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Self-Care Holiday Edition: Movies and Podcasts

Self-Care Holiday Edition: Movies and Podcasts


The stockings are hung by the chimney (or mantel) with care, cookies are baked, and the presents are wrapped. Or maybe you still have all of those things on your to-do list and you’re starting to get overwhelmed. But screw it (for now). Self-care is important, especially during the winter when it’s dark and cold 90 percent of the day.

So run your hot bath water, throw on a face mask, and pour yourself a generous helping of your favorite drink and enjoy these movies or podcasts while you’re at it.

Cheesy Christmas movies we love. 

The best movies for Saturday or Sundays in are ones that give you all the feels and are super easy to follow just in case you zone out or get distracted. Here are a few of my favorites that check both of those boxes. 

“A Christmas Prince and a Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”

They’re schmaltzy and predictable but damned if these don’t bring the laughs (mostly unintentional, but whatever). I would say to take a shot (of liquor, wine, chocolate sauce, whatever) every time there’s a giant, archery-target-sized plot hole; or someone’s accent suddenly disappears; or there’s an establishing shot that isn’t the city (or even the country) the characters say they’re in, but alcohol poisoning isn’t a good look, nor is getting your stomach pumped. Instead, laugh heartily and savor that mug of hot chocolate.

“The Best Man Holiday”

A solid, gorgeous cast, a great soundtrack (with the exception of the one R. Kelly song), and a tragedy to bring a bunch of people who basically hate each other back together. “The Best Man Holiday” has all of this and enough tension to keep you awake during that hot bubble bath you just got into. 

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Now, hear me out. While it’s not expressly about Christmas, this ridiculous film noir starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer takes place during the most wonderful time of the year and will give you a break from the constant nostalgia and sappiness the season can bring. RDJ is doing his most glorious sarcastic-asshole shtick, and fun fact: this is the movie that convinced Jon Favreau to cast him in the fun little indie trilogy “Iron Man.”

Literally, anything on the Hallmark Channel will do. 

They’re by the book and always just left-of-center in the quality department. The plots are far-fetched, and no one knows how to pull their hair back or wash their hands in the cooking-focused movies. However, when you want something comfortable that will allow you to concentrate on wrapping presents, let off some steam after a marathon study session, or if you’re in it for the chance to make fun of celebrities from yesteryear trying desperately to stay relevant (you know the ones), Hallmark has your back.

Podcasts – because who has time to watch TV?

If you’d rather listen to something than get consumed with watching a movie during your self-care session, bring up your podcast app of choice, and download all the episodes your phones’ memory will hold.

“How Did This Get Made”

Three hosts and a revolving door of comedians watching the worst movies ever made makes for one of the best free comedy podcasts available. June Diane Raphael can always be counted on to bring a feminist voice that cuts down to the bone, while Jason Mantzoukas’ exasperated “what is HAPPENING?!” will make even the grinchiest Grinch’s heart grow three times. Choose from a library of more than 200 episodes, and try not to cringe too hard when they go after your favorite movie.

“True Crime Obsessed”

Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds (da da da) host a straight-forward, somehow always hysterical (despite the subject matter) podcast that breaks down true crime documentaries (in either movie or fellow podcast form). Listen while making brunch for you and your friends to tuck into, or pour yourself a Red Bull Chardonnay and ease yourself into the dulcet tones of the garbage bell. It’s always fun, always informative, and by the end of the first episode, you’ll feel like you have two new best friends (who are totally obsessed with you, of course).

“Stuff You Should Know” & “Stuff You Missed In History Class”

Two podcasts from the same network cover the essentials in life, and some of the lesser-known, but no less important moments through history. Hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant of Stuff You Should Know cover every trivia subject your bar could ask questions about with grace and humor, sometimes injecting rants that feel like bonus tidbits you didn’t realize you needed. Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey focus on those the history books have conveniently overlooked, while also bringing a bit of pop culture and fashion knowledge to the mix. The holiday-themed episodes of both of these podcasts are some of the best of the series’ (who else is going to cover the Krampus?), so grab your eggnog and take a breather before hitting play on one of the two highest-rated shows on Apple Podcasts.


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