Can writing help with grief?


Writing can indeed help with grief, though its effectiveness varies among individuals. discusses a study where participants were divided into groups that either engaged in emotionally intense writing about their attachments or performed a neutral writing task. Initially, no differences were observed between these groups concerning their psychological state. However, further investigation revealed that individuals with higher vagal tone, which relates to the body's ability to regulate its physiological state, gained more from the emotionally intense writing exercises. These individuals were better at accessing somatic feelings of attachment while writing, which proved beneficial for processing their grief 1.

This suggests that writing about one's attachment and memories, and thereby connecting with the emotions associated with the lost relationship, can activate meaningful physiological responses that help in coping with grief, especially for those capable of deeply connecting with their internal emotional states.

Writing for Grief

Andrew discusses a study that explores the benefits of writing for grief. While the initial results showed no difference between emotionally intense writing and non-emotionally intense writing, further analysis revealed that individuals with higher vagal tone were able to access more real somatic feelings of attachment and benefited more from the exercise. Writing about the attachment and experiencing the bodily and mind states associated with it can be powerful for moving through grief.

Huberman Lab

The Science & Process of Healing from Grief | Huberman Lab Podcast #74