Just allow the feeling to be. If you have fully felt the particular feeling, you will feel “drained” of it. This drained feeling is the state you are trying to achieve. It’s the absence of the pent-up emotion you had been harboring. It is a peaceful state.
5. As time passes, repeat this process as needed. Often feelings change over time and you may need to explore certain emotions repeatedly to really expel the negativity.
Below is a starter list of movies that can help you achieve catharsis. A few notes about our choices: you’ll notice that some romantic comedies are included in the sadness category. That’s because watching a happy outcome for others can cause us to feel particularly sad - for while we may rejoice in the happiness of others, it can also raise feelings of being left out, or gypped of our share of happiness. It’s also perfectly normal to feel sadness at the happy ending when we are feeling deprived of joy. Finally, under fear, we are not going for horror, rather psychological fear and dread.
Sadness: A.I (Artificial Intelligence), Bambi, Babette’s Feast, City of Angels, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Joy Luck Club, Million Dollar Baby, Old Yeller, Pay It Forward, Stealing Heaven, Steele Magnolias, Under the Tuscan Sun, You’ve Got Mail.
Anger: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Kill Bill 1& 2, Blade Runner, Extremities, Remains of the Day, Road Warrior, Terminator, Thelma and Louise.
Fear: Dracula, The Exorcist, Frankenstein, Jaws, Poltergeist, Memento, Psycho, Ring, Seven, The Others, Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense.
Sorrow: Black Beauty, Captains Courageous, Carousel, Edward Scissorhands, The Hours, Peter Pan, Remember the Titans, The Turning Point, White Oleander, What Dreams May Come, Titanic
How you watch is more important than what you watch, so pick your own movies if this list doesn’t hold anything for you. Make a big batch of popcorn, set your hankies within reach, and enjoy your catharsis! When you’re ready to talk about your feelings, pick up the phone and call a coach; you’ve earned it!
Have any great movie picks that didn't make our list? Feel free to share!
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