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Screenshot: Aisha Jordan Watching my favorite program until my eyes fall out has its benefits, especially during the pandemic. When emotions are high, television has been a healthy escape and comfort throughout the quarantine. I’ve had in-depth conversations on why I’m not a fan of Molly from Insecure, or how I relate to Craig of the Creek a little too much. I can identify with characters and see myself in their struggles, helping me get through my own mental hurdles. A 2018 study in “media marathoning” (or binge-watching, in layman’s terms) confirms what many of us already know, that those “struggling with depression or anxiety were able to learn more about human relationships through media and to use media engagement experiences as springboards for communication.” Watching a fictional character go through something similar to you provides an outside perspective; and, for me, cartoons in particular foster catharsis in a nonthreatening and relatable way. Dr. Brian Kong, PsyD specializes in pop culture and therapy, and shared his expertise on the benefits of watching cartoons that deal with depression. “I think television is sometimes capable of portraying an emotional experience in a richer, nuanced, and more accessible way,” Kong states. “There is value to a medium that visually deviates from our everyday reality and immerses us in an alternate imaginary world.” Use complex characters for self-reflection Rick Sanchez, a mad scientist on the popular Adult Swim show Rick and Morty, and BoJack Horseman, the washed-up actor of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman , […]