One new app is reminding us all why a little hug is good every once and a while.
App developers just love coming up with new ways you can meet people. First there was Tinder, where connecting with someone is as easy as swiping your finger across a screen. Now the same concept is being applied to another location-based app, except this one's all about the hugs.
With Cuddlr, users are notified of other people in their area up for a little cuddle. Once you find a potential--supposedly platonic--snuggle buddy, you would just tap the screen to make a request, then share a message with where to meet (that's if they agree to a cuddle session). Later you can rate the encounter with a thumbs up to signal an awesome cuddler or report a handsy one.
Unlike Tinder, the makers behind Cuddlr swear the service is not meant to be a "hook-up" or dating app. The point is to help people feel more comfortable with giving and receiving affection.
Still, the idea of getting cozy with a complete stranger sounds kind of odd. In the end, you may be better off planning more cuddle sessions with a significant other or close friend.
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"Hugging a loved one increases the bonding hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel closer and more intimate toward the one you are with," says Gail Saltz, MD, Health's contributing psychology editor.
Increased relaxation, lower blood pressure, and reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol are just three other benefits you can look forward to from touching or hugging a partner or loved one more often, Saltz says.
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Case in point: a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 10 minutes of warm contact between couples led to higher oxytocin levels and lower blood pressure.
It's hard to say, though, whether you'll get the same benefits from touching someone you don't know. So maybe just stick with your partner, friend, or pet for now.