We all have our guilty pleasures, things we do despite knowing they’re not good for us.
Whether it’s our favorite brand of candy or our weekly visit to the local comic book store, indulging in guilty pleasures can make life more enjoyable.
Although it’s important to balance the fun stuff with healthy activities, you don’t have to feel you are living an unhealthy lifestyle as long as you include some enjoyable activities in your weekly routine.
What Are Guilty Pleasures?
People feel guilty about their guilty pleasures, but we don’t have to.
What makes a pleasure guilty?
It’s not because it isn’t pleasurable; rather, it’s because it feels like we shouldn’t be doing whatever that particular thing is.
- Now, why do we even care whether something should or shouldn’t be pleasurable to us?
- Who made up these rules and what authority do they have over our happiness?
- And why are we comparing ourselves to other people all of a sudden?
These are deep questions and very existential ones at that.
We all have those things we want to admit to doing but are too embarrassed to do so.
Here’s a fun way to find out what some of those guilty pleasures are: Ask your friends!
Next time you see them or talk on the phone with them, simply pull out a piece of paper and write down 5 questions about their guilty pleasures.
Here are some examples:
- What’s your favorite food (cheese fries, pizza?)
- What is your guilty pleasure TV show (sports channel, news channel?)
- Who has been your biggest influence in life (parents/siblings/friend(s))?
Have fun with it! Then sit back and wait for their answers.
Examples Of Guilty Pleasures
When it comes to your guilty pleasures, it’s important, to be honest with yourself. In a way, your guilty pleasure is a measure of your values.
Are you someone who can acknowledge that they like spending time reading trashy romance novels or watching garbage reality TV and decide that doesn’t reflect who you are?
Make sure you define what constitutes a guilty pleasure for yourself so there’s no confusion. It may also help to look at other people’s answers to get perspective on where others draw their lines.
Do You Buy Products Even Though You Know They Are Expensive And Unnecessary?
You may not always be able to afford certain items, but you can’t deny that they make your life easier.
For example, when my parents gave me a coffee machine for Christmas, I had an instant coffee maker that I used daily.
But after getting my new gourmet espresso machine and learning how to make lattes and cappuccinos at home, I don’t think I touched my old coffee maker for a month!
Knowing you have something on hand makes it more likely that you will indulge in your guilty pleasure.
Do You Have Cable Tv Even Though It’s Too Expensive For Your Budget?
If you have cable TV and don’t care much for it, cancel your subscription.
A cable subscription can be a guilty pleasure when you feel that you shouldn’t spend your money on something you don’t use.
Rather than keep paying for something that isn’t adding value to your life, subscribe to an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu Plus instead.
These services offer content similar to that of popular TV networks and have thousands of movies available at any given time—but they cost as little as $8 per month each.
With these affordable streaming services, watch whatever you want, whenever you want—then cut back on other expenses so you can save money in other areas of your budget.
Do You Indulge In Beauty Treatments Even Though They Are Not Necessary, Or Do More Harm Than Good?
More often than not, indulgences tend to be bad for our health in some way.
That being said, there are a few pleasures that can’t be argued away simply because they are just too pleasurable for us to deny them.
Instead of feeling guilty about these indulgences, why not use them as motivation to live a more healthy lifestyle so you can continue to enjoy them guilt-free.
Is There Something About Your Lifestyle That Gives You Anxiety But Keeps Going Anyway Because Of How Expensive It Is?
Going through your monthly credit card statements can provide insight into your spending habits. What are you still paying for that you aren’t using?
Try canceling those services and asking yourself if you need them.
If there are services or subscriptions you never use, find new ones that will provide better value to your life.
Is There An App Or Tech Tool You Use Regularly Even Though It Drains Your Battery Life, Takes Up Space, Or Costs Money But Provides Little Value To You Personally?
We all have them. That app or tool that you love to use but probably shouldn’t.
We often feel guilty about our guilty pleasures, though, in part because we worry about what other people might think of us if they found out we like a specific website or app even though it doesn’t provide much value to us personally.
The reality is that no one knows whether or not you use these apps unless you tell them—and that brings me to another point.
Most guilty pleasures are inherently personal so there really isn’t anything wrong with using them if they make your life more enjoyable.
Is There Any Service You Pay For But Don’t Use Very Often?
If you have a subscription to something you don’t use very often, it might be time to cancel it.
For example, I used to subscribe to Google Play Music, but then I realized that I only ever listened to music on my iPod.
So I canceled my subscription and stopped paying for music altogether—now I listen free on Pandora or YouTube. You’d be surprised how many subscriptions you can cancel and not miss at all!
Is There A Hobby That Used To Give You Joy But Now Causes You To Stress And Worry Because It’s Become So Expensive (e.g., Knitting Or Scrapbooking)?
If you have a hobby that gives you stress and worries, it’s not serving its purpose.
It doesn’t matter how guilty you feel about spending money on something that makes you happy–if it feels like a burden to do it, then stop doing it.
Sometimes hobbies don’t cost much; knitting supplies, for example, can be inexpensive.
Other hobbies (like traveling) can be expensive. But if your hobby consistently eats up more of your time and income than either of those things are worth, then stop doing it!
Do something cheaper or free instead!
17 Most Common Guilty Pleasures
As stated before, guilty pleasures are the things we do that we know we shouldn’t do, but that we can’t help but enjoy.
These things aren’t bad in the strictest sense of the word, but they don’t contribute to our overall well-being and quality of life as much as we would like to think they do.
Here are 17 common guilty pleasures we all enjoy
1) Shopping Sprees
We all turn to shopping as a form of stress relief.
The problem is that, because we’re buying things we don’t need (at least, not at that particular moment), we end up carrying our purchases home, then stashing them in closets and dressers.
Over time, these nonessential items become clutter—and clutter can lead to a general sense of anxiety. Plus, you waste money on things you don’t need because it feels good to splurge occasionally.
But spending $1,000 on something you didn’t pay for with cash means your actual net worth has decreased by $1,000—not exactly a mood-enhancer, just a guilty pleasure.
2) Sleeping In
While we’re not suggesting that you become a bed hog, some downtime might actually be good for your health.
Studies have shown that getting seven to eight hours of shut-eye per night has all sorts of benefits—like reducing stress and keeping your weight in check.
You know what they say: early to bed, early to rise…yadda yadda yadda.
3) Eating Chocolate
Chocolate is one of the most common guilty pleasures. The chocolate market alone is worth around $99 billion a year, according to The Economist.
But if you thought chocolate was your only guilty pleasure, think again—chocolate isn’t the only food that can make us feel like we’re being bad! If you’re looking for more, check out these other foods below
Drinking wine or other forms of alcohol on occasion is probably fine (everyone has something). However, don’t make a habit out of it.
Not only can these types of drinks be full of calories and lead to weight gain, but they also stimulate insulin production which means that you may experience some serious blood sugar drops if you aren’t careful.
Remember that your body doesn’t discriminate against carbs from alcoholic beverages; it treats them all in a similar manner.
If you are trying to lose weight and haven’t been very successful, take a good look at how much alcohol you drink and try to cut back if possible.
You may end up drinking less and feeling less hungry than ever before!
5) Eating Pizza
Pizza is one of the most common guilty pleasures, ranking in as the third most craved food, according to a recent poll.
Pizza’s popularity is due in part to its taste—when it comes to the perfect pizza pie, few can resist a thin crust loaded with toppings and melted cheese.
But pizza doesn’t have to be bad for you.
If you’re trying to eat healthier but are craving pizza, there are plenty of ways to cut back on calories without sacrificing taste or making your stomach grumble.
6) Video Games
Video games are some of the most popular guilty pleasures for men and women, especially those who play World of Warcraft.
This is a game where players can team up to complete quests, slay monsters and fight other gamers in epic virtual battles.
To immerse themselves in these fantasy worlds, users have created their own visualizations of characters from their favorite video games.
7) Watching TV (Netflix)
If you’re watching TV, you’re not thinking about what else you could be doing. By working on anything else, however, we often feel more accomplished.
Although it might seem like a waste of time, TV is relatively harmless if it keeps us entertained without making us feel guilty.
If you enjoy movies and shows that make you think, television can be an important part of your life as long as there are things in your schedule that offset that leisure time.
Working out in front of a TV (exercising while watching TV) is a great way to pass time and avoid mindlessly surfing social media on your smartphone or tablet.
You’ll have fun and get fit—in other words, guilty pleasure combined with a guilt-free workout!
Napping is a natural and healthy way to recharge your body and mind. In fact, sleep experts recommend that adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
However, a nap can help you recharge quickly if you only manage to catch a few hours or if you tend to wake up exhausted in the middle of an average night’s rest.
We are sure that some people might try to argue that napping is not a guilty pleasure but we will let them continue their foolish ways in which they do not know what they are missing out on!
Napping has been proven to be one of those things in life that can improve all aspects of your life.
9) Social Media
Social media is a guilty pleasure because we have to admit that it can be a huge time waster.
There are so many interesting things going on in our friends’ lives that it’s hard not to lose track of what we actually need to be doing.
The key here is striking a balance—if you’re spending too much time browsing social media, setting up reminders or scheduling posts ahead of time will help keep you on track.
That way, you can avoid your friends making fun of your addiction by coming off as more well-adjusted and self-aware than everyone else.
Everyone has their vices—and some are a little less obvious than others—but don’t worry about what other people think.
10) Eating Late Breakfast
Another common guilty pleasure is eating breakfast late.
While it may not seem like a big deal to those who enjoy their morning meal well after lunch, others feel guilty about it and put themselves under immense stress for simply enjoying a late breakfast.
To be fair, there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating breakfast in the morning—or really, at any time of day for that matter
But if you often find yourself feeling bad about making time for a late breakfast, you might want to rethink your priorities.
11) Arriving Late To A Function Or Gathering
Arriving late to a function or gathering is a common guilty pleasure because of how it can show you are an over-achiever.
You did not have enough time to prepare, so you try to put together something last minute and hope that no one notices that you’re unprepared.
Sometimes showing up late is also a sign of disrespect toward others or can be unprofessional if it happens at work.
12) Reality TV Shows
If you find yourself plopping down on your couch every Wednesday night with a big bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine, it’s OK to admit that you love reality TV.
Everyone has their guilty pleasures, right? So why not own up to it?
Channel surfing when there’s nothing good on is one thing (who hasn’t done that?), but watching reality TV shows is really harmless…right?
13) Stalking Someone (Eg. Your Ex) On Facebook
We’ve all done it. Instead of studying, you find yourself scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed.
Or while at work, you can’t help but check in on your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s profile to see if they are living their life to the fullest without you.
Regardless of whether it was right or wrong, we do it anyway.
14) Crushing On Celebrities
When we are young, all it takes is one glance at a famous person to know that you’re 100 percent in love.
Whether they’re actors, athletes, or musicians, these public figures are sure to put a smile on any young girl’s face.
However, as we grow older and become more aware of Hollywood’s intentions, it becomes clear that celebrity crushes may not be so innocent after all.
Not only do many of them have wives or girlfriends (and sometimes kids!), but many of them also tend to break our hearts with their scandalous acts
And lack of acknowledgment towards us fans who support them through thick and thin!
15) Playing Games
If you’re looking for something to occupy your time, then these new smartphone games might help get you through your workday.
Whether it’s a match-three puzzle game or an endless runner that makes you collect coins, these apps are sure to keep you entertained while also helping pass time.
Download and play away! You won’t even have to feel guilty about it because they all offer free versions.
Final Thought On Guilty Pleasures
There are certain things we like to do that we wouldn’t necessarily tell others about. But, then again, why not? What makes it so guilty?
I think when something brings you great joy, there’s nothing wrong with embracing it and sharing it with others. Not everyone likes what you like and that’s fine.
Everyone has their own guilty pleasures and for some reason or another feels as though they need to hide them from society or friends/family.
Why should you hide them though if they give you happiness or pleasure?! Whether they make you happy or sad, either way, embrace them and enjoy them!
You only live once; don’t let yourself be unhappy just because other people may think differently than how you see life!
Oh! Wait, What’s Missing???
The 16th and 17th guilty pleasures right? Or you probably didn’t notice.
Well, the missing 2 numbers are meant for you, to tell us two of your guilty pleasures in the comment section. Let’s see if it is a common pleasure
Photo Credits: iStockphotos
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