If you ever wanted to just crawl into bed and watch a movie that’s been on yourto-do list for a while, the research says do it. Studies have shown that there are benefits to your health when you do exactly that: sit down and watch a good movie. According to the UK’s University of Manchester, movie viewing can burn up to 180 calories if your favorite genre is horror. Research also shows that a surge in adrenaline produces short bursts of stress that can lead to a lower appetite and an increased metabolism. Scary movies that have been clinically proven to burn the fat include Jaws, Alien, Saw, and The Shining.

A number of clinical studies have also shown that laughter has many long-term health benefits. Those benefits often include a reduction in stress hormones resulting in a strengthened immune system. Research has shown that laughing at a funny film can dilate the blood vessels by as much as 22%. As you may know, dilating your blood vessels increases blood flow, resulting in lower blood pressure. Some highly efficacious suggestions are Knocked Up, The Hangover, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman.

If your preference is romantic films, then you’re in luck. This genre delivers similar health benefits to comedies. Romantic films also provide a psychologically therapeutic benefit by often depicting their lead characters as slightly flawed. This is something with which the common movie viewer can identify. The emotions that romantic films help people feel can reduce the chemical imbalance in your body that is caused by stress. Some romantic movies that meet these specific criteria include Love Actually, Ghost, Notting Hill, and Jerry Maguire.

So, as we approach the 2014 Academy Awards, make some serious “me-time.” Prescribe yourself a much-needed Oscar-nominated movie night after your next long day. As a guideline, here’s a few of our own 2014 Oscar picks:


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BEST PICTURE

In our opinion, the big showdown is Gravity vs American Hustle this year, with the former being the favorite. Here is our current prediction…

Our Pick:

  1. Gravity

Also Nominated:

  1. American Hustle
  2. 12 Years a Slave
  3. Captain Phillips
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Her
  6. Philomena
  7. Nebraska
  8. Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ACTRESS

There are several performances that blew us away this year. Interestingly enough, many of them have already won other awards. Here is our current prediction…

Our Pick:

  1. Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Also Nominated:

  1. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  2. Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  3. Judi Dench (Philomena)
  4. Amy Adams (American Hustle)

BEST ACTOR

This year was an exceptionally exciting race for best actor. Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio…what a list. Here is our current prediction…

Our Pick:

  1. Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Also Nominated:

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofer (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  3. Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street)

Reference

  1. Health benefits to watching movies. Annie and the Adventures website. August 31, 2013. http://annieandtheadventures.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/health-benefits-to-watching-movies/.
  2. Oscars 2014. LA Times website. Updated January 7, 2014. http://graphics.latimes.com/buzzmeter-oscars-2014/.
  3. Scott E. The stress management and health benefits of laughter: health benefits of laughter: stress relief, immunity, and more. About.com website. http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm.