Why Sex Helps Boost Mood and Relieve Stress


Feeling a little down in the dumps lately, or stressed out? The solution may be in the bedroom.

Having sex — or even just intimate contact with a partner — can boost your mood and help relieve stress, experts say. And you can reap these benefits even without having an orgasm.

An orgasm alone is enough to flood the brain with oxygen and feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” and dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that’s also involved in pain relief, says Rebecca Coopersmith, LCSW, a staff therapist and certified sexuality educator at The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago.

But while sex ideally involves “a meaningful experience of pleasure,” it doesn’t always lead to orgasm, says Rachel Wright, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York City. And fortunately, a romp-related mood-boost doesn’t require having one.


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