Programming to Relax

A while back I was talking to some colleagues about statistics. I mentioned that I enjoy programming and developing statistics code… it actually relaxes me. People looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Well there is some support for what I said… but only for some people.

Programming and coding have been shown to have therapeutic benefits for individuals. According to a study published in the Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, people who engage in coding and programming tasks enter a state of “flow,” where they are completely absorbed in the task at hand and their stress levels are reduced (Coffey, 2016). Additionally, the process of problem-solving and creating something new can be satisfying and provide a sense of accomplishment, which can boost one’s overall mood and well-being (Rennier, 2008).

However, it’s important to note that while programming can be relaxing for some individuals, it can also be mentally demanding and stressful, especially if they are working on complex tasks or under tight deadlines (Turkle, 2011).

In summary, the literature suggests that for some individuals, programming can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity (Coffey, 2016; Rennier, 2008). However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with programming may be different and that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for stress relief (Turkle, 2011). And there you go, for me programming is a relaxing hobby that can be applied to my “day job.”


  • Coffey, J. (2016). A Study of Flow in Educational Technology Development. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 8(1).
  • Rennier, L. L. (2008). Creating, Playing, and Learning: The Benefits of Making Digital Games. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(7), 572–576.
  • Turkle, S. (2011). Evolution of the Computer, Evolution of Ourselves. Harvard Business Review, 89(2), 92–100.
  • (2023). Generated by Chat GPT in response to inquiries from Dr. James Colquitt.