We’ve all felt it: that horrible sensation clawing at our gut, not quite like physical hunger, but closer to a certain inner emptiness that makes you want the universe to make a snack of you and swallow you whole.
We’ve all felt it: that horrible sensation clawing at our gut, not quite like physical hunger, but closer to a certain inner emptiness that makes you want the universe to make a snack of you and swallow you whole. When that happens, you know it’s time to head over to your nearest grocery or favorite restaurant and load up on your favorite comfort food. This is why we eat our feelings.
We probably emotionally eat because we’re trying to fill a void -— one caused by extreme sadness or stress. So when there isn’t anything to fill, there isn’t an urge to binge eat. And in the same way that there’s a meme or Facebook sticker for everything you’re feeling, there’s always food that you can look for to match your mood. The enjoyment and comfort brought about by a certain food is always relative to a person’s individual experience, because of the memories that one associates with it.
If I had it my way, I’d say that chocolate’s got a universality to it; it can (and should) be eaten to address any situation. But since there are other food groups to choose from, and it isn’t possible to know exactly what comfort food is for everyone, here’s a nifty guide that uses a bit of scientific proof so you know how to treat ‘yo self and tap into the right emotions.
Joy: Cupcakes and other light snacks
Sweetness could be directly related to happiness in the sense that eating sugary treats always gives you a momentary high. Grab a cupcake or two to celebrate your good mood.
Perfect for when: Your Instagram crush follows you back and likes your most recent selfie, your fave finally favorites one of your 16390583 tweets about how awesome he/she is, you find out that you passed that killer accounting exam.
Stress: Chicken soup or instant ramen
When the going gets tough, a hot bowl of soup could be just what you need to clear your head. Chicken soup is the most widely known natural remedy to treat a cold with its mixture of broth and seasoning, so a bowl would be great to help you take your mind off of things for a bit.
Perfect for when: It’s finals week and all your requirements have started to pile up; you’ve got a big presentation to prepare for and your groupmates aren’t replying to your texts; you realize that graduation is right around the corner and you still aren’t sure what you’re going to do with your life.
(In) Love: Granola bars, candy
There’s no scientific support for this one because being in love usually means that you forget to eat altogether. Granola bars and candy contain the energy boosts you need in case you skip a meal or two because you’re too busy thinking of/texting/going out with your girlfriend or boyfriend. (Insert heart eyes emoji.)
Perfect for when: You get home from a first date, you’re riding shotgun with your hair undone in the front seat of your significant other’s car.
Anger: Potato chips, nuts, and green tea
Green tea has theanine in it, which is a hormone that calms you down and helps you stay focused. The crunching that comes with having to chew nuts and chips will help you channel your anger, which is a better alternative to, say, kicking down a door or breaking something.
Perfect for when: You’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on EDSA and when it finally starts moving, someone cuts in front of you; you come across another Facebook rant from a person whose opinion you don’t necessarily agree with.
Sadness: Ice cream, milkshakes and — for the health-concerned — fortified cereal and milk
Believe it or not, the stereotypical chick flick way of dealing with sadness (also known as finishing an entire tub of chocolate ice cream alone) actually works. Milk has vitamin D, which helps increase serotonin, or the “feel-good hormone” in your body.
Perfect for when: You failed an important test, you’ve just been fired from your job, you were dumped, you realize that none of the members of One Direction will ever know that you exist.