Could arguing be good for your health?

Don't hold back on that barney - a recent study says having a good row could be good for you

Angry couple - News - Marie Claire
Angry couple - News - Marie Claire
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Don't hold back on that barney - a recent study says having a good row could be good for you

It may be time to stop avoiding that brewing row, as new research suggests a good argument can actually be good for your health.

Bickering, shouting and general arguing, whether that's with your other half or the kids, can have a positive effect on your body.

Experts say avoiding confrontation and bottling up your aggression can raise your stress levels, which - in turn - may have a negative health impact.

A study by psychologists at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found couples who sidestepped a row suffered from raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

High cortisol levels have been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Those who avoided arguments also complained of feeling sick or had more aches and pains the following day.

In contrast, couples who engaged in a healthy row had lower cortisol levels and levels of the stress hormones fell faster throughout the day too.

'Relationships have important influences on how we feel on a daily basis, especially the problems in our relationships', said lead researcher Dr Kira Birditt.

'How we deal with problems affects our daily wellbeing.'

Previous studies have found married couples who argue are more likely to live a longer life than those who are less expressive.

So stop holding out on that big argument - it may make you feel better in the long run!

What do you think? Do you feel better after a good argument?


The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.