Emotionally Difficult Movies Help People Navigate Life, According to OSU Study

Watching meaningful, moving or emotionally stirring films can help people feel more prepared to deal with the challenges in life or even want to be a better person, this according to a new study from OSU.

The results of the study suggest one reason why we choose to see movies that run the gamut of emotions (happy to sad) and that explore difficult subjects that aren’t necessarily uplifting.

The findings point to one reason why people may choose to see movies that make them sad as well as happy and that may explore difficult subjects that aren’t always uplifting.

Researchers discovered that people associated positive reactions like being better able to accept the human condition or deal with life’s problems when watching a film like The Shawshank Redemption but reported these experiences less with films like Catch Me if You Can.

Meaningful movies, according to the study authors, help people cope with difficulties in their own lives and help them want to seek more significant goals.