Why Do I Have a Strong Desire to Bake When I'm Stressed Out?

Updated on October 06, 2012
♥.O. asks from Parcel Return Service, DC
20 answers

It's the weirdest thing. I'm really not much of a baker to begin with but everytime I'm going through a stressful situation I get a really strong desire to bake. I try and ignore it at first because I really don't have time to bake but it just doesn't go away. Baking actually makes me feel better. Weird. And it's not about eating the finished good, although I do enjoy that,it's really just about the actual process of baking.

Is this a control thing - because with baking you can control the outcome (well, usually anyway)?
Or maybe it's forcing me to concentrate on the recipe and thus it gets my mind off of whatever is botherimg me?
Do I have a secret love of baking I just haven't had time to really discover?

I just don't get it! None of the women in my family are this way!

Anyone else feel the need to bake when stressed out?

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So What Happened?

I'm glad I'm not alone :)

Momma L: I haven't made any brownies but if your looking for a recipe, google Knock You Naked Brownies by Pioneer Woman they look amazing. That will be the next brownie recipe that I try.

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answers from Boston on

Reminds me of Izzie from Grey's Anatomy. She baked when stressed. I mean the whole kitchen would be filled with muffins or chocolate chip cookies, etc. It was quite funny.

Anyways, I do this too. It's therapeutic. Especially when I am anxious, etc. It helps to put focus on something else. I think I started this after I quit smoking. It helped to have something to do, and use my hands .

My son and husband benefit greatly. Plus, I end up with leftovers!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Oh honey, I'm right there with you. Well, it's not baking for me, it's cooking. Whenever I get stressed out, all I want to do is chop vegetables, saute things, make sauces, etc. And if I do... my stress melts away.

I don't know what it is. Maybe a control thing. Or feeling like you can create something wonderful?

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answers from New York on

Not baking for me, but cleaning is my catharsis. Curtains get vacuumed, grout gets scrubbed, the medicine cabinet gets emptied out, socks are re-sorted and alphabetized.

Hubs knows to keep his distance. He asks if he's responsible. Asks if he can help, and asks if I'd like to vent about it or talk about it.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

just get baked instead!! HAHAHAH sorry I couldn't resist and I don't even smoke

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Ditto here....I find it relaxing in a weird way...even though I'm standing on my tired feet and measuring....I'm being productive and I've turned my stress into something sweet.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

And your house smells better, too!

I remember the character in one of Jan Karon's books who, when her husband died, baked cakes for absolutely everyone.

Getting busy can be a very effective way of working through stressful feelings. Sometimes there's a problem you simply cannot solve right away, but until the solution comes, you can occupy both your mind and your body, and that really helps. It won't solve the problem in itself, but it can keep you together until you can solve it.

Some people clean. Some walk. Some weed the garden or cut the grass. Some write. Some play music (themselves - I don't mean recordings).

You could be doing so many worse things to deal with your stress. You're not getting drunk, you're not shooting drugs, you're not driving at 90 miles per hour, you're not yelling at the dog or the kids. You're doing something for yourself, your family, maybe even your neighbors. The worst thing about it is that perhaps you are helping other people get fat. But I bet they aren't complaining.

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answers from Boca Raton on

Oh my gosh . . . if only I could soothe myself by baking or doing laundry.

I am jealous!

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answers from Houston on

I don't know why. I do this too.. I also enjoy sweeping when stressed. I think it is because it is methodical, it makes us take our mind off of the stressful thing at hand so we can focus on something else with a controlled outcome, and it has a good reward in a short period of time that you can reap the benefits in.

That said, what are you baking? I need me some brownies.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don't feel the need to bake, but I do get an intense urge to clean something. Sometimes I think my husband likes to pick fights with me so he can activate my super cleaning powers. :)

And yes, I do agree it is a control thing.

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answers from Dallas on

Baking makes me feel like a good Mom/wife/whatever. Creating something others will enjoy. Maybe the baking is a way to feel connected to home and love. Food is Love, right?

Whatever the reason is doesn't matter. It's awesome that you have found a way to calm yourself.

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answers from Detroit on

I think its cute.
Not that you are stressed of course, but Im sure it just keeps your mind busy and you enjoy that.
I love baking!
But when Im stressed, I just want to sleep! At least you're productive!

Oooh Lisa, I forgot about shopping. Thats a good one too, but again, not very productive and it pisses the man off! Boo.

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answers from Cumberland on

It's about smell-and how the wonderful aroma that has imprinted on your memory transports you back to a happier time. Yes-I've been known to throw a batch or two of brownies in the oven. For my mom-it's a ham-that is her gig.

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answers from Washington DC on

Yes! I love to bake when I'm stressed out too! I'm like you too I dont know about a strong desire its more like just automatic to me, it makes me feel better, I'm more relaxed when I am finished and I can't explain it either! i'm not sure if anyone else in my family is like this either, never really asked anyone and have not noticed that anyone does it in my family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

My husband would be so much happier with my stressed out days if I dealt with stress through baking! I have to shop, retail therapy!! Yikes!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

DId you bake or enjoy baked goods as a kid? This could be a subconcious effort to take you back to the simplicity and comfort of childhood.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I dont know but I wish I lived next door!!
seriously I think we all have our individual coping mechanism, yours sounds harmless

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answers from New York on

It keeps you busy and moving, which is what we need when stressed. Cleaning is my catharsis, just like FangedBunny. OR.....I get out and do the laundry. Laundry soothes me.

We will always go to something we subcontiously or contiously makes us feel good, safe, or nostalgic. I run to do laundry because it takes me back to a time when I was little and my mom and I would do laundry. I got to help and be a big girl, I got to play with other kids if there were more moms there, I got to spend time with my mom. For me it is a nostalgic feeling that I subcontiously/contiously need when I'm stressed, to feel close to my mom perhaps, think things through and just wonder what she would do. Weird stuff we do right.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Omg I thought you were talking about smoking pot when I first read your question! Lol well glad your talking about actually baking.. as in cookies or pies. I love to bake, it's kind of fulfilling. I think you get the desire because it will take your mind off whatever it is you're stressed about like you said.

I say go for it and maybe you will discover a secret love of baking. I don't feel the need to bake when i'm stressed, I usually get the urge in my downtime or sometimes after dinner when I feel like having a sweet treat.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think it is a physical thing. You physically are doing something and working on something. That releases stress=-so it makes sense. I bake also when I am stressed and I ALWAYS feel better.

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answers from Richmond on

when i am stressed, thats when i bake and bake and well, you get the ideal .... and the urge to bake is usually accompanied by a sick, sniffling, clingy toddler..who wants to help. every try to bake while holding a half sick toddler..one handed?? so, anyway, can be done and a great destressor! the smell of baking can trigger an endorphin release
K. h.

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