Psychologist Says Watching True Crime TV To Relax is Major Red Flag

Psychologist Says Watching True Crime TV To Relax is Major Red Flag
Credit: Netflix

If you find solace in the eerie embrace of true crime stories to unwind, a psychologist has a message that might just be the plot twist you didn’t see coming. Dr. Thema Bryant, an expert in trauma, suggests that your penchant for chilling tales could be more telling than you think.

Picture this: after a long day, you settle down, not with a light-hearted comedy or a feel-good movie, but with a deep dive into the dark world of crime and mystery. You’re not alone. True crime has a gripping appeal, whether it’s the latest Netflix series that’s got everyone talking or a real-life saga unfolding in the news.

But Dr. Bryant, speaking on Mel Robbins’ podcast, hints at a sinister undercurrent to this seemingly harmless pastime. She suggests that if the highlight of your relaxation routine is marathoning episodes of “Law and Order” or delving into the details of the latest high-profile case, it might be time to pause and ponder: Why is trauma your go-to comfort zone?

The connection, Bryant proposes, might stem from familiarity. For some, a childhood marinated in stress makes the tension of true crime feel almost like home. But here’s the kicker: embracing the mundane, the ‘boring’ peace of a crime-free evening, could be the real adventure, a journey back to self.

Social media reactions to Dr. Bryant’s insights range from stunned self-reflection to robust defenses of the genre. Some argue that it’s not the trauma but the triumph of justice or the intellectual thrill of the puzzle that draws them in. Others see it as a way to vicariously experience control over chaos, a contrast to their own unresolved traumas.


If your idea of “relaxing” before bed is watching a few episodes of Law & Order (or any other #truecrime show), listen up. This was just ONE of the many incredible mic drop moments ? and knowledge bombs ? that @Dr Thema Bryant drops on the melrobbinspodcast. Listen now!! ? “6 Signs You’re Disconnected From Your Power and How to Get It Back: Life-Changing Advice From the Remarkable Dr. Thema Bryant” ? in bio #melrobbins #podcast #trauma #traumatok #healing #bingewatching

? original sound – Mel Robbins

Dr. Elizabeth Jeglic, a clinical psychologist, chimes in with her observations, noting that an attraction to psychology—and by extension, true crime—can be a path to self-discovery and healing for those with a personal history of trauma.

So, if your idea of a perfect evening involves dissecting the intricacies of a crime rather than, say, watching sunsets or baking cookies, it might be more than just a quirky hobby. It could be a window into your psyche, a clue to past experiences echoing in your present tastes.

But before you switch off that true crime podcast and dive into a self-help book, remember: enjoyment of a genre doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in need of an intervention. After all, who doesn’t love a good mystery? Just maybe, every now and then, try mixing it up with a little light-hearted fare—your nervous system might thank you for the change of pace.