Living Your Best Cozy Life: Twenty-Four Lessons From Hallmark Movies
by Esme Addison
As the author of the Enchanted Bay Mysteries, a cozy mystery series that is all about a young woman leaving the big city to find herself and reconnect with her family in a cozy small town at the beach, I love a good Hallmark movie. I binge them during the holidays (other channels too) and watch them when I just want to see something fun and comforting.
They also inspire me to coziness.
Am I the only one?
I certainly emulated holiday movies during Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I really try to add more coziness to my life a la movies like the ones we see on Hallmark Channel. Not only does it make me happier, but it add a richness to my books when I have experienced the same coziness I put on the page.
All that coffee and tea drinking, and snuggling under blankets with a good book and lighting candles and baking cookies my characters do… I do that stuff too. And I also enjoy watching characters in movies doing the same things.
But why Hallmark movies specifically?
Hallmark movies are known for their wholesome characters, heartwarming storylines, and picturesque settings that transport viewers into a cozy world of love, family, and small-town charm. With millions of viewers tuning in year after year, it’s clear that there’s something about Hallmark movies that captures the heart and imagination.
Let’s explore the science behind the appeal of Hallmark movies and then go over 24 lessons inspired from their movies, that you can use in your everyday life for a cozier, happier existence.
Table of Contents
Six Reasons We Love Hallmark-Style Movies
Escape From Reality
One of the primary reasons people love Hallmark movies is that they offer a temporary escape from reality. In a world that can be chaotic and stressful, Hallmark movies provide a comforting and familiar setting where everything is predictable and happy endings are guaranteed. For a couple of hours, viewers can forget their problems and lose themselves in a world of feel-good romance and holiday cheer.
Hallmark movies often feature idyllic small towns, traditional family values, and festive holiday traditions, which evoke a sense of nostalgia in many viewers. These movies offer a glimpse into a simpler time when life was less complicated, and people were kinder and more neighborly. For those who grew up in small towns or have fond memories of traditional holiday celebrations, Hallmark movies can be a way to relive those experiences and feel connected to a sense of community.
Hallmark movies are known for their wholesome content and family-friendly themes. Unlike many other forms of entertainment that contain explicit language, violence, or sexual content, Hallmark movies are suitable for all ages. Families can gather around the television and watch together without worrying about inappropriate material. This makes Hallmark movies a popular choice during the holiday season when families are spending more time together.
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Romance And Relationships
Hallmark movies are famous for their romantic storylines, which appeal to those who love a good love story. These movies often feature charming, attractive characters who fall in love against the backdrop of a picturesque small town or holiday celebration. Viewers can vicariously experience the thrill of new romance, the warmth of supportive friendships, and the joy of family relationships.
Comfort and Consistency
Hallmark movies have a reputation for being formulaic and predictable, but that is precisely what many viewers love about them. The comforting predictability of the movies creates a sense of familiarity and consistency that can be soothing to the viewer. The viewer knows that no matter how dire the situation may seem, everything will be resolved in the end, and the characters will live happily ever after.
Finally, Hallmark movies are known for their celebration of the holiday season. These movies often feature cozy fireplaces, festive decorations, and heartwarming holiday traditions. For those who love the holidays, Hallmark movies can be a way to get into the holiday spirit and feel the joy of the season.
People love Hallmark movies for many reasons. They provide an escape from reality, evoke a sense of nostalgia, offer family-friendly entertainment, feature romance and relationships, provide comfort and consistency, and celebrate the holiday spirit. With their wholesome content, feel-good storylines, and idyllic settings, Hallmark movies offer viewers a chance to relax, connect with loved ones, and experience the magic of the season. It’s no wonder these movies have become a beloved tradition for so many people around the world.
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The Science Of Cozy
With their familiar plots, feel-good themes, and happy endings, these movies have become a staple in many homes for family-friendly view and movie date nights. But what is it about these movies that we find so irresistible?
According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2019, people are drawn to familiar things because they provide a sense of security and comfort. This is known as the “mere-exposure effect.” When we see something repeatedly, we start to develop positive feelings towards it, even if we don’t know why. Hallmark movies are no exception to this phenomenon – with their predictable storylines and happy endings, they provide a sense of familiarity and comfort that viewers crave during the holidays.
But what about those who criticize these movies for being formulaic and relying on clichés and tropes? While it’s true that many Hallmark movies follow similar plotlines and feature recurring themes such as small towns, the holidays, and romance, that doesn’t mean they’re not enjoyable. In fact, another study published in the journal Poetics in 2018 found that viewers of Hallmark movies often appreciate these familiar elements because they provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia. It’s like revisiting an old friend – you know what to expect, but it still feels good.
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Of course, no discussion about Hallmark movies would be complete without mentioning their happy endings. Critics argue that these endings are unrealistic and contribute to a culture of unrealistic expectations in relationships. However, another study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2017 found that watching romantic movies, even those with unrealistic endings, can have a positive effect on viewers’ beliefs about love and relationships. In other words, watching these movies can give us hope and inspiration for our own lives, even if we know deep down that not every love story has a perfect ending.
So, why do we love Hallmark movies? It’s a combination of the familiar, the cozy, and the feel-good themes that we associate with the holiday season. While they may not be for everyone, there’s no denying the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from watching a couple fall in love in a small town, surrounded by twinkling lights and the magic of the holidays.
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Do you ever find yourself wishing you could step into the cozy world of a Hallmark movie? A world full of warmth, laughter, and happy endings? Well, the good news is that you can! By incorporating some simple practices into your daily routine, you can create a life that feels like your own personal romcom. From creating a welcoming home environment to nurturing meaningful relationships, there are many ways to infuse your life with the magic of a Hallmark movie. So, if you’re ready to start living your own happily ever after, keep reading for 24 strategies to create a cozy and joyful life, inspired by your favorite feel-good films.
- Embrace Joy: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often finds joy in the simple things, like spending time with family, enjoying nature, or partaking in festive activities. To embrace joy in real life, try to find pleasure in the little things and focus on the positive. Spend time with loved ones, take up a new hobby or activity, or try to appreciate the beauty in the world around you.
- Practice Kindness: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often goes out of their way to perform acts of kindness, both big and small. To practice kindness in real life, look for ways to help others and spread love and positivity wherever you go. Offer a kind word or gesture, volunteer for a cause you care about, or simply make an effort to brighten someone’s day.
- Be Authentic: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often embraces their true self by expressing their unique style and personality. To be authentic in real life, focus on being true to yourself and not conforming to others’ expectations. Express yourself through your clothing, interests, and hobbies, and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
- Pursue Your Passions: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often pursues their passion, whether it’s a career goal or a personal interest. To pursue your passions in real life, identify what you love to do and make time for it in your life. Take classes or workshops to improve your skills, network with others who share your interests, and pursue opportunities to turn your passion into a career.
- Connect with Others: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often builds strong relationships with others through shared interests, experiences, or challenges. To connect with others in real life, be open to making new friends and seek out opportunities to connect with people who share your interests or experiences. Join a club or organization, attend social events, or volunteer for a cause you care about.
- Embrace Change: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often sees change as an opportunity for growth and embraces new experiences that challenge them. To embrace change in real life, try to see challenges as opportunities for growth and take risks that push you out of your comfort zone. Embrace new experiences and opportunities for personal and professional development.
- Create Traditions: In a Hallmark movie, the main characters often create special traditions, whether it’s a family holiday tradition or a community service project. To create traditions in real life, identify activities or events that are important to you and make them a regular part of your life. Whether it’s a weekly game night with friends or an annual service project, create a tradition that brings you joy and connection.
- Create A Cozy Home: In a Hallmark movie, the main characters often add warmth and coziness to their homes through decor, blankets, and candles. To create a cozy home in real life, focus on creating a space that brings you comfort and relaxation. Add soft lighting, comfortable seating, and personal touches that make your home feel like a sanctuary.
- Spend Time Outdoors: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often connects with nature through outdoor activities like hiking, gardening, or swimming. To spend time outdoors in real life, find activities that bring you joy and connect you with nature. Take a walk in a park, go for a hike in the mountains, or simply sit outside and enjoy the fresh air.
- Practice Gratitude: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often takes time to appreciate the good things in their life and express gratitude for them. To practice gratitude in real life, make a habit of acknowledging and giving thanks for the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem. Consider keeping a gratitude journal or expressing your appreciation to loved ones.
- Celebrate Holidays and Milestones: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often celebrates holidays and special events with enthusiasm and tradition. To celebrate holidays and milestones in real life, create traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to you and your loved ones. Whether it’s hosting a themed party, attending cultural celebrations, or taking a trip to mark a milestone, find ways to make these events special and memorable.
- Have Fun: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often embraces fun and adventure, seeking out opportunities for excitement and enjoyment. To have fun in real life, make time for leisure activities and pursue hobbies and interests that bring you joy and fulfillment. This can help you stay energized and enthusiastic about life, and may even lead to new opportunities and friendships.
- Spread Cheer: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often brings joy and positivity to those around them. To spread cheer in real life, look for ways to make others smile and brighten their day. Send a thoughtful message or gift to a friend, surprise a coworker with their favorite treat, or perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.
- Focus On Love: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often finds and nurtures a romantic relationship that brings them happiness and fulfillment. To focus on love in real life, prioritize building strong and healthy relationships with those around you. Take time to connect with loved ones, make an effort to show affection and appreciation, and pursue opportunities to meet new people and potentially form romantic connections.
- Practice Forgiveness: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often learns to forgive others and themselves for past mistakes and misunderstandings. To practice forgiveness in real life, make an effort to let go of grudges and negative feelings towards others, and work towards forgiving yourself for any mistakes or shortcomings. This can help promote healing and strengthen relationships.
- Pursue a Positive Mindset: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often faces challenges with a positive attitude and a can-do mindset. To pursue a positive mindset in real life, practice reframing negative thoughts into positive ones, seek out motivational content, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments rather than dwelling on failures or setbacks.
- Practice Self-Care: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often takes time to care for themselves, whether it’s through exercise, meditation, or simply taking a relaxing bath. To practice self-care in real life, prioritize your physical and mental health by taking time for activities that bring you peace and relaxation. This can include exercise, practicing mindfulness, or treating yourself to a spa day.
- Learn Something New: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often learns a new skill or tries something they’ve never done before. To learn something new in real life, take a class, read a book on a new topic, or challenge yourself to try something outside of your comfort zone. This can help you grow and expand your horizons.
- Give Back: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often finds ways to give back to their community and make a difference in the world around them. To give back in real life, volunteer for a cause you care about, donate to a charity, or simply make an effort to be kind and helpful to those around you. This can help you feel fulfilled and connected to others.
- Set Goals: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often sets goals and works hard to achieve them. To set goals in real life, identify what you want to accomplish and create a plan to make it happen. This can help you stay focused and motivated, and give you a sense of purpose and direction.
- Communicate Openly: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often communicates openly and honestly with those around them, leading to stronger relationships and deeper connections. To communicate openly in real life, make an effort to listen actively and express your thoughts and feelings in a clear and respectful way. This can help you build stronger relationships and resolve conflicts more effectively.
- Practice Mindfulness: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often takes time to be present in the moment and appreciate the world around them. To practice mindfulness in real life, focus on being present and fully engaged in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s eating a meal or spending time with loved ones. This can help you feel more centered and calm, and increase your overall sense of well-being.
- Take Risks: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often takes risks and embraces new opportunities, leading to personal growth and new experiences. To take risks in real life, challenge yourself to try something new or take a chance on something you’ve been hesitant to pursue. This can help you expand your comfort zone and find new paths in life.
- Show Empathy: In a Hallmark movie, the main character often shows empathy and understanding towards those around them, leading to stronger relationships and deeper connections. To show empathy in real life, make an effort to understand and connect with others’ perspectives, feelings, and experiences. This can help you build stronger relationships and create a more compassionate world.
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It’s easy to dismiss the cozy, happy world of Hallmark movies as nothing more than a sugar-coated ideal. But the truth is, incorporating some of these elements into your own life can have real benefits. Research shows that engaging in positive activities and experiences, like watching feel-good movies, can boost your mood and improve your overall well-being. By creating a warm and welcoming home environment and cultivating strong connections with loved ones, you can experience a greater sense of fulfillment and joy in your daily life.
When you incorporate elements of Hallmark movies into your own life, you can bring a sense of warmth, comfort, and joy. From taking time to appreciate the small moments to fostering meaningful relationships with loved ones, there are numerous ways to create a cozy and happy life reminiscent of the Hallmark movies we love.
By understanding the psychology behind why these movies resonate with us, we can use that knowledge to enrich our own lives and create our own version of a happy, fulfilling life. So go ahead, grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up with a blanket, and start living your own Hallmark-inspired life today.
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