The Hallmark Channel released 40 original movies this holiday season - and they’re actually good for our mental health! Behavioral scientist Dr. Pamela Rutledge is director of the Media Psychology Research Center… and she says, our brain likes to know what’s coming. And because Hallmark movies all seem to follow a similar plot structure, their patterns and predictability light up the reward center of the brain. And the movies are especially effective when it comes to managing stress - which the holiday season has plenty of! Dr. Rutledge says the movies are pure escapism - because they’re an idealized version of Christmas, love and family - and everything gets wrapped up on a neat little bow at the end. And that soothes us. Plus, Hallmark movies are morally sound, and they allow viewers to experience positive emotions associated with social connection, compassion, and empathy. And that makes viewers feel more optimistic and resilient themselves.