Are you one of those people who has seen The Fault In Our Stars for the 28th time without any regret? Well, it may sound pathetic to some, but you’re actually doing yourself a favor by watching yet another sad flick which will make you cry a river.
As much as we say ‘crying is for the weak’, it actually turns us into happier and stronger human beings. Yes, you heard it right- Sad movies can make you happier. When it comes to neurobiology, a cry-fest while watching The Notebook actually promotes the feelings of happiness.
But how does this work?
Everything around us helps in regulating our emotions, even movies. There are plenty of factors in a movie that can affect the processing of emotions in your mind. It could be the narration of the movie, the gender of narration, the tone of the movie. It simply differs from person to person and how different people perceive emotions.
Women are more likely to absorb the negative emotions displayed in the movie like despair, grief, heartbreak and loss. Whereas, men focus more on the overall result like how the villain finally gets put into jail.
Although, the response in everyone isn’t the same, but it can be noted that sad movies make us happier. But how? One reason why that can happen is that we picture the tragedies that the fictional characters in the movie are going through and feel grateful about our own lives. This method works like a therapeutic mirror and helps us realize the value of relationships and good things in our lives instead of complaining about the traffic or the stomach flu.
Another thing sad flicks aid us with is the release of oxytocin. It is a chemical which is released in our brain when we feel empathy towards someone else. In this scenario, we will be feeling for fictional characters, but the oxytocin release is sure as hell real. Overall, this release helps us in understanding and connecting better with people close to us.
It is also noted that couples who watch sad movies together are likely to feel closer and more comfortable around each other.
Well, now that we have established that our brain is a tricky organ which can turn the feelings of sadness into happiness, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take it on a test run. Bring out the tissues and the ice cream and switch on Netflix to watch your next soppy film!