Is Cooking Good for Emotional Health? What the Science Says

In 2006, Michael Kocet, PhD, now a professor and chair of the counselor education department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, started taking recreational cooking classes.

“When I would tell people about the classes, they would say, ‘Oh, cooking is so therapeutic for me,’” he says.

That got him thinking about various therapeutic techniques used in mental health care, from art therapy to music therapy to drama therapy to play therapy. Dr. Kocet says, he thought: “Why hasn’t anyone done anything with cooking?”

So in 2014, he developed and began teaching a graduate course on culinary therapy to counseling, social work, and psychology students at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.