Apparently, Watching ‘Friends’ Is Good For Anxiety And Mental Health

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, TV
Published 20.04.19

We here at The Hook watch Friends constantly – as do many people our age.

It’s a timeless, classic sitcom that never really gets old, despite watching it for the 1000th time.


Some people may see that as a bad thing, but according to one expert, it might actually be time well spent, because watching Friends is apparently good for your mental health.

Who’da thought it?!

Metro have spoken to clinical psychologist Mark Hekster who says: “Having worked for over a period of 20 years with those experiencing anxiety, I can conclude that among other factors, it is the repetitive and relational nature of programs such as Friends and Big Bang Theory that will be doing the trick.


“Anxiety is in fact the human minds’ alarm system, indicating that something is wrong, and usually the result of pent-up and unprocessed feelings.

“The build-up is not dissimilar to a pressure-cooker and will always need to find a way out.

“If they can’t find a way of being expressed, the alarm system triggers, and it is usually not very pleasant for the person suffering with the anxiety. Few people who suffer from anxiety will have much good to say about it, and will want to escape it.”

Mr Hekster said the resolution of the characters’ problems in the show can provide people with both comfort and a sense of escapism.


He said: “[Watching Friends] is about an experience of repair, of watching the characters in the show repeatedly having worries, which then get repaired and soothed, usually in the context of other relationships in their lives.

“Complex problems are made the focus of each episode, and then they are resolved within the relationships which are the essence of the shows. It is pure escapism – excellent, bring it on.”

He also added that the show’s predictability is what makes it so soothing:

He explained: “Yes, it is soothing to see the same outcome every time and know you can depend on it. This is at the heart of human development. So, when grown-ups are anxious, they can have child-like feelings of fear and worry, and these can be soothed by repetition.”


There you go – science has confirmed it. Doing nothing with your life but watch Friends is a good thing.

Go on, treat yourself, stick another episode on.