Sad movies help reduce pain

Watching sad movies can be just what the doctor ordered. A study shows that sad movies may boost our tolerance to pain. Researchers say that sad movies can increase the amount of endorphins released by the brain. These chemicals are our body's natural painkillers. They relieve physical or emotional pain. Dr Robin Dunbar said the distress people get from tragedy triggers the endorphin system and relieves our pain.

Dr Dunbar conducted tests to find out the effect sad stories have on us. One group of people watched a sad movie about a disabled man fighting homelessness, drugs and alcohol. Another group watched a film on Britain's geology. The pain tolerance of those who watched the sad film increased by 13.1%, while the pain tolerance for those who watched the documentary decreased by 4.6%. One reason we like sad movies is the natural high we get from the endorphins.