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The man who hasn’t taken a bath for 67 years

There’s nothing like discovering that something sweet or delightful, like drinking whiskey or horseback riding, is truly good for you. There’s no better moment than now, because we live in the age of bathfluence. Long soaks in the tub have never been more popular—or well-documented, for that matter—and with good cause.

So prepare yourself for the best news you’ll hear all day: taking a lengthy, hot bath can actually be beneficial to your health. The Japanese custom of bathing, or onsen, for example, as well as Roman bath-houses and even Baptisms, may have given you some insight into bath-subversive time’s potential. So, what’s the big deal about soaking in the tub? Here are eight reasons to take a bath tonight.

Obviously, settling into warm water is pleasurable, but that enjoyment also has a long-lasting effect. Bathing can help people feel less depressed and pessimistic, according to psychologist Neil Morris, who surveyed 80 people. “Baths give you…a wonderful combination of isolation, quiet, and comfort,” he says. The feelings of closeness we get from being submerged in warm liquid “gives us connotations of being in the womb, and it is very comforting,” says Dr. John Harcup, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee for the British Spa Foundation. Bathing, in general, gives you a sense of security, which allows your mind, and thus your body, to relax.

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