There are so many holiday movies on TV right now, you’d need to quit your job just to watch them all… From Hallmark, to Lifetime, to Netflix.
Well, go ahead and get your holiday movie fix, because they’re actually good for our mental health! Behavioral scientist Dr. Pamela Rutledge is director of the Media Psychology Research Center… and she says, our brain likes to know what’s coming. And because holiday movies all seem to follow a similar plot structure, their patterns and predictability light up the reward center of the brain. And the movies are especially effective when it comes to managing stress – which the holiday season has plenty of! Dr. Rutledge says the movies are pure escapism – because they’re an idealized version of Christmas, love and family – and everything gets wrapped up with a neat little bow at the end. And that soothes us. Plus, most holiday movies allow viewers to experience positive emotions associated with social connection, compassion, and empathy. And that makes viewers feel more optimistic and resilient.