Watching cartoons as self-care

Margaretha Madoures watches Hilda on Netflix.

Hilda is a cartoon TV series created by Luke Pearson, about a little girl who lives in a forest around the fictional town of Trollberg. Protagonist Hilda experiences small adventures that always end well. This is not probably not what you’d expect as the evening entertainment of a nearly 30-year-old. Why would somebody who pays their own bills and worries about the spiralling situation of COVID-19, watch a Netflix show that is clearly meant for children?

The answer is exactly because it’s meant for children. I, and surely others too, need a little escapism right now. Watching Hilda make friends with a speaking raven or a tiny elf helps to calm my nerves and brings a little whimsy back into my daily life. The soundtrack, including indie music from Frankie Cosmos and Kishi Bashi is beautiful and by itself enjoyable. 

Finally – and this is the big one for me – the scenery in which Hilda has her adventures is simply beautiful, as are the colour schemes. Watching this show reduces my stress (from the fight-or-flight response many of us are feeling right now) and allows me to relax, recover, and enjoy some creativity. With constant news on the number of coronavirus cases, people struggling with the psychological, societal and financial results of the virus, as well as strain of social isolation, relaxation has become rare.

The show, comprising only 13 episodes, has already gathered a small but committed fan base. Its self-care feel, with a Nordic flair and introverted-romantic appeal, along with Hilda as the strong female lead are some of the reasons that I regularly end my day with a blissful 24 minutes of escapism into her happy, healthy cartoon world. As a psychologist and relaxation therapist I encourage you to give it a try. If you happen to have children, let them join in the fun too – at the very least you’ll have 24 minutes of quiet time while they’re glued to the colourful screen.

- Reviewed by Margaretha Madoures, co-founder and chief of social media of 2KindMinds Oy

Editor’s comment: We are increasingly interested in what types of programmes you’re watching during lockdown, and why. See this article by Sophie Elmhirst in The Guardian about ‘extreme immersion in Disney+’, Matt Haig pondering on Twitter what it is about Would I Lie to You? that is comforting at the moment, and our own Twitter thread on classic TV comedies to keep us entertained during lockdown. Let us know what you’re seeking out and why…

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber