Barbeques, it turns out, are good for your mental health - particularly when they take place in green spaces.
Previous posts have covered ways the natural environment helps restock mental energy after it has been depleted by activities such as knowledge work. The music and the food are important parts of any barbeque - and they're the links to barbequing's other mental health benefits.
Those burgers -vegetarian or not - are a comfort food to many. A new study to be published in Psychological Science ("Chicken Soup Really is Good for the Soul: ‘Comfort Food' Fulfills the Need to Belong" by Troisi and Gabriel) found that "comfort foods are associated with relationships and alleviate loneliness [in people with positive associations to relationships]." So, even solo barbequing - or eating any other comfort food for that matter - can be a good idea if you're feeling lonesome - as long as you keep calorie consumption at a healthy level.