Free Hugs

I came across a picture today.  It was a drawing made by a someone I don’t know. I saw it online, I think it was in my Facebook inbox.  The artist’s name is written in the side. It is basic but genuine and to me conveys the most achingly beautiful sentiment.

and it sparked something…

I will sometimes get an idea for a post, but I won’t know actually how it will turn out.  It starts with a message I want to convey, whether it be simple or complex. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even. it just rolls around in that crazy head of mine waiting for something… a spark?  Something to give it life. Incidences will happen; little things, really of no significance but then one day–wham! It all fits together. This picture was a catalyst.

Love will show us the way by Art the System on Facebook

We share a collective consciousness. The good, the bad, the everything contained therein.

The best and worst of us is inside us all. We share so much. One important need is to give and receive love. We are an empathetic species that thrives on mutual understanding and cooperation. We need togetherness.

Newborn babies can die if denied love, it is ingrained in us, the need to reach out and be held. It is a basic and human need we first receive usually from our mothers and fathers. And it this need to touch to be touched lasts through our lifetimes. It is beyond sexual desire which in itself is powerful. It is grounding, it is humbling and uplifting.

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety.  Hugging relaxes muscles; releasing tension in the body. They can take away pain and soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.  Hugs balance out the nervous system and boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

~ Virginia Satir


Hugs are wonderful. They are warm and innocent expressions of affection.  To me hugs are magical events.


They are hopeful. They are happy. They spread happiness.


We have a human need to be wanted and valued and accepted. A hug is a demonstration of that.

There is much to be said about the power of a hug. I have noticed a trend as of these last few years of people with signs giving out free ones. It is a novel thing. it creates a bit of a spectacle and maybe it isn’t all that serious but it does make people happy. and it sends out a terrific message.

I have noticed with the passage of time that hugs are becoming more freely given and socially acceptable. When I was a child one rarely would see two men hug, these days it is commonplace. This is a wonderful thing.

It is such a wonderful thing and so is a kind word, a pat on the back and a smile.

Sometimes we don’t know the burden another may be carrying and cannot fathom how one simple act of encouragement from someone; a stranger even and what sort of positive impact that it can have.

If we all made a point of doing this;  reaching out to others even sometimes going  the extra mile to tell another person you care; whether it’s just an ear to listen.  Sometimes all people need is a release; someone to talk to and a little sympathy.  Sometimes it is a stranger, a person you will never encounter again, this does not lessen the quality of the interaction. Every positive interaction we have with another person makes them feel good and makes us feel good. it’s all good!

And just like rabbits these positive interactions spread and before you know it the room is of full of rabbits.

Try it you’ll like it. Hug someone today.



“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile
English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

References and Related Articles

Why we need at least 8 hugs a day (

5 Ways to Hug  (

 Miracle/soulmate (

Author: Strawberryindigo

A starry-eyed dreamer and adventurer of the imagination. I am a feisty Aspie exploding with colorfully creative energies.

36 thoughts on “Free Hugs”

  1. I came across this in Tokyo. It was at night in a busy district. There were lots and lots of people there. About the center of the area, there was a group of young people with the “Free Hug” signs. It was an interesting idea and was kind of cool.


  2. Hi Nancy! My comment seems to have got lost, so here it is again. Firstly – happy birthday! I think it was the 13th wasn’t it? Hope you had a great day! And lots of hugs to you – hugs are the best! (()) 😀


    1. Hi Cathy, Yes, your first comment did get lost but this one made it and thank you for the “happy birthday”–yes it was the 13th. Thanks for remembering. You are such a considerate person. I did have a great day. And most importantly–Hugs back to you! 😀


  3. I am quite averse to being touched. Hugs make me feel uncomfortable, imprisoned, restricted in my movements. And certainly by strangers/acquaintances. Brrr. Also kisses i don’t like at all. Which is a bit of a problem living in a country where everyone kisses everybody all the time. I invented a sort of duck, weave, stick out hand to be shaken movement to prevent being kissed. Doesn’t always work with the more persistent kissers though 🙂
    As for empathy i have a longwinded theory about how that’s part of an overall negative primary behavioral system which i won’y bore you with.
    Sorry for being a negative bore, the post i can read is meant to be sweet and kind. JUst please don’t hug me 🙂


    1. Hey Petrossa, If you don’t want to be hugged or kissed I will stay respectful and keep my hands to myself. 😉
      Seriously, I understand. I didn’t start out being a hugger and there are certain people/strange strangers I will not hug. I sort had to make myself a hugger. I discovered once I stopped thinking how icky they were, I started to enjoy them. I bet you would too if you just hugged the right people. The French are kind touchy-feely eh? There’s irony for you.
      As to empathy and “overall negative primary behavioral system” thanks for not getting into that. It is morning here and I haven’t had my coffee yet.
      I don’t think you are a negative bore, I think you are a realist who seeks the truth. Refreshing in this world.

      By the way, I like your new Gravatar; it looks like you have a perpetual headache in the 50’s. 🙂


      1. Thanks Strawberry, didn’t want to come over as an old complaining type. I hug my wife from time to time, but i can’t say it leaves me with much but an awkward feeling. My gravatar is supposed to mimic my thinking: “Oh no, not again” when reading nonsense somewhere which seems to happen more and more the more i read 🙂 (not here ofcourse)


        1. I like you Petrossa, you don’t “come over as an old complaining type”. This is why I will warn you: there is bound to be some nonsense rearing it’s ridiculous head on this blog from time to time… 😉


          1. Nah, not the sort of nonsense that annoys me. It’s the sort of nonsense like AGW or absurd psychological studies, or autism is caused by ….. whatever. The worst are ‘is associated with’ in a study/story. That gets my blood boiling. So as long as there’s not: “Hugs are associated with less cancer” it’s ok 🙂


            1. Petrossa, I hate those “studies” as well…and that is the sort of nonsense that gets to me too. Believe or not I am not all Strawberry and do have a temper. Stupid waste and greedy people with insane imaginations get to me as well. …and by the way, You know that hugs are good for one’s health, I bet they lower cancer risk. Perhaps Petrossa you can do some studies of your own over there in touchy-feely France. Hugging trials can begin today. Do you think your government would fund this? 😉


                1. Nice link. Those Vietnamese should lighten up a bit, don’t you think? Well, perhaps they have in the last 28 years. Maybe Petrossa you can go to Vietnam on a mutually cultural studies program on “How hugging cures the common cold.” There you can hug dozens, if not hundreds of married Vietnamese women. haha 🙂


    1. Jasmine–You are a genius! You are so right, it never occurred to me but yes, those politicians NEED hugs….I bet everything would run smoother and maybe we wouldn’t have all these damn wars.


  4. Great post! Sorry I have been absent, things got hectic at work…somewhat calmer now. Trying to load your past posts…my reader is being flakey so if you see it all of a sudden later this week that is why.
    Hugs are underrated, you are right. Love the pictures you chose as well. Sometimes all we need as a human is just that…well said again, Strawberryindigo! 🙂


  5. I did not used to be a hugger. Many years back (perhaps ten or so) I had a friend in college that was a huge hugger, she did not shake hands, she hugged. At first it was strange and I was stiff and not sure what to do with myself. Over time, I got better at hugging and started shifting from hand shakes and smiles to hugs, even those I did not know well. I was thinking of this transformation of mine just yesterday at Practice Thanksgiving as we had invited a friend of mine and her husband and I did not know her husband really at all. They drove up, got out of their car and I just hugged them both, welcoming them into our home. At the end of the evening when goodbyes were being said, everyone hugged everyone else. I like this movement, this acceptance of hugging. We need each other and we need hugs. I great post, my friend. *hug*


  6. Awesome post!
    My arms are open for a hug already.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely thoughts.
    You must be a wonderful personality.
    Your words resonate with me.
    I am excited at this.
    Cheers! 🙂



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