Why Horror Movies Help Fight My Depression

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Why Horror Movies Help Fight My Depression

I know it’s definitely not the case for everybody, but horror movies help ease my depression.

And fun fact: I didn’t always use to like scary movies. Like…at all.

I was the biggest scaredy-cat you’d ever meet.

All you pretty much had to do was say “boo”, and I’d be screaming.

Only in the past few years did my perspective on horror movies change.

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Depression and Movies

I’ve struggled on and off with depression since 2007, but from 2014-2018, I lived with chronic, everyday depression.

I got tired of facing the demons in my head.

So, I turned to external factors and faced those demons instead.

Unlike depression, you get to decide when you want to submerge yourself in a scary movie.

And unlike depression, you can turn off the movie if the horror gets too much.

Because of this, I crave horror movies over pretty much any other movie genre at this point.

Must-Have Depression Checklist: 10 Essentials to Manage Your Depression

Why Scary Movies Help My Depression


A lot of us with depression say that our symptoms get really bad at night.

And, guess what?

The best time to watch a horror movie is at night.

Movies take us away from our negative thoughts and distract us from whatever is fogging up our brain.

When your symptoms are peaking, put on a horror movie and see what happens.

Beginner Horror Movies

If you’re just starting off with horror, I recommend watching movies with a lot of backstory and character development in them.

If there’s humor, that’s definitely a plus!

Also, it’s safe to say that thrillers also border the lines of horror, and I think they are great for beginners!

Favorite Beginner Scary Movies

🖤 Poltergeist (1982)

🖤 The Haunting (1999)

🖤 Happy Death Day (2017) / Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

🖤 Red Riding Hood (2011)

🖤 Fear (1996)

You can find more recommendations for movies in my 31 Spooky Movies You Should be Watching This Halloween


Let’s be real, you gotta have an imagination to watch horror movies.

And most of the time, you gotta use your noggin to try and figure out what the heck is even going on.

Out of pretty much all the movie genres, horror movies take us out of our heads and places us into the minds of the characters. 

What would you do if you were in so and so’s position? No! Don’t do that!

I especially love movies that make your brain go back and forth between all the details and possible outcomes of the story. 

Best Psychological Horror and Thillers

🖤 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

🖤 The Ring (2002)

🖤 When a Stranger Calls (2006)

🖤 Disturbia (2007)

🖤 Get Out (2017)

Finding out that there is a big twist is often what makes watching these types of movies so enjoyable.


People with depression often feel numb on the inside.

It’s like our emotions are turned off, even when we’re crying or yelling out of frustration.

Depression is very evil that way, and its number one goal is to watch us deteriorate slowly.

Well…I say fight depression head-on by putting on a horror movie.

Fear stimulates us. It gets our blood pumping.

And since the movie is happening on screen, it doesn’t kill us. 

Take that, depression!


The easiest way to tick someone with a mental illness off is to say, “Oh, but other people have it worse.”

Like, no girl.

I absolutely hate that.

How dare you try to invalidate what I go through on a daily basis.

Still, horror movies sometimes really do put things into perspective.

Let’s think about that for a moment…

There is a lot of criticism about horror movies saying that they’re unrealistic.

Well, duh.

That’s kind of why I watch them, because I want things to take me as far away from reality as I can go.

If I’m not a victim of a deadly parasite in Splinter, or being haunted like in The Conjuring universe, then I can be grateful, right?!


Watching Horror Movies for Depression

The people at Syfy Wire also agree that horror and thrillers can help alleviate depression symptoms.

I think the further from reality you can go, the better.

Whether you’re a seasoned horror watcher or beginner, these movies just might be the thing that help you feel more alive.

Do you watch horror movies? Why or why not?

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Horror and Thriller Movies Help When You’re Depressed