We all love a lazy night on the couch with our favourite snack and a good movie or a night out at the cinema, but did you know those thrillers, rom-coms and docos are actually working wonders for your health? If ever you needed a reason to kick back and relax with George Clooney or Helen Mirren, we’ve got six very convincing ones right here.
- They’re good for your heart – Laughing (and we mean a full-on belly laugh) at a funny film for 15 minutes is just as good for your heart as exercise, according to cardiologist Dr Michael Miller of the University of Maryland.
- They can help you cope with stress – Romantic movies and comedies can help give you the tools to cope with the issues you experience in real life. In fact, comedies have been proven to decrease stress hormone levels and blood pressure.
- They make children more creative – a study found that children who watched fantasy films (in this case, Harry Potter) scored significantly higher in tests of creativity.
- They can boost your immune system – Researchers found that watching horror films increases white blood cells, which are essential in injury recovery and fighting disease. On the flip side, people with heart conditions are recommended to avoid scary movies.
- They can be therapeutic – A number of therapists are turning to Hollywood to help their patients overcome trauma, loss, addiction and deal with mental illness. “It can have a positive effect on most people except those suffering from psychotic disorders,” Dr Gary Solomon of the Community College of Southern Nevada told WebMD.
- They improve emotional intelligence – Watching drama movies (and television) can improve emotional intelligence, according to a 2015 study, indicating that narratives “may facilitate the understanding of others’ minds.”
Tell us in the comments below, what’s the most stressful movie you’ve ever seen?