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NEW YORK — Feeling under the weather? Time to turn on the tube and put on a fuzzy feel-good flick. According to a new poll of 2,000 millennial parents with kids between four and 12, the average mom or dad watches five hours of TV shows or movies when home sick.

So what movies are people turning to when feeling ill? Respondents are watching action and adventure movies (37%) and film series like “Harry Potter” or “The Hunger Games” (36%). The survey also finds that when sickness strikes, more than four in five (82%) spend most of their time in their bedroom, but 42 percent stay put on the couch in their living room.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Delsym, results also show how respondents are optimizing comfort with their favorite things. Results revealed that respondents get sick about three times per year. These parents were more likely to prefer old favorites than to wrap their heads around new content when feeling ill (23% vs 15%).

When parents are sick with their children, the most popular movies to watch are the “Harry Potter” series (32%) and the “Toy Story” films (32%). They also watch movies like “Frozen” (30%), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (28%), and “Moana” (25%).

If the kids are nice and healthy, but mom or dad are stuck home, three in five respondents say rom-coms are their go-to movie genre when down for the count.

More than half the poll (56%) have a go-to or favorite feel-better comfort movie, with the average person saying they can watch it four times in a row without getting sick of it. In fact, 45 percent of those admit they can watch it more than four times and one in 10 of those (11%) even say they can watch it “an infinite amount of times.”

In total, respondents have watched their feel-better movie about 34 different times. This movie has been respondents’ favorite for about six years, perhaps because it reminds them of good times (61%) and makes them laugh (53%).

watching tv sick

Parents report feeling relaxed (54%), happy (48%), and calm (40%) after watching their favorite movie. Almost two-thirds (63%) of parents agree that they’ve passed their love of their favorite movie along to their child.

“Nothing brings a family together quite like movie night, and nothing makes movie night better than a feel-good flick that fills you with warm, fuzzy feelings – especially when you’re sick. We understand that feeling better means more than just relieving your cough symptoms – it’s about cozying up on the couch as you and your family work to feel better together,” says Albert So, Marketing Director, Upper Respiratory Brands at Reckitt, including Delsym, in a statement.

The survey also delved into how respondents are remedying their ailments by caring for their five senses.

In order to alleviate their symptoms, parents tend to want to taste soup (42%) and hot beverages like tea or coffee (26%). They also want to touch things like their favorite blanket (40%), their significant other (19%), and their pet (14%).

When it comes to smell, respondents like to breathe in something clean like fresh linens (42%), medicine (36%), and something cooking in the kitchen (26%). While trying to feel better, respondents like to listen to music (58%) and their friends and family talking (29%).

“When a family member is under the weather, the entire household is caught in the storm and that daily routine can be thrown off course, bringing with it discomfort and chaos. Families not only need fast-acting relief, but they need comforting remedies to help them navigate that storm,” So adds. “Whether it’s mom’s chicken soup, your go-to feel better movie or cozying up with your kids, whatever it is that makes you feel better can go a long way.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 millennial parents of kids aged 4-12 was commissioned by Delsym between October 6 and October 10, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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