Horror Movies Can Actually Help Your Anxiety

horror movies anxiety

Apparently, there are a whole group of people who find that watching horror movies is actually soothing their anxiety. Sound strange? Let an expert explain.

Broadly spoke with Dr. Mathias Clasen of Aarhus University in Denmark and he explained the reason behind the phenomenon. He said,

“I’m not surprised to learn that some anxious individuals find horror films therapeutic. The genre allows us to voluntarily—and under controlled circumstances—get experience with negative emotion.”

He added,

“Exposure to horror films can be gratifying when the negative emotions caused by the film are manageable.”

The article was inspired by the author’s own experiences with horror films and anxiety, in which she found that the movie genre helped soothe her when things got rough.

the shining original
Photo: The Shining / Facebook

And she wasn’t the only one. A writer for Luna Luna experienced the same effects and wrote:

“I want movies that will give me the same feeling of dread that I experience when faced with making basic life choices.”

There are even message boards devoted to the topics with users wondering if anyone else shares their feelings.

Obviously, scary movies have all kinds of effects on people, and there is a ton of stories to the contrary, but it can’t be a coincidence that this genre of films is easing the suffering of so many anxiety-ridden.

So are horror movies going to cure your anxiety? Probably not. But hey, it’s a good distraction.


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Photo: Scream Movies / Facebook

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella and The Feminist Health Source. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.