Like many folks across the globe, my anxiety was at an all-time high during COVID. And even though lockdown is a thing of the past, I still feel anxious all the damn time.

In therapy we’re encouraged to try various relaxation remedies when we’re feeling anxious like going for walks, meditation, art therapy, hanging with mates, etc.

And while all those are most definitely effective, it’s not a one size fits all sitch and so I thought I’d share my personal stress reliever with you: watching reality TV shows.

During 2020, I became madly obsessed with The Real Housewives. Like, OBSESSED. More so than I have been with any other show since I was a kid.

While there was abject chaos going on outside, it was so nice to step out of the news cycle and focus on mind-numbing, frivolous drama.

And like I said, lockdown might be over, but there’s still so much bad shit happening in the world and while it’s important to stay informed, I find that it’s equally important to tap out and lose yourself in something totally carefree.

The most ironic part is that a cast of eccentric rich folk getting into it over something as ridiculous as ‘Why didn’t you come to my party?’ or a made-up rumour about someone’s husband helps me to relax. It just bloody does.

Reality TV star Kim Richards

IYKYK.

But when the stress in our real lives is at an all-time high, I’ve found that there’s something so soothing in tuning out of my own drama and tapping into someone else’s.

Do I feel bad for taking pleasure out of other peoples’ pain and embarrassment? Well, no. Not really. Because this is what they signed up for and it’s well documented that a lot of what we see on Real Housewives is staged by the Housewives themselves to ensure they’ll be rehired the next year. (Just read Not All Diamonds and Rosé and you’ll see what I mean. Some of the Housewives legit cop to faking the drama!).

The way I see it, they’re in on the joke and they just wanna put on a damn good show.

The same can be said for MAFS. It’s not really my cup of tea, if I’m honest with you, but based on the record-breaking ratings from the current season, it looks like the rest of you tuned in to the garbage fire marital drama to unwind.

Aside from certain instances this season that never should have made it to air, overall I’d say most folks low-key enjoyed watching the brides and grooms go at it.

Come on, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t get a kick out of eye-rolling at your Olivias and your Bryces. Without them, there’s no MAFS.

And since we all have our real-life Olivias and Bryces that we are forced to be polite to everyday, it’s nice to yell at the TV and let go of that pent up frustration that we’ve built while navigating the IRL villains in our lives.

Reality TV star Olivia

Me after throwing my shoe at the telly.

Like death and taxes, feeling anxious is also inevitable, especially for those who suffer from anxiety.

So call me a pleb for enjoying reality TV, I don’t give a fuck.

If it means that for an hour my life is anxiety-free and I’m just an eager voyeur enjoying the drama in a willing reality TV participant’s life, then so be it.

Real Housewives is now streaming on Hayu and MAFS is on 9Now.

Matty Galea is the Senior Entertainment Editor at PEDESTRIAN.TV, as well as our resident astrologer who pens our weekly horoscope series, ‘Your Horos Are Here’. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.