Rom-coms don’t just make you feel good..they’re good for you… It’s science!

By: Sharon Fitness for GOOD.

Valentine’s Day certainly draws attention to all those sappy sentimental romance movies. Do you have a secret addiction (or not-so-secret – no judgement here!) to feel-good romantic comedies? Turns out there’s good reason. They’re actually good for your health. Really, truly! And there’s science to back it up.

The would-be couple meet for the first time and there’s those interested stares or sideways glances…your neurones are firing as you interpret the scene. Is it love at first sight?

Those first awkward conversations and spirited monologues aren’t just humorous, they’re good for your heart health. Belly-laughing can lower your blood pressure as much as exercise AND actually burn calories. 40 calories every 10 minutes.

As you grow to like the characters and fall in love with them a little, your brain’s empathy centre is now activated and hormones including dopamine and oxytocin are now pumping through your system, heightening that feel-good response. You might even feel some butterflies in your stomach and your heart-rate will increase. And you really do feel it. Studies suggest that when the handsome hero strokes the heroine’s arm, the area of your brain that interprets touch can light up.

But, uh-oh, it’s that boy-loses-girl part of the movie. Rom-com writers will use conflict (maybe there’s even a break-up!) to really grab your attention. Now you’re totally identifying with these characters as your memory is stimulated to reflect on your own romantic woes.

Happy endings are a total necessity in a good rom-com and, as all (your) problems are solved, you jump up from the couch in a much better mood, thanks to a laughter-induced endorphin rush. A feel-good ending also melts away any stress hormones. In fact, studies have shown watching a romantic comedy before bed can help prevent insomnia!

By helping you to reflect on your own personal issues, watching movie characters work through their problems and finding resolutions can actually help prompt a cathartic release of your own feelings, unlocking reactions that may have been buried deep down inside.

One study even found that couples who watched and talked about romantic comedies together were more likely to stay together!

So there you have it! No need to feel defensive or embarrassed about your rom-com addiction, turns out it’s good for you. Now you’ve got all the excuses you need to binge movies on GOOD. all weekend. You need the exercise.

Check out these great titles, NOW STREAMING on GOOD.

Feature Image: Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Sources:  Womens HeaIth Maqazine. Stefanie Caciopo PhD The University of Chicago Pritker School of Medicine; Michael MiIIer MD University of MaryIand SchooI of Medicine; Brigit WoIz PhD Therapist.