Confirmed: Cure for existential angst is hugging a teddy bear

Now, research suggests that touch – even with something inanimate like a teddy – may genuinely help people with low self-esteem in confronting their own mortality.

In a series of studies published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers from UV University Amsterdam tested the hypothesis that people with low self-esteem deal with concerns about their own death and the meaning of their life by connecting with others.

‘Even fleeting and seemingly trivial instances of interpersonal touch may help people to deal more effectively with existential concern,’ explains psychological scientist and lead researcher Sander Koole.