Are “Guilty” Pleasures Actually Good for Us and Our Health? (thepathmag.com)

The very name of guilty pleasures already tells us how we should feel about them: guilty. We’re conditioned to believe that a weekend spent binging “The Circle” or “The Bachelor” has some element of shame attached to it, such that when someone asks about our weekends and we have to respond “I spent it binging ‘The Circle’” or “I caught up on ‘The Bachelor’,” we do it with an embarrassed chuckle and a readiness to follow the unfortunate revelation up with something along the lines of, “I know, I know. I’m not sure why I get so into it.”

But despite a long history of attaching shame to hobbies that we often refer to as guilty pleasures, psychologists and wellness experts generally agree that there isn’t — or at least there shouldn’t be — such a thing as a “guilty” pleasure. Why? Because anything harmless that helps us relax, reduce our stress, or feel better in some way is not only nothing to feel guilty about, but something that we should take pride in doing in the interest of better health…