blog post- benefits of watching holiday movies

Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Watching Predictable and Heartwarming Movies

  • December 12th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

As the holiday season approaches, many of us find ourselves drawn to the cozy and heartwarming world of predictable holiday movies. Beyond the festive decorations and feel-good stories, these movies have a surprising impact on our mental health.

  1. Stress Relief and Escapism:

Everyone can get caught in the hustle and bustle, especially during the end of year and holiday season. Holiday movies offer a delightful escape from the stresses of everyday life. The picturesque small towns, twinkling lights, and enchanting love stories provide a soothing break from reality, allowing viewers to unwind and relax.

These movies also give you a moment to believe that miracles can happen OR the opposite laughing at the things that are very unlikely to happen.

And the opportunity to get outside of reality in a safe place.

  1. Boosting Mood and Happiness:

The feel-good nature of these movies is designed to uplift spirits and spread holiday cheer. These films are often filled with positive messages, acts of kindness, and heartwarming moments that can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Watching characters overcome challenges and find love fosters a sense of optimism and happiness.

  1. Creating a Sense of Belonging:

The holiday season can sometimes magnify feelings of loneliness or isolation. Holiday movies, with their emphasis on family, community, and connection, create a sense of belonging for viewers. The relatable characters and tight-knit communities depicted in these films can evoke feelings of warmth and inclusion, especially for those who may be spending the holidays alone.

  1. Nostalgia and Tradition:

Holiday movies often celebrate timeless traditions, family values, and the magic of the season. Nostalgia plays a powerful role in mental well-being, providing a comforting link to cherished memories. Watching these films can evoke a sense of nostalgia, tapping into the joy and wonder of holidays past and creating a bridge between the past and the present.

  1. Encouraging Emotional Expression:

The emotional rollercoaster of holiday movies, with their highs and lows, allows viewers to engage with a wide range of emotions. This emotional expression can be cathartic, providing a healthy outlet for feelings and fostering emotional resilience. It’s okay to shed a tear during a touching scene or laugh out loud at a quirky holiday mishap – these emotional releases contribute to overall mental well-being.


In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, taking the time to enjoy a holiday movie isn’t just a festive pastime – it’s a gift to your mental health. From stress relief and mood enhancement to a sense of belonging and emotional expression, the benefits of these heartwarming films extend far beyond their runtime. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up in a blanket, and let the magic brighten your holiday season and lift your spirits.