Experts reveal swearing is good for your mental health

More than a quarter (28%) of Londoners say that swearing has helped them stay motivated throughout the pandemic.

New research has revealed that bad language is actually good for our mental health. That’s according to women’s wellness app Clementine, which used a combination of internal and omnibus data, alongside insight from language expert Dr. Emma Byrne, to understand the positive impact of profanity.

More than a quarter (28%) of Londoners say that swearing has helped them stay motivated whilst navigating the second lockdown of 2020, and two fifths of UK adults (41%) admit they have sworn at themself to boost enthusiasm. Cursing is also used as a coping mechanism by many. Over a third (36%) swear to reduce stress and others (27%) say it helps them feel better when they are having a bad day.

Talking about the findings, language expert and author of ‘Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language’ Dr. Emma Byrne explains:

Swearing engages both sides of your brain, the language centre in the left brain and the emotional centre in the right brain, and the positive impact of this is far-reaching. Dependent on the situation, profanity can serve as a painkiller, mood-booster or even social bonding tool. Research also shows that women are just as partial to a bit of swearing as men – meaning all of us can benefit. I’m not surprised that more people are turning to bad language in 2020. Swear words pack an emotional punch that other parts of language just can’t match.

Internal data from Clementine corroborates the positive effect of swearing. Since the start of the pandemic, 70% (up from 30% in March) of female users have opted to turn its swearing function ‘on’ in-app. This means they choose to receive daily motivational mantras that include profanity and feel more motivated as a result.

In an attempt to share some profanity induced positivity, and help the eight in ten (80%) of us who are currently lacking inspiration, Clementine has created a series of swearing billboards featuring the top performing mantras.

Displayed on sites across the UK, including Commercial road in London the billboards feature the various sayings and tally with the nation’s favourite naughty words, with ‘f**k’ (69%) ,’ s**t ‘(62%) and ‘boll**cks’ (32%) revealed as the top three. Regional preferences are also at play, with A**e particularly popular in Scotland (28%) and T**t (38%) topping the swearing charts in the East Midlands.

Interestingly, half (50%) of us stop short of using the c-bomb. And of those that use it, the majority are men (20% vs. 11%).