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Go for an online mental vacation with cute animals!


Students of Digital Mental Health teamed up to write blog posts. You can read the three best posts of academic year 2023- 2024 here.

Cute animal videos on social media are your go-to stress reduction! With a release of endorphin, a break from the business of life and an instant stress relief they are THE answer to quick mental relief! Go watch some yourself #cuteanimal #cuteness #animals #cuteanimalvideo

By Katarzyna Kopeć & Noa Wyns

Hey there, fellow animal video enthusiasts!

Life’s full of ups and downs and sometimes you need an instant mood boost. Picture this: you've had a tough day at work or at school, deadlines are looming, and stress is creeping in. What can turn it all around in an instant? Cute animal videos, of course! In this blog post, we're going to explore why these little clips of adorable animals on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Reddit have become our go-to for swift stress reduction and mood improvement.

Do you know why cute animals can contribute to your well-being?

Firstly, they can provide stress reduction. They provide you with mental recharge whether you are at work, school, or home. Thanks to watching animals your stress level can drop. It’s like a mini mental vacation! The University of Leeds conducted an experiment in which students were asked to watch images and videos of animals. The study proved that after watching cute animals, student’s heart rates dropped, and the blood pressure moved to the ideal range. Additionally, the anxiety level of students dropped as well after watching animals. It shows that viewing animals can have good psychological and physiological effects on people. Additionally, one of the studies indicate that watching for example puppy videos is very effective in inducing relaxation (Lavan, Ein & Vickers, 2023). In turn, another study shows that it can also increase your overall life satisfaction and contribute to improving your flow experience (Zhou, Yin & Gao, 2020). As a result, your well-being can be improved! So, can it be better? After watching cute animals’ videos, you can go back to your daily life being relaxed and happier, just like you came back from extraordinary holidays.

Cute animals can also trigger the release of endorphins, which are your brain natural mood-boosters. In a quick instant these endorphins can turn your mood from tired, stressed, sad to a happier mood with newly found motivation for your work.

They can also be a distraction from chaos. They transfer you to a world of innocence, playfulness, and boundless joy. Thanks to them you can escape from real life and forget about life difficulties!



Be careful though!

Though there are many positives, everything has a negative side as well. Indulging in too many videos might result in procrastination and may result in the opposite effect you aimed at by watching them, losing energy and motivation to continue the work you were originally trying to distract yourself from (Myrick, 2015). So, make sure to view in moderation and put a stop to yourself or set a timer so you can start again after with all the freshness and energy from watching those cute puppies play!

So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or simply feel the need to take a break, don't hesitate to indulge in a little furry therapy. These delightful videos can instantly transform your mood and leave you with a big, heartwarming smile to tackle the rest of your day!

Do you want to move to carefree world right now? Just watch some of these clips!

  • Lavan, S., Ein, N., & Vickers, K. (2023). Examining the effects of nature and animal videos on stress. Anthrozoös, 36(5), 849–868.
  • Zhou, Z., Yin, D., & Gao,Q. (2020). Sense of Presence and Subjective Well-Being in Online Pet Watching: The Moderation Role of Loneliness and Perceived Stress. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(23), 1-16.
  • University of Leeds. (2020). What are the the health benefits of watching cute animals? Downloaded from:… [access: 11.01.2024]
  • Myrick, J. G., (2015). Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?, Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 168-176.
  • Kogan, L. R., Hellyer, P. W., Clapp, T. R., Suchman, E., McLean, J., & Schoenfeld-Tacher, R. (2017). Use of Short Animal-Themed Videos to Enhance Veterinary Students' Mood, Attention, and Understanding of Pharmacology Lectures, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 45(2), 188-194.

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