Chocolate, Stress, and a Cozy Mystery

Let’s face it, life is hard. Stress is one of those “certain” things we just can’t avoid. From the moment the alarm goes off in the morning until we crawl back into bed, stress happens. Count on it.

We’ve heard it before:

“What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”

“Don’t stress over things you can’t change.”

“Whenever you’re stressed, eat chocolate.”

Okay, I really like that last one, but you just can’t eat chocolate all day. Well, I guess you could, but it’s not the best way to handle stress. You would only belabor all the weight you gain.

Life wakes up with those everyday things that stress us, but, we all face times of monumental stress. Situations apart from the ordinary.

Be it everyday stress or one of those overwhelming places in life, we need a way to de-stress. A way to step out of the path of the everyday – and the agonizing. But how do we do that?

We could drink tea. It’s true that tea does reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Studies show that drinking black tea helps us to de-stress more quickly.

Now, back to the chocolate. Studies also show that dark chocolate can improve your mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. Of course, science is going to tell us to consume only dark chocolate. Me, well, I personally want chocolate in it’s “milk” form. You know, as in Dove Milk Chocolate, or maybe Godiva Milk Chocolate Truffles.


Like you, I have been through traumatic and agonizing places in life. While tea and chocolate are helpful additions to a “de-stressing” routine, my best advice is a good book.

As you may have guessed by now, my recommendation is going to be a fun, quirky cozy mystery. I love reading cozies. Let me give you a few reasons why cozy mysteries are the perfect de-stresser:

  • A Short Escape From Reality

A get-away from stress and trouble is always welcome. Opening the pages of a good book is an excellent way to close the door on our anxiety, even if only for a short time. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A good book, yes of course. But why a cozy mystery specifically?” Well, let’s take a look at that!

  • Location, Location, Location

The setting of a modern cozy mystery isn’t always a small town or village. It can be a beauty salon, a bakery, a newspaper office, a day spa, a church fellowship group, or even a retirement home. The setting gives the book’s characters a place to hang out, gossip, discuss clues and suspects, have coffee or eat dinner together. It’s the same with the reader. This setting gives a reader the comfy, cozy feeling of familiarity and friendship. A closeness to “people” that are separate from what is going on in their life.

  • The “No-Drama” Drama

A cozy mystery does have some drama. There is a murder, and our amateur sleuth will face challenge after challenge on their journey to unmask the killer. The murder in a cozy will not be gory, nor will it be overwhelmingly dark or heavy emotionally. As I have explained in a previous post, the murder will take place “off page”. Cozies will have a fun plot and story the reader will enjoy getting lost in.

  • The Thrill of Victory

Have you ever worked a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle? One with a lot of sky or mountains that makes it difficult to work because the pieces look alike with similar colors? When you read a cozy, it’s like you’re working a puzzle. You follow the clues and try to determine which ones are the corner and side pieces that outline the crime, and which pieces are red herrings that fit into the little overturned bucket on the porch of the cabin in the puzzle mountain scene. Grrr…you thought those pieces were part of the mountain. Those red herrings will get you sometimes!! But isn’t it a great feeling when you put the last piece in the puzzle? You raise you arms in victory with a shout of, “Yeah!” That’s the feeling you get reading a cozy and you decide who the killer is, get to the final “reveal” and you are RIGHT!! Wow, now that’s an escape from reality!

Cozies are incredible stress relievers. For me, I know and believe that my ultimate peace and rest comes completely from God.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5: 7
“For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.” Psalm 61: 3

How wonderful that He has also given us the creativity to write books and stories that open a world of fun, relief, and rest.

I think I’ll brew a cup of tea, open a box of truffles, grab a good cozy mystery and de-stress!!


Join the conversation!! What do you do to de-stress? What books do you go to for an escape?






Author: Janet Campbell

Follower of Christ, mother, wife, and writer of mysteries. Wrapped around the paw of a 5 lb Pomeranian named Little Ali Sunshine.

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