Guilty pleasure what does it mean? Examples

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

Some things make us happy, even though we realize that they are not universally appreciated or considered “good.” Have you ever had a favorite TV show that you were ashamed to admit you were watching? Or a song that you enjoyed listening to, but were afraid that others would laugh at you? That’s what“guilty pleasure” is.

Definition of Guilty pleasure – what is it?

Guilty pleasure is something that gives us pleasure, even though we realize that it is not widely appreciated or considered “good.” It can be a movie, a TV show, music or even food. Although we enjoy it, at the same time we may feel some shame or guilt for liking it.

Examples of Guilty pleasure

Guilty pleasures are feelings of pleasure that accompany us when we perform certain activities or consume certain products, even though we are aware of their potentially “low” value in the eyes of society. Here are more specific examples from different categories:

Music – we all have that one song that we love to sing out loud when no one is listening. It could be an old hit from the 1990s, a song from our childhood or even a song from a commercial that we can’t get out of our heads. While others may consider them “kitschy” or “untrendy,” for us they have a special place in our hearts.

Television – have you ever had a mystery marathon of a show that was so bad it was good? It could be a reality show, a soap opera or even a cartoon from your childhood. Although critics may lap them up and friends laugh at us, we can’t resist their charm.

Food – fast food, sweets, fatty snacks – all those things that we know aren’t good for us, but that we love. It could be midnight pizza, chocolate for breakfast or even French fries with garlic sauce. Although we are aware of their caloric content and lack of nutritional value, we can’t resist them.

Activity – have you ever spent the whole day in your pajamas, watching movies and doing nothing? Or maybe you have a secret hobby, like stamp collecting, jewelry making or even dancing in the rain? While these may seem “bizarre” or “unconventional” to others, to us they are a source of joy and relaxation.

It is important to remember that guilty pleasure is an individual matter. What is guilty pleasure for one person may be perfectly normal for another. The key is to accept yourself and your choices, regardless of the opinions of others.

Examples of Guilty pleasure
Examples of Guilty pleasure / canva

Why do we have guilty pleasure?

Guilty pleasure is a complex feeling that results from many psychological and social factors. Here are some reasons why we experience this feeling:

Social pressure and the desire to belong

From an early age, we are shaped by the society around us. We learn what is “good” and “bad,” what is “accepted” and “unaccepted.” We want to be part of a group and be accepted by others, so we often adjust our behavior to conform to social norms and expectations. When something we like is not universally accepted, we may feel guilty or ashamed of our choices.

Internal conflicts and moral dilemmas

Sometimes our guilty pleasures can be in conflict with our own values and beliefs. For example, if we are a healthy eater but love fast food, we may feel guilty for eating unhealthy food. Similarly, if we are an environmentally conscious person, but love luxury cars, we may feel guilty for owning them.

Fear of others’ judgment

Fear of what others will think of our choices is a strong motivator for many of us. We are afraid of being judged, ridiculed or rejected by others because of our guilty pleasures. Therefore, we often hide them or are ashamed of them.

The desire to be “perfect”

In today’s world there is a lot of pressure to be “perfect” in every aspect of our lives. We want to be perfect parents, partners, employees, friends, etc. When our guilty pleasures don’t fit into this “ideal” picture, we may feel guilty or unfulfilled.

In conclusion, guilty pleasure is a natural feeling that stems from our human nature and social expectations. It is important to remember that we all have our guilty pleasures and there is nothing wrong with that. The key is to accept yourself and your choices, regardless of the opinions of others.

What are the benefits of “Guilty pleasure”?

Although the term “Guilty pleasure” carries connotations of guilt, in reality many people experience positive benefits from these “shameful” pleasures. Here are some of them:

Stress and tension reduction – In our busy world full of stress and pressure, guilty pleasures can serve as a short break from daily responsibilities. Whether it’s by watching a favorite TV series, listening to an old song or eating a favorite dessert, these moments allow us to relax and unwind.

Strengthening self-esteem – acknowledging and accepting our guilty pleasures can help build self-esteem. It makes us realize that we are human, we have our preferences and we don’t have to be ashamed of them.

Fostering positive memories – many guilty pleasures are related to our memories of the past. It could be a song from our youth, a movie we watched as children, or the taste of a favorite childhood food. These “embarrassing” pleasures can remind us of happy times and reinforce our positive memories.

Stimulating creativity – often guilty pleasures, such as watching movies, listening to music or reading books, can inspire us and stimulate our creativity. They can lead to new ideas, perspectives and inspiration in our professional and personal lives.

Connecting with others – although it may seem that we are the only ones with certain guilty pleasures, in reality many people have similar tastes. Sharing them with others can lead to deeper connections and building relationships based on shared interests.


Guilty pleasures are things that give us pleasure, even though they are not universally valued. While we may feel guilty for liking them, they can actually be very beneficial to our mental health. It’s important to remember that everyone has their guilty pleasures and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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