Films and Friends: How entertainment supports my wellbeing

When it comes to anyone’s mental health, it is important that as an individual, they use whatever they can that helps them in a way nothing else can. 

For some, including myself, this is in terms of entertainment. Whether that’s film, theatre, books, TV, gaming or even theatre, there are so many elements of entertainment that can help someone to cope with anything they are going through.

It has been proved that forms of entertainment such as movies encourage emotional release meaning people who potentially have trouble expressing their emotions will end up finding themselves laughing or even crying during a film. It is this sudden release of emotions that later on allows it to become easier for them to express their emotions in a way they might not have before.

As a person who has watched a lot of films in my 19 years of life, and still does to this day, I can say that I am content with expressing my feelings. It is watching films, ones from the romantic genre in particular that allows me to escape into my own world and just allow me time for myself without any stress, or anything that is conflicting my feelings which would therefore make become even more stressed. 

Personal favourites of mine include Dirty Dancing and Beauty and the Beast. These two films potentially are not like one another but for some reason, when watching them I am happy because I am watching something I enjoy. In a way, it is watching these movies that helps me to relieve stress because again I am only focused on them.

Illustration by Aamina Mahmood

A time when watching movies helped me to relieve stress from my daily life was during my GCSE’s. Exam times for many people are very stressful, so it was during this time that watching films (not all the time, as I did also revise!) whenever there was a time I perhaps was getting flustered from all the revision, I would take a break, watch a film and it would later help me regain my focus so I didn’t later burn out and therefore let my revision go to waste. 

Last year, during my A-Level exams, my dad unfortunately went into hospital which proved very stressful for all my family. Watching films during this time was my form of escapism and therefore meant I could cope with what was going on in my life at the time.

Not only has watching films helped me out in the past but watching a TV series has allowed me to be immersed in something on going and again escape from the stresses of my life. Specifically watching the evergreen 90s hit Friends – even though there are 10 seasons, I have still somehow managed to watch the entire series through five times (don’t judge me). 

From the beginning of every episode, the upbeat theme music brings me joy, and it has been proved in a study that when watching Friends, people who suffer from anxious thoughts start to calm down. At times, I have experienced some sort of anxiety as I am an overthinker and worry about the smallest of things, but when watching Friends this seems to go away which makes this study right.

If anyone is ever experiencing stress in their life and it is affecting your wellbeing, then you should find what helps you relieve this stress easiest and calm yourself down. Whether that is any form of entertainment, maybe watching films or TV series just like I have, anything that makes you happy as coping with your wellbeing, especially at university is most important for you to enjoy the best three years of your life.

By Katie Green

Feature image credit: Stylist

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