Short Film Saturdays: “61 Hugs: The Rehabilitation of an Overthinker”

Rating: ★★★★★

Hugging 61 strangers you encounter on the street. Hands up if that would terrify you. Yep, same. It’s no secret to any of you that I struggle with anxiety,  which made the premise of CK Goldiing‘s documentary even more fascinating to me. I’m sometimes scared to hug people I know, let alone strangers.

Describing himself as an overthinker, CK ventures out onto the streets of Sheffield to see if he can hug 61 different people before he hits the city centre. For someone who struggles with anxiety and/or overthinking, this is a monumental challenge. You constantly feel like you’re going to be laughed at, or mocked, or that the worst will happen. There’s a million and one thoughts swimming in your head – none of them good. Whilst, at first, you may look down on the premise with thoughts such as ‘What, that’s it?’, I can guarantee you the 23 minutes of footage is worth your time and energy. CK has taken a simple concept and turned it into a life-changing challenge, that in turn challenges your own perceptions of how you see the general public.

I really loved the little interactions between CK and those he encounters along the way. Not only does he ask them for a hug, he also asks for their name and if they have a message, which gives you a brief insight into their lives. You realise that they’re human, just like you, and nothing to be scared of. Maybe they’re going to work, or they’ve just finished at the gym, or they’re tourists. Either way, they’re human. And that’s a lovely thing to celebrate, through a little gesture like a hug. Even those who decline his offer don’t mock him in anyway, and proves that rejection isn’t always as terrifying as you might think.

61 Hugs: The Rehabilitation of an Overthinker is an honest look into one man’s life, and how he steps outside and makes the decision to go up to people and ask them for a hug. It’s clear how nervous and honest CK is, and I loved his approach to filming this. It’s raw, handheld, and very subtly edited. There was no need for fancy effects or an elaborate soundtrack, it was simply an honest, captivating and heartwarming story about one man’s journey to challenge his own brain. And it’s a brilliant watch, which makes me excited to see what else he does in future. It was his debut documentary film, so I hope CK is very proud of what he’s created.

PS: I would’ve definitely said yes to you, CK, I love a good hug!

You can catch the film for free on, so I would absolutely recommend watching it. I have attached a link below, as well as links to CK’s own social channels:

Twitter (personal) | Twitter (film) ] YouTube

One thought on “Short Film Saturdays: “61 Hugs: The Rehabilitation of an Overthinker”

  1. A good mate of mine “Macca” started trying to hug me about 10 years ago. Now at the time I wasn’t keen to allow it, I’m not homophobic or owt, but I’m a pretty straight forward kinda bloke. Macca is and always has been cool, switched on, popular and ‘with it’, in my opinion, I too like CK am an over thinker but CK describes this much more eloquently than I do. So about a month ago Macca told me about CK and 61 Hugs and he sent me the link. The film moved me, it made me reflect back over the 10 years. My pal Macca and I have known one another for 26 years and he has been so supportive and encouraging to me. My stresses now and again have sometimes been down to my mindset and beliefs. Macca has been a true friend and never given up on me. I’m humbled that sometimes he has said, I’m his hero, to me I get emotional about such comments, to be frank, I am so proud of how he leads his life and am truly grateful of him being my friend. So about 10 days ago, I rang Macca and asked him to guess who I had managed to convince to be our guest speaker at our Destination Depot Networking Event in Sheffield, which takes place at the cool and formiddable venue of Depot Bakery on Burton Road S3 8DA. Yes, you guessed it CK GOLDIING of 61Hugs notoriety. My oh my, CK didn’t over think accepting! He paused and said yes, all the Networkers enjoyed listening to his explanation and for Business professionals, CK speaking about Health and Wellbeing hit the bullseye! Trying to be better, to help others more often than not, causes over thinking: no one tries to fail do they? Trying to be good and succeed is bloody hard work, and building a business is hard too, the path is long, but I am so thankful, proud and grateful to CK. I already loved the film, the idea, the amazing 61+ huggers because they demonstrated our City in its best form and the gracious simplicity of Yorkshire and it’s beautiful people. The 2 young lads in the film, on their bikes hit home to me that the youth of today are so capable, aware of and pointing out or encouraging us as adults with their comments, this for me was the best bit of such a transformational learning opportunity, even I have started hugging people, when appropriate of course, we are still British after all! CK thanks for sharing, caring and taking the plunge to step out of your comfort zone, you have definitely transported lots of people to their own ‘magic place!’ Best wishes.


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