally.

How Cow Hugging Works

The process of cow hugging is simple. It involves hugging a cow and spending time with them in a quiet and peaceful environment. The sessions are usually held in open farm lands, where participants can spend time with the cows without any distractions.

The cow’s warm body temperature, calm demeanor, and steady heart rate can have a relaxing and soothing effect on humans. Participants are encouraged to breathe deeply, relax and enjoy the interaction with the cows.

The Benefits of Cow Hugging

Cow hugging has been found to have several benefits for mental health, including:

Reducing stress and anxiety

Cow hugging has a calming and soothing effect on the body, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Improving mood

Interacting with cows can cause a significant increase in the release of the hormone oxytocin, which can elevate mood and reduce feelings of depression.

Mental clarity

Cow hugging can help clear the mind and provide a sense of clarity. The quiet and peaceful environment of the farm can provide a space for reflection and relaxation.

Physical benefits

Studies have also shown that cow hugging can have physical health benefits, including lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and improved sleep quality.

How to Experience Cow Hugging

If you’re interested in experiencing cow hugging, there are several farms around the world that offer this activity. The Netherlands and Switzerland are popular destinations, but cow hugging is quickly becoming available in other parts of the world.

To find farms that offer cow hugging experiences, search through online directories or check with local tourism boards. Make sure to inquire about the farm’s policies and guidelines for interacting with the cows.


Cow hugging is a unique and unconventional but effective approach to reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Studies have shown that interacting with cows can have significant mental and physical benefits, making it a popular therapy option around the world.

If you’re seeking an alternative therapy to cope with the stresses of everyday life, consider exploring the opportunity for cow hugging. It may seem unusual at first but it could just be the therapeutic experience you need to help reset and rejuvenate your mind and body.


What is cow hugging?

Cow hugging, also known as cow cuddling, is a form of therapy where individuals spend time with cows to reduce stress and anxiety. It involves hugging and leaning against the large animals to feel a sense of relaxation and comfort.

Is cow hugging a new trend?

Cow hugging has been around for several years, but it gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. With people seeking alternative ways to reduce stress and social distancing requirements, cow hugging became a popular activity in Australia and around the world.

Are there any benefits to cow hugging?

Studies have shown that spending time with animals can have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Cow hugging is also believed to help improve oxytocin levels in the body, which can lead to feelings of bonding and connection. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for individuals to disconnect from technology and the stress of daily life and appreciate nature.


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