Hugs to Happiness : The Positive Impact of Hugs On Mental Health

Today is National Hug Day, but hug day began for me a long time ago starting with my following Leo Buscgalia in high school. Leo was a hugger and helped me navigate life in a positive and meaningful way through his books. Leo taught me a lot about love, being a caring human being. as well as being a teacher. In 1983, a group of my grade six students and I decided to start a hug day in our school. The students wrote a letter (which I still have today) to our then Mayor Ralph Klein who proclaimed March 11 th 1983 as Hug Day:

Whereas on this special day no one is allowed to fight;

Whereas no one on this day is allowed to argue;

Whereas on this day, everyone is to have a happy day with as much courtesy and kindness shown to one another as possible

Now therefore , I , Ralph Klein, Mayor of the City of Calgary, do hereby proclaim Friday, March 11th, 1983 as “hug Day “in recognition of the kind and thoughtful students of the grade six class of St. Cecilia Elementary School who originated this day.

Hugs truly matter and can have a wonderful effect our mental health. Hugs increase our sleep, make us feel better and are overall good for our health and well being. It is too bad that hugging in school has changed. I recognize that we need to set boundaries for sure. It is extremely important that the person being hugged is open to hugs. However, hug days in school was a good thing and something I am proud of and brings back such positive thoughts. It was a special day and holds special memories for the students that I have taught.

This year will be our 40th year since Hug Day began. Before the pandemic I got together with my very loving and caring students, now all in their fifty’s and I am hoping we get together again to celebrate life, each other and a few hugs.

For sure hugs have led to my happiness, having a positive impact on me, my loved ones and their well being and I hope they do yours too.

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Make Nova Scotia Your Destination

I am often asked where to go in Nova Scotia. If you are looking for a few tips let this be your guide.


Although Nova Scotia had a damaging hurricane in 2022, it is still one of the most beautiful places in the world with the most fabulous people . Make it your destination.