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Why we’re *so* obsessed with Disney+

Unless you've been living under Pride Rock (ahem, Lion King), you've most likely heard of Disney+.

The subscription video-on-demand streaming service received over 10 million sign-ups worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release. "I purchased Disney+ right when it came out," says New York high school senior Ariel Wiener. "Then, I spent the entire day watching some of my favorite movies from when I was little. It made me feel so nostalgic!"

Disney+ features some of the most iconic Disney films and television shows for customers to binge (i.e. The Little Mermaid, Hannah Montana, Phineas and Ferb, Wizards of Waverly Place), as well as other Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar hits. The service even includes original series and movies, including a Star Wars spin-off titled The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Stargirl, and a live-action remake of Lady & The Tramp. "Surprisingly, I'm just as addicted to the original content as I am to the older shows!" says New York teen Jillian Rose. "I'm literally singing 'All I Want' from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series all day long."

So why are we so obsessed? According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Amy Boyers, watching Disney+ can stir up a sense of nostalgia that can be used to escape anxiety.

"Watching Disney shows brings teenagers and young adults back to a time when life was simpler for them," Dr. Boyers explains. "Disney content tends to be positive, fantastical, and relatively innocent, so it can feel like a nice way to stray away from the pressures of everyday life."

Watching Disney+ may temporarily transport its viewers to an alternate universe, one where real-life problems don't seem as important. In addition, the movies and TV shows featured may even be integrated into our own life experiences, therefore "providing a common experience with all of our peers and giving everyone a similar frame of reference," as Dr. Boyers explains. The result is not just an increased sense of inclusion among others, but also a strengthened sense of self. "It's soothing that on a deeper level, your life experiences and perspective on the world is shared or valued by others," says Dr. Boyers.

Hannah Montana marathons? Yes, please! Just make sure to stay in tune with what's going on in the real world, too. 

What's your go-to show on Disney+? Tell us below!

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by Carrie Berk | 3/18/2020