Cow Cuddling Can Improve Your Mental Health—Here’s Where You Can Book a Hugging Session

published Oct 26, 2020
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Feeling stressed? This activity will surely improve your moo-d.

A new and udder-ly adorable wellness trend that’s popular in the Netherlands has made its way to the US. The activity called cow cuddling is said to alleviate loneliness and anxiety via a hugging session with a therapy cow, and Mountain Horse Farm in upstate New York can hook you up.

Suzanne Vullers, a Netherlands native and co-owner of the farm that offers hour-long therapy sessions, said that cows’ gentle dispositions help calm people down. “(Cows) have a slightly slower heart rate,” she told CNN. “Just feeling that from them makes you react to that and makes you slow down too. And because you’re doing that in nature, it’s really quiet.” There have been proven health benefits from cuddling larger mammals, too, as BBC reported in a story about the cow-hugging trend.

The 33-acre farm, which also lets you cuddle horses, offers one to two sessions a day, costing about $75 an hour. Each session is usually limited to two to four people, as Vullers prefers all participants to establish an intimate connection first before hugging.

“We’re not a petting zoo. It’s not all about you. It’s about us and them,” she said. “For us, it’s very important that the animals have choices and it’s as much their choice to connect with humans as it is for us.”

Vullers continued: “I think animals can teach you something that along the way we have forgotten. We have created a world which is absolutely amazing in many ways but also disconnects us a little bit from the outside world and I think animals have a way of reminding us of that and connecting to the outside world.”

So if you’re exhausted from the events of 2020, this might be a good option, especially if want to get away from social media for a minute (that is, until you post a photo of you hugging a cow, because it’s too cool not to share).