Mental Health and Regenerative Agriculture: Exploring the potential for mental healing through regenerative agriculture

Hannah Gregory

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

Abstract / Description of output

The care displayed by regenerative farmers towards their land is mirrored in their relationship with their own mental health, representing a holistic One Health approach that integrates human, animal, and environmental health. This research recognises the pivotal role of agriculture in addressing the ecological, social, and mental crises affecting humanity alongside paradigmatic shifts in the way we care for ourselves, each other, and the planet. It explores the interrelationships between regenerative agriculture and farmer mental health via two methods used in a qualitative, constructivist methodology. A scoping literature review explored the existing literature on mental health and regenerative agriculture, generating seven supraordinate themes: adaptation and resilience, biophilia, community, eudaimonic wellbeing, hedonic wellbeing, transformation, and trauma. These were used to create an interview framework and informed the empirical portion of this study, in which semi-structured, in-depth, walking interviews were conducted on regenerative farms in the United Kingdom. Interviews were transcribed using Jeffersonian transcription and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Results were cross-analysed and synthesised with the results of the scoping literature review to generate three overarching metathemes: Health and Healing, Rest and Recovery, Attunement and Resonance. In conclusion, the participants described improved mental health using regenerative agriculture. They attributed this to a return to humanity’s ancient biophilic relationship with nature, embracing the non-dualistic, holistic mindset inherent in the regenerative agricultural paradigm, and cultivating their sense of attunement and resonance with their land. This dissertation recommends further research is conducted internationally, incorporates other languages, and includes the voices of the indigenous populations who pioneered regenerative agriculture methods.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Cousquer, Glen, Supervisor
  • Tomlinson, Alex, Supervisor, External person
Award date31 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Mental Health
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Soil
  • Farmer Mental Health
  • Healing


Dive into the research topics of 'Mental Health and Regenerative Agriculture: Exploring the potential for mental healing through regenerative agriculture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this