February 20, 2024/Daily Health Stories

Why Many of Us Have ‘Comfort Shows’

A psychologist explains why many people have comfort shows they tend to watch over and over again.


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CLEVELAND – Do you have a favorite TV show you tend to watch over and over again?

You could probably name all the characters and quote some of their lines.

“Often with comfort shows, they’re people that we can resonate with. They’re stories we resonate with, or they’re stories we wish we could resonate with,” explained Chivonna Childs, PhD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “They give us a break from the normal things that are going on in life right now.”

Dr. Childs said there are all kinds of reasons people enjoy comfort shows.

For example, someone with anxiety may like rewatching the same show because they already know what’s going to happen in the end.

Perhaps there’s a show that makes a person feel nostalgic or happy.

And while there is nothing wrong with having a comfort show, Dr. Childs said it is important to make sure it’s used as a positive distraction.

“If you find that the comfort show is not providing comfort, if it’s bringing you down, or if it’s you’re more living in the comfort show than you are in reality, then it might be time to reach out to a trusted friend or reach out to a therapist to talk about what’s really bothering you,” she advised.

Comfort shows aren’t always comedies either.

They come in all different genres, even true crime documentaries.

Dr. Childs said to be mindful of how often you watch those since they could wind up making you feel paranoid or hypervigilant.

If that happens, be sure to take a break.

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