Watching sad or traumatic movies can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. A new study reveals that watching distressing movies may boost our tolerance pain. Researchers Oxford University say that movies that get your emotions going can increase the amount endorphins released the brain. These are our body's natural painkillers - chemicals that make us feel better physical or psychological pain. Dr Robin Dunbar, a co-author the study, explained that: "Maybe the emotional [distress] you get from tragedy triggers the endorphin system." He added: "The same areas the brain that deal physical pain also handle psychological pain."
Dr Dunbar and his colleagues conducted a series tests to determine the effect that tragic stories have us. They invited 169 people to take part the experiment. One group watched a traumatic drama a disabled man battling homelessness, drug addiction and alcoholism. Another group watched a documentary the geology and archaeology Britain. The results showed that average, the pain tolerance those who watched the traumatic drama increased 13.1 per cent. This compared to an average decrease pain threshold of 4.6 per cent for those who watched the documentary. Dr Dunbar suggested one reason we like watching sad movies is the natural high the endorphins.