Conceptually, watching TV should be the ultimate stress reliever. We relax our bodies and allow the screen to provide humor, intrigue and storytelling with no effort on our behalf.
But TV binging is no neural massage. A 2014 study found that TV often amplifies our existing stress by inducing feelings of guilt and wasted time. So why do we watch? Well, shows are funny, informative and incite “narrative transport,” when we embody the characters onscreen and experience exotic situations risk-free.
So fight stress first with meditation and exercise, suggests TIME, then flip on the binge box for maximum fun.