Study Finds Tapping Can Bring Big Relief to College Students with Depression

Written by: Nick Ortner

While it can be an incredibly exciting new adventure, college can also be a tough time for many young adults. They are living on their own for the first time and may struggle to juggle many different responsibilities, keep up with the demands of their classwork, and feel socially connected and supported in a new environment. 

All of that, along with the additional challenges of today’s world and all the uncertainty and unrest within it, can really take a toll on the mental and emotional wellbeing of college students.  A staggering amount of college students experience mental health challenges, including depression. A nationwide survey from the winter of 2021 found that 41% of college students experience either moderate or major depression. That is a really high number – and it seems that these numbers continue to be on the rise with each passing year.[1] Clearly, the mental health of college students is a concern that needs to be addressed.

What many people don’t know is that there is a simple, easy tool that has been found to be very effective in treating depression among college students. It’s called Tapping

Today, I want to tell you about a research study on EFT Tapping in college students with depression that showed some very promising results.[2]

But first, let’s quickly go over what Tapping is so we can better understand how it can support people with depression.

What is Tapping and what does it have to do with depression?

Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is a powerful stress relief technique that combines the principles of modern psychology and ancient Chinese acupressure. It has been proven to reduce stress, lower cortisol, increase productivity, boost mood, and so much more (you can read more about the science behind Tapping here). 

When you Tap, you focus on a negative emotion or experience while you use your fingers to tap on nine specific points on the body. The points correspond to traditional Chinese medicine acupressure points. The Tapping process sends calming signals to the brain to let it know it is safe to relax. This helps us to release intense emotions and let go of our distress.

The Tapping technique is extremely effective for mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. In fact, one of the most well-studied benefits of Tapping is reducing symptoms of depression.

Tapping can support those with depression in letting go of the charge of difficult past experiences, releasing strong emotions like hopelessness and grief, boosting energy and motivation, and increasing confidence and self-worth – to name just a few of the ways it can help.

You can read all about this in my blog, Unlocking the Benefits of Tapping for Depression, if you want to learn more.

Tapping is simple to learn and easy to incorporate into a daily routine. This makes it a perfect tool to turn to for busy, stressed out, and overwhelmed groups of people – just like college students! 

And the science shows that when college students learn EFT Tapping, their depression levels can go down significantly. Curious to learn more? Read on to take a closer look at the research findings.

The study: A Tapping intervention for college students with depression

The study I want to highlight today was published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment back in 2012.[2]

Thirty college students were enrolled in the study. Half were put in the treatment group, and half were put in the control group. The treatment group received four 90-minute group sessions of EFT Tapping treatment over the course of three weeks, while the control group received no treatment.

Before the study began, all of the students were assessed using a tool to measure depression called the Beck Depression Inventory. And then after the three-week study was finished, they all took the same assessment again.

All of the participants – in both the EFT treatment group and the control group – scored as having moderate-to-severe depression prior to the start of the study. But after the EFT Tapping sessions, the treatment group had significantly lower levels of depression than the control group.

The difference was considered clinically and statistically significant. In fact, while the Tapping group’s average scores were in the moderate-to-severe range prior to the start of the study, they dropped down to be in the “nondepressed” range by the end of the study. And that was after only three weeks of Tapping!

The researchers concluded that “These results are consistent with other published reports indicating that brief courses of group EFT are efficacious in treating depression.”[2]

This study is just one of many showing that Tapping works – and works really well – for supporting people with depression to feel better. 

In fact, a 2016 large systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on EFT for depression found an average reduction in symptoms of 41% with the use of Tapping.[3] That’s a pretty impressive finding!

Getting started with Tapping for depression relief

Whether you are a college student yourself, are the parent or loved one of a student, or work in education supporting students, I believe that Tapping will be well worth your while to explore. 

It is SO easy to learn, and SO easy to do. It doesn’t take a lot of time and isn’t complicated, but it does produce really amazing results. Tapping really does work

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s mental and emotional wellbeing transformed thanks to Tapping. Every time, it is such an honor to witness people get back to feeling like themselves and reclaim their power and joy. And there’s something particularly special when I get to see that happen in a kid, teen, or young adult who had been struggling.

To help get you started with Tapping, we’ve got a ton of resources to support you.

You can learn all about Tapping and how to Tap on our Tapping 101 page. And you can also download our app, The Tapping Solution App, where you’ll find a huge library of guided Tapping meditations to walk you through the process step by step.

A great place to begin is our 5-Day Depression Support Series with Dr. Damon Silas.

Some of the other Tapping meditations in the app that you might turn to for support include:

  • Releasing Sadness
  • Releasing Loneliness
  • Cultivating Hope
  • Motivate me to Have a Productive Day
  • Instant Boost of Energy
  • Instant Boost of Joy
  • Micro Boost of Focus
  • Micro Boost of Optimism
  • Turn Your Day Around: Afternoon Reset

Until next time, keep Tapping!
Nick Ortner


  1. Healthy Minds Network (2021). Healthy Minds Study among Colleges and Universities, year 2021 [Data set]. Healthy Minds Network, University of Michigan, University of California Los Angeles, Boston University, and Wayne State University. 
  2. Church D, De Asis MA, Brooks AJ. Brief group intervention using emotional freedom techniques for depression in college students: a randomized controlled trialDepress Res Treat. 2012;2012:257172. doi:10.1155/2012/257172.
  3. Nelms JA, Castel L. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Nonrandomized Trials of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the Treatment of Depression. Explore (NY). 2016;12(6):416-426. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2016.08.001.

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.