Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

‘Guilty Pleasures’: Whatever Happened to ‘Fun’?

on October 7, 2013

There seems to be a trend now to call everything that’s not highbrow a ‘guilty pleasure’.  Chick lit seems to get this label a lot.  The Times just posted an article on ‘The books we secretly love‘, as if an enjoyable book constitutes some kind of weird fetish that people would avoid you if they knew about.  Or, as they put it, ‘as if enjoying a book is a sin against literature’ (I like mine better).

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of doing things to improve yourself.  Activities that improve your knowledge or help you strengthen your character are very important in life.  But so is doing things just for entertainment.

As this article by on improving emotional health says:

Make leisure time a priority. Do things for no other reason than that it feels good to do them. Go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, listen to music, read a good book, or talk to a friend. Doing things just because they are fun is no indulgence. Play is an emotional and mental health necessity.”

Those little pleasures can help you:

  • relax (important for overall health)
  • recover your energy for the day-to-day trials of modern life
  • cheer yourself up after a bad day
  • inspire yourself to keep on going when you’re working on a big challenge
  • be a nicer person to be around and so improve your relationships (which are also important for mental health).

They’re as important to your mental health as education.  Be sure to include some in your life and, for goodness sake, stop calling them ‘guilty pleasures’.  It’s called ‘fun’, people, and it’s good for you.




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