‘All you need is love’ – 5 reminders why love is good for our health

Love is a tricky one that sometimes is the meaning of life and other times is blamed for robbing us of the will to live.

We’re looking at you, musicians.

And not so fast, you writers, what about the word ‘lovesick’? 

How can something so precious and wonderful and beautiful make you sick? 

As Valentine’s Day is round the corner we’d like to share these five strong reminders why love really is good for your health.

Since we're talking about Valentine's Day, our 2018 Rose from the Margaret River is a perfect gift for you or your loved one. Label writes, "Thinking of you... with love." Wouldn't you love to send or receive such a bottle?! 

1. Love 'burnout'

Let's get right to it: when people complain about love, they're really complaining about not feeling love anymore.

Sometimes that's because the object of our love is no longer here, but many times it's also because we are not loving right.

Take the issue of 'love burnout'.

Psychologist Dr Robert Enright, author of The Forgiving Life, talks about how actively loving other people is one of the most under-emphasised aspects of self-care.

Yes, if you want to take better care of yourself, consider loving others a little more.

But what if I'm stretched so thin I've no more love to give? 

This is what Dr Enright calls 'love burnout'.

He says this state is not a direct cause of loving others but could actually be us striving with resentment until a psychological 'tipping point' is reached.

"Love burnout is a confusion of genuine love with serving others in grim and resentful obligation or serving others without realising that one has to balance this with time-out for rest and refreshment," Dr Enright says.

One of the most powerful therapeutic tools in Dr Enright's work is using forgiveness as a tool for healing emotional wounds and/or trauma.

Yes, it's true!

It might seem like forgiveness is something we gift to someone else, but psychologists say forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness heals anger, resolves unhappy emotions, and lets you get all the good juices flowing out of a love that just might have burned out.

Conclusion: love should feel great.

Eros is one of the Greek words for love, referring to the god who wasn't always on his best behaviour.

2. What is this love you speak of?

English is fairly stunted when it comes to speaking about love.

Whether because English comes from the royally reserved British Isles – or whether the British Isles are reserved because of their stunted language – is not our contention today.

But we know about this most clearly from works like the New Testament and the different words used to describe 'love' in Greek.

For example, 'eros' was a word for love that most famously describes erotic love but can also mean the urges to fulfil a personal desire.

Eros was the god of love, lighting the flame of love in the hearts of humanity, but he was disobedient.

We wouldn't win many friends if love was only about fulfilling our own desires, right?

The ancient Greeks would agree.

Instead the word commonly used to describe a more transcendent love was 'agape'.

It's the word the evangelists used to write 'love thy neighbour as thyself' and implies love without desire of receiving anything.

Agape can sometimes be translated as 'to find pleasure in' which is a great reminder for us trying to squeeze some more love into our parched hearts.


Take pleasure in someone else's wellbeing – then you're witnessing the power of unconditional love, agape-style.

The best news is you can practice this kind of wonderful love on anyone and everyone without restraint.

If you're looking for an elegant means to show your Valentine's Day love try our 2018 Rose, perfectly crafted from the Margaret River. Label writes, "Thinking of you... with love." Wouldn't you love to send or receive such a bottle?!

3. Love heals the heart

No, seriously. This is not just some poetic subheading.

A study run by Canadian doctor of psychiatry Nancy Frasure-Smith in 2000 followed hundreds of participants in the years following right after a heart attack.

The researchers found that suffering depression after myocardial infarction (heart attack) significantly increased the risk of suffering another heart attack, especially a fatal one.

Frasure-Smith's psychiatrists then looked at how a strong 'social support' helped participants.

(The social support stuff is a science-y way of saying participants felt the love of friends and family.)

And guess what?

Those in a loving environment found themselves either free of depression or 'buffered' from the heart-related complications of feeling down after a heart attack.

While we might desire this social support for ourselves – naughty Eros! – just imagine that your own loving actions or words could be healing the hearts of those around you.

Isn't that something? 

Researchers in Arizona found that even neighbours showing concern for one another could reduce stress levels and promote wellbeing. 

4. All it takes is a text or a bottle of UMAMU Rose

Dr Kory Floyd is a professor of communication at Arizona State University – he's known for prescribing 'kisses' from the partners' of people attending his speaking events.

It's a fun gimmick.

But Dr Floyd has studied how small acts of love can reduce stress in clinical settings.

Usually this is done be measuring cortisol levels – cortisol is a hormone that boosts blood sugar to escape stressful situations but weakens the immune system if present for too long.

Dr Floyd found that hearing the words 'I love you', reading a text saying 'I'm thinking about you', getting a hug, a kiss, holding hands, snuggling or even just having someone else finish a chore you hate reduced cortisol levels. 

Amazingly the act of writing a letter to express feelings of love for someone brought participants' stress levels down to normal faster than journaling, meditating or doing nothing.

Even more amazingly, participants deemed to be more 'affectionate' than others typically had a calmer stress response than less-affectionate peers.

This meant less cortisol hormone, lower blood pressure and more presence of the hormone 'oxytocin' which calms the body and is stimulated by touch.

Our 2018 Rose bottles has space for you to write your own personal message to a loved one, helping you to spread the love this Valentine's Day.

5. Love makes you feel great too

We've been going on about how loving others can be healthier than wanting others to love you.

But as you've got this far, some science on how love helps your own health too.

Researchers from Penn State University for Computational and Data Sciences looked at how love contributed to significantly greater psychological wellbeing among 212 participants.

For clarity, 'felt love' meant experiences of love and connection in day-to-day life triggered by the actions of others.

Felt love turned out to include everything from intimacy with a partner to just talking with a neighbour who expressed care for a participants' wellbeing.

Psychological wellbeing was then determined by feelings of purpose and optimism in questionnaires sent to participants' phones at random times of the day.

But researchers found far more than proving how acts of love boosted wellbeing.

They discovered that the baseline wellbeing of participants increased just by them taking part in the study.

Cool, right?

"It's something we've seen in the literature on mindfulness, when people are reminded to focus attention on positive things their overall awareness of positive things begins to rise," said lead researcher Zita Oravecz.

Which means that the more you focus on little acts of love to those around you, the more you're going to notice the love given unto you.

Which means just by reading this article you could have a better-than-normal day of showing love and feeling love!

We love that. 

Here's to hoping we've convinced you that, despite all the heartache and grief, it's still worth keeping faith in the joy of love.