The Coronavirus pandemic is having a major impact on people’s mental health and according to a recent survey by Fintech company, Self Financial, Disney+ is having a positive impact.
The company asked over 1,000 Americans how their finances and mental wellbeing were connected in a series of questions to uncover the true cost of mental health. People are spending an average of $287 a month on their mental health, from direct and indirect sources.
The most popular indirect methods people are spending their money on for the benefit of their mental health are TV and streaming services (51.5%), socializing (48%), music streaming (44%), and food and drink (43%).
In terms of direct methods, 72% of our respondents utilize counseling, 24% use mental health apps and 19% use sports and exercise as a means of looking after their mental wellbeing.
When asked about their experience during the global pandemic specifically, almost 1 in 5 (18%) said that TV streaming like Netflix and Disney+ was one of the three most important things for their mental health to combat the effects of COVID-19. This was found to be more important than counseling, mental health apps and podcasts, alcohol, journals, and music.
Despite streaming’s positive effects on viewers, 81.3% of people said that their mental health will ‘definitely’ improve after the pandemic is over.
Kristie Norwood, PhD, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist had this to say on the mental health implications of TV shows and streaming:
“Television shows can serve as a mechanism for people to mentally avoid dealing with everyday life challenges, remain connected to popular culture, experience positive emotions, and validate aspects of their lives. Through portrayed character experiences, viewers are able to feel a sense of internal connection, validation and normalization when their personal life situations are displayed; this pleasant connection and gratification often triggers dopamine in the brain which causes the behavioral response of continuous streaming, also known as “binge-watching.”
“While streaming within itself does not have deleterious effects, research has shown that excessive levels of streaming can lead to addiction symptoms, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and guilt.”
You can see more data, the full results and graphs here: https://www.self.inc/info/mental-health-personal-spending-report/
Do you think Disney+ has helped your mental health during the Coronavirus crisis?