It’s no secret that taking a hot bath is good for the soul. I mean, you’re literally immersing your body in steamy warm water and sitting there to enjoy it without any other distractions from the world (looking at you, cell phone).
But even science is now saying that that tub has got benefits beyond its job as being your locale for self care and relaxation. According to a new study done at the University of Freiburg in Germany, bathing can help treat depression better than working out. Now that‘s major.
While only 45 people were measured, the half that took 30 minute baths each day (set to 104 degrees, to be exact) had their points on a depression scale lowered twice as much as those who engaged in 40 to 45 minute exercise twice a week, reports Health. Over the course of eight weeks, these two groups—which were split in half—did their prescribed self-care method while measuring their mood on the designated scale. The bath-takers scored about six points happier than when the study began, while the exercisers scored three points.
The study may be small, but plenty of other studies have proven baths to at the very least be stress-busting. So the potential to bring on positive vibes just adds one more amazing benefit to the oh-so-delightful practice of hitting the tub for a soak.
To make your soak an even better experience, try one of these editor-approved bath products.
“I don’t need a bath overflowing with bubbles, or anything to soak my muscles in, I’d just like nicely scented water as I chill around the tub. I use the tiniest amount so I can smell it faintly scented and also so that this stuff won’t ever run out.” —Ali Finney, senior editor
“This body wash is like a pine tree in a bottle and smells out-of-this-world good. Plus the smell lasts long after you get out of your bath.” —Celine Cortes, audience development associate
“When I do bathe, I prefer to do as Cleopatra supposedly did and soak in a bunch of milk. It’s beyond smoothing for your skin and I always come out all the softer for it.” —Rachel Lapidos, associate editor
“It’s kind of a splurge for bath salts, but anyone that has tried these has never been able to look back. It makes taking a bath an especially luxurious experience.” —Tamim Alnuweiri, assistant editor
Dove Pink Beauty Bar, $10
“So it’s not a bath per se, but I love everything about the Dove Beauty Bar, from the little bird stamped on top of it to the way it smells and how soft my skin feels after using it. It’s the perfect bath companion, plus, the pink version reminds me of my grandma.” —Jordan Galloway, senior editor
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