It’s that time of year again in the northeast: the dead of winter. My least favorite season. It wasn’t always this way, though; having grown up in central NY, prepubescent me loved building elaborate snow forts, riding snowmobiles, and stuffing snowballs down my unsuspecting siblings’ pants.
But that all changed after I moved to NYC. Winter just isn’t as fun here. For starters, two of those aforementioned activities are out of the question in Manhattan. (Turns out that last one can get you tasered.) Plus, unless we get six inches of snowfall or more at once, the resulting slush makes the dirty parts of the city even dirtier. Between the months of December and March, my neighborhood looks as dismal as a Max Payne backdrop.
No wonder Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a thing. The weather can directly affect our moods, and the winter blues have been linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia, social withdrawal, and other excuses to ask your doctor about Zoloft.
I offer an alternative form of therapy.
As a hyperactive adult, I don’t like spending too much time indoors, but the sucky weather gives me an excuse to hibernate in my apartment with movies that keep any potential SAD-ness at bay. Interested in trying out Cine-Hiberation Therapy yourself? I’ve got a winter flick for every mood and/or situation you might encounter:
For when you’re stuck in the “friend zone”
Hoo boy, does the “friend zone” suck, and if you’re stuck there, January is a tempting month to wallow in this special form of chilly limbo. What you need is a comedy–something to cheer you up. Just Friends is highly underrated, in my opinion, and watching Ryan Reynolds’ abs paradoxically fail at getting chicks could be just the ticket to getting your mojo back. Some of it, anyway.
And while I’m usually no champion of the fat suit, fat Ryan Reynolds simply amuses me.
For when college kids annoy you
Let’s face it: college kids can be a pain in the ass. I know because I used to be one. In Frozen, we’re introduced to the following hypothetical: what would happen if three (gorgeous) college coeds got stranded on a ski lift for X amount of days…with wolves??
A friend and I actually developed a drinking game to go along with this movie: take a sip every time a college kid makes an objectively bad decision. Spoiler alert: you’ll be wasted by the end of the first half-hour.
[Warning: this clip is hilarious, but not for the squeamish]
For when you’re in the middle of a breakup
Breakups suck, and doubly so if it’s cold out when they happen. Love Actually is just the right amalgamation of rom-com, British humor, and tasteful nudity to warm up your brain’s optimism gland. Also, this might be the best music video of all time:
For when you really need to escape
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Is the real world getting to be too much for you? Give Narnia a shot. This movie franchise doesn’t get a lot of love, but if you pretend you’re eleven for a few hours, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a fun little (allegorical) ride.
For when you feel like a fish out of water
As a socially awkward individual, I can appreciate the social awkwardness of four Jamaicans attempting to hold their own in the arctic arena of Olympic bobsledding. Hell, this one scene alone raises the movie’s pick-me-up value by roughly 62%.
For when you’re trying to get a date to jump into your waiting arms
Let the Right One In
Yep, you can bring dates to your therapy sessions, and Let the Right One In is one of my favorite horror flicks. It’s sort of a childhood romance with vampires, and hopefully one that ends in shared body heat on your living room couch.
For when you want to make a first date the last date
Two words: Nazi zombies. She won’t be coming back to your apartment any time soon.
For when you just scored a bag of Jamaican kush
Hot Tub Time Machine
I actually haven’t seen this movie in a while, but you can tell just by the title it was meant to be watched under the influence of something. Probably not an upper, though…
For your additional consideration:
Grumpy Old Men – For when you’re pissed off at a close friend
Groundhog Day – For when you need a reminder not to take life for granted
Out Cold - For if Hot Tub Time Machine didn’t do it for you