Why’re Comfort Foods So… Comforting?

Picture it: you’ve just broken up. Eyes red from crying, you listen to “One is the Loneliest Number” on endless repeat; no matter what the season, every time you step outside it rains. In a daze, you stumble through your kitchen, and inexorably you are drawn to the freezer; to the third drawer down; to the ice cream. Of course the slightly freezer-burnt Mint Chocolate Chip tastes good, it always does, but with every creamy bite, you find yourself thinking—for the moment, at least—that everything is going to be okay. This all too familiar scenario is tied into a grand human tradition: comfort food. The fact that we seem to gravitate towards certain foods in times of grief is nothing …