Watching Cute Animal Videos Is Key To Relieve Stress

Guest blog post by Sarah Pritzker of

We’ve all been there. We’ve all innocently just scrolled through our social media feeds feeling a bit bored with everyone’s posts about how awesome their lives are. Then we come across a video of a cute duckling falling asleep in class. Or a cute puppy getting so excited about the food he’s eating, his cute little fluffy butt is all up in the air as he chows down on kibble. And before you know it, you’re on YouTube watching cute animal videos one after the other. There is just something about watching those cute animals that somehow makes us happy. Something about their faces, their exuberance, and their clumsiness that makes every worry you have just migrate to the back of your mind for a little while.

If you can’t relate to that, however, or you’re just not the type to want to watch cuteness overload videos, you might want to give these types of videos another shot. A study published in Computers in Human Behavior has revealed that watching cute cat videos on the internet can boost energy levels and increase feelings of happiness. It suggested that viewing cat videos could be used as a form of online pet therapy or an online form of stress relief.

In a series of studies led by Barbara Fredrickson, researchers found that positive videos, among which are cute animal videos, are the strongest good mood inducers. These videos trumped music and several other mood induction techniques. According to these studies, lifting your mood, called “inducing positive effect” (i.e. watching animal videos as a good mood inducer), can eventually lead to a greater resilience to stress, among other things.

Another study found that just 30 minutes of watching these videos can lower cortisol levels by up to 67 percent and adrenalin by 35 percent. Cortisol and adrenaline are two of the body’s major stress hormones. So half an hour of watching cute little animals being their adorable selves can actually help your body get rid of stress hormones.

Researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan conducted a study that revealed that looking at images of cute fuzzy animals can actually improve your work performance and enhance your concentration. The report is entitled “The Power of Kawaii”. Kawaii means cute in Japanese. In this study, they divided students into three groups, some being shown pleasant images (like food), and some being shown kawaii images (like kittens and puppies). The group that saw kittens and puppies were more accurate, with scores up to 16% higher than those groups shown pictures of food. That’s something you can tell your boss if they ever catch you watching cute animal videos at work.

Now, if all that science and research does not convince you that watching cute animal videos online helps lift your mood and relieve stress, maybe just the sheer feeling of happiness that these cute videos induce will be enough to sway you. You could always keep a copy of these videos and download them in your mobile! So the next time you feel stress at work, or because of exams, give yourself a break and watch some cute animal videos.