Watching Nostalgic TV Shows Could Have Health Benefits


Do you enjoy watching reruns of your favorite old sitcoms? Turns out a lot of other people do too, and there could be health benefits to indulging in your favorite nostalgic tv shows. Many studies show that when people feel stressed out or anxious, something nostalgic can be comforting and help them relax.

A psychotherapist named Will Meyerhofer said that watching your favorite old show can actually help anxiety and mild depression. According to TODAY, Will said, “For my clients, these old shows are like the food they grew up with. ‘The Brady Bunch’ or ‘The Facts of Life‘ or ‘The Jeffersons‘ is like that beloved baloney sandwich on Wonder Bread with just enough mayo the way mom used to make.”


Find out all of the benefits of nostalgic tv shows

family watching television together
Watching TV / Flickr

Another person shared, “Something about a laugh track brings me back to when I was a kid and I watched TV in the ‘70s and the ‘80s. There’s something familiar and soothing about it. It allows me to turn my brain off and drift off to sleep.”

What is it about nostalgic tv that can make you feel so comforted and safe? Will continued, “In therapy terms, it’s an instant — and for the most part healthy — regression in the service of the ego.”


the golden girls
‘The Golden Girls’ / NBC

A psychologist and professor who researches nostalgia named Krystine Batch said, “When people are stressed, or anxious, or feeling out of control, nostalgia helps calm them down. It’s comforting. It’s analogous to a hug from your mom or dad or being cuddled.”

getting a hug from mom
Hug / Flickr

Old shows can also remind you of happy childhood memories that you may have forgotten. It reminds us of a simpler time when we had fewer responsibilities and anxiety. It helps us to see how far we’ve come too. Another reason? It connects us.

the jeffersons
‘The Jeffersons’ / CBS

Have you ever decided to watch an old show with a friend? The nostalgia aspect can help connect you. Even if you watch the show alone, it can remind you of good times with your friends and make you feel happier. Some people even bond with their children or grandchildren by introducing them a show from their past.

What old shows do you like to re-watching over and over? Some favorites here at DYR are The Golden Girls, The Jeffersons, All in the Family, The Brady Bunch… and so many more! We love old shows.

Learn more about what research says about nostalgia and how it can be good for your health!

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