They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and it seems that a good emotional breakdown does actually help us tackle pain.
A new study has found that watching emotional films releases painkillers in the human body and gives you a natural high; so if you needed an excuse to stay in tonight and watch Titanic with a box of Klennex, then look no further.
Professor Robin Dunbar at Oxford University revealed that when we get teary eyed it triggers a rush of feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins.
These endorphins then act as a natural painkiller, increasing participant’s pain threshold straight after watching the film.
Not only did it dull pain, it also gave “emotional arousal” and made them feel more bonded with the people around them.
No doubt the rationale for many a Netflix and chill.
Professor Dunbar said: “Those who had the greatest emotional response also had the greatest increase in pain threshold and the greater their sense of being bonded with their group.”
The experiments, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, were designed to look at the role of fiction in evolution and human biology. Despite fiction being an integral part of building communities over the centuries, there has been little prior research in this area.
“The reasons why fiction can be so engrossing and the functions for this have not been widely studied by psychologists or behavioural biologists,” said Dunbar.