Cooking & Baking: The Feel-Good Hobby


Faith DeSio

Cooking and baking has been proven to be therapeutic and a hobby enjoyed by many across the world!

Faith DeSio, Photojournalist

With the fall season upon us and winter just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to get cozy and bake a batch of fresh cookies or help prepare Thanksgiving dinner! Cooking and baking can be a stress reliever or calming hobby to many. The ability to be creative and prepare delicious dishes is a revered trait in many cultures—and high schools! The experience of creating a dish with your own hands is extremely satisfying. 


Sharing the food you prepared is usually the best part of the process. Getting others to experience joy through something that you made for them is very rewarding. Chefs often receive compliments and words of encouragement after serving their dish. This can boost self esteem and motivation! “Not only does the process of cooking and baking improve moods, the feeling of satisfaction gained when seeing the end product, naturally enhances happiness. You’ve created something tangible that can be enjoyed and shared, giving yourself a well-deserved sense of achievement. Psychological therapist Annie Gurton says the outcome of cooking goes further than a sense of accomplishment—it can satisfy the emotional need for purpose and meaning in our lives” (MINDFOOD).


Baking can be calming and relaxing, as all types of cooking are often seen as therapeutic and stress relieving. The culinary arts teacher here at Yorba Linda High School, Mrs. Messick (Staff), says “I find cooking to be very therapeutic. Turning on music while making a dish and getting to take in all the delicious smells is very relaxing to me.”

I find cooking to be very therapeutic. Turning on music while making a dish and getting to take in all the delicious smells is very relaxing to me.

— Mrs. Messick (Staff)


Cooking is a special tradition where people spend treasured time with loved ones. Baking Christmas cookies with Grandma, or helping prepare Thanksgiving dinner with cousins, are cherished parts of the holiday. Cooking can also be very beneficial to younger kids, promoting creativity and self-expression. In addition, it teaches or reinforces math concepts, and increases attention spans and focus. “The kitchen offers endless opportunities to express your creativity and find your flow. Ever noticed how two people can follow the same recipe and end up with different results? Part of why this happens can be attributed to the invisible element that is part of every recipe: creativity. If you suffer from anxiety or low moods, cooking could help increase your happiness. Spending time in the kitchen can ease stress and restlessness, and enhance mindfulness, the study concluded” (MINDFOOD).