Why TV and radio are good for your mental health

We know that lockdown can be lonely and self-isolation doesn’t help either. Have you found yourself bored in lockdown? Contrary to the popular beliefs you may have heard from your parents as you grew up, TV can be good for your mental health when used responsibly as entertainment as opposed to being binge-watched. Here are four reasons why, when used positively, TV and radio are good for your mental health. 

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1. A source of advice and help

Are you going through something you think other people don’t understand? TV and radio can be a great source to gain advice. Many modern programmes that have been released recently use their plots to address a range of serious and topical issues that affect today’s society, such as a prominent character navigating their way to understanding LGBTQ, adoption/fostering or younger characters addressing sexual health query’s like Netflix’s show Sex Education. Although there might be a slight comedic element and added dramatisation, programmes usually include these relevant issues as an opportunity to address what viewers may be facing and gives them suggestions at how they could appropriately handle them.

2. A form of escapism

Today’s world is busy and stressful and can often leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Both TV and radio are great at providing distractions from real life. Engaging in a fictitious show or listening to a story being played can allow your brain to relax and engage in another reality. There are so many different genres out there that you may not have discovered, and some of them even give you the chance to create a different identity. 

3. Virtual social connection

Right now, the majority of you are social distancing or isolated from engaging in your daily endeavours. Nevertheless, watching TV shows are a good substitute for fulfilling the social connection you’d usually be engaging in before lockdown through the student union and fresher’s events. Depending on what you choose to watch, with thousands of options available to you, you could engage in an educational show like Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth or a humorous programme such as the US version of The Office, which has guaranteed laughter in every episode. Or you could find a show with a plot that makes you fall in love with the characters like Chandler in Friends

Likewise, the radio is another great form of media where you can build virtual connections. The majority of stations are free and vary: from entertaining niche communities to broad pop lovers. Take some time out of your day to skim through the variety of channels to find which one appeals to you and discover your community! Listening to music that you enjoy has also been proven to improve your mental wellbeing and boost your self-esteem, why not tune in to our university radio station, ScratchRadio, for some background music to study alongside with or relax to.

4. Brings you hope for the future

For the majority of you, you’ll be engaging in TV and radio to give you hope in the current climate. As gloomy as times appear right now, it always gets better. If you are feeling down a great suggestion to improve your mood is watching live music and ballet performances on international TV channels. 

Watching TV and listening to the radio can also give you a sense of reassurance that once the UK is out of lockdown, you can continue with your normal routines and look forward to the future. 

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