True crime fans listen up ‘cos a psychologist has revealed why you find documentaries, shows or podcasts about literal murder relaxing.
Dr Thelma Bryant, a psychologist and author, hopped on The Mel Robbins Podcast to spill the beans, and in the process made a heap of people feel seen.
“If your idea of relaxing before you go to sleep is watching three episodes of Law & Order, I would encourage you to think about ‘why is trauma relaxing to me?’” she told Mel Robbins.
“That’s what it is. I mean it’s harm, crime, violation, attacks and that’s what is going to soothe me into my bedtime.”
Hot diggity dog. When you put it that way, I guess watching Jonathan Groff as he tries to understand what makes serial killers tick in Mindhunter isn’t the most chill bedtime routine. Cue sounds of “but it’s MY comfort interview with Ed Kemper!” from the Mind Hive (a stan name I just created).
Robbins asked what people say about that connection in therapy, and Bryant explained that they find it to be a pretty stock-standard routine.
“It’s that it’s normal and familiar,” she said.
“Some of us grew up in high stress, so people mistake peace for boring.
“And it’s like, to come home to yourself you have to lean into the discomfort because it’s going to feel unfamiliar.”
Look, I wasn’t expecting to be psychoanalysed and read to bloody filth this humble evening, but here we are.
Robbins shared a snippet of the interview to TikTok, and folks flocked to the comments to say our girl Thelma was spitting straight facts.
“Wow! Makes so much sense,” one person wrote.
“Gut drop ……. off to journal,” said another.
“Ok this is really an eye opener. I used to love the crime et cetera and now that I’ve been healing for over a year it isn’t even interesting to me,” said a third.
Well, there you have it. It’s almost time for me to hit the sack so if you need me, I’ll be listening to true crime TikTokers recount horrific, cruel murders as a way to wind down.
Image credit: iStock / Damir Khabirov