Swearing Can Be Beneficial to Your Mental Health

Darnit! Shoot! Son of a gun.

Swearing may be frowned upon socially, but psychological research shows that letting out words like these ones, or maybe ones that are even worse, can be beneficial.

Swearing can benefit your physical health by increasing endorphin levels and even helping with circulation of the blood.

A 2009 study by researchers at Keele University in the United Kingdom, published in the psychological journal, Neuroreport, found that swearing can decrease perception of pain and increase pain tolerance.

“Swearing is not necessarily a negative thing,” Richard Stephens, Ph. D and the lead researcher on the study told the Toronto Star. “It can be a linguistic tool when dealing with frustrating events.”

The 2009 study followed 67 subjects who were told to put their hands in a bucket of ice-cold water. The subjects who were allowed to say curse words were able to keep their hands in the buckets longer and did not view the experience as painful, as the participants who were not allowed to say swear words.


Letting the expletives fly not only benefits your physical health, but it can also benefit your psychological health.

Swearing can help people feel a greater sense of self-control. Letting out those bad words can help people feel a sense of control over their current situation, even if is it something entirely out of their hands.

Swearing also helps people control their actions and not resort to acting out their emotions in a violent manner.  People who channel their anger into swear words are less likely to act out their negative emotions in a physical manner.

Cursing can also help people feel more comfortable socially. Swearing in front of your friends or a group of people can demonstrate that you are comfortable being yourself in front of them, which helps create stronger social ties.

So next time you are scolded for swearing, remember that saying those bad words can actually improve your mental and physical health.


Molly Dutmers

MollyContributing Author

Molly Dutmers is a junior communication major at Wake Forest University from Chicago. Molly is currently the editor-in-chief of the Old Gold & Black, Wake Forest’s student newspaper. When she isn’t writing or editing, Molly is spending time with her two dogs, Lulu May Georgina and Sparky Eugene Xavier.

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