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Study: Eating comfort foods doesn't actually make you feel better


Bad news, Ben and Jerry's lovers: Eating "comfort food" while sobbing on the couch may not actually make you feel better.

According to a new study from psychologists at the University of Minnesota, the idea that eating certain food will lighten one's mood may actually be a myth. Regardless of what you eat (or don't eat), the study says, you'll feel a bit better after some time has passed.

In the study, participants were told to select their favorite "comfort food" along with food they liked but believed wouldn't improve their mood. They then watched a depressing video and were either served a comfort food, a food they liked, a granola bar, or nothing at all. Surprisingly, researchers discovered that after all participants had a few minutes to recover from the upsetting video, their moods improved — regardless of whether they ate the comfort food, the food they liked, or nothing at all.

The findings negate the common belief that comfort food has some kind of mood-altering effect. "Whether it's your comfort food, or it's a granola bar, or if you eat nothing at all, you will eventually feel better. Basically, comfort food can't speed up that healing process," said a study researcher.