Knock, knock. Who’s there? Seasonal depression!

Students share their favorite forms of comedic relief in times of sadness

Talia Parlane, Staff Writer

Illustration by Mia Eshima

As temperatures fall and winter draws near, the monster that is seasonal depression begins to emerge from its cave. For many, in times of utter despair, comedy can be a ray of light, a worthy foe to combat sadness.

Thus, during this season of gray skies and abundant tears, many Seattle Pacific students still manage to find sunshine and happiness through a number of joyful, laugh-worthy sources.

Patti Fong, a junior honors student studying visual arts and English, referred to lighthearted shows and podcasts as her favorite forms of comedic relief.

“I watch British comedy shows like ‘Taskmaster,’” Fong said. “It’s fun to watch people have a fun time doing pointless and silly tasks, especially when I’m feeling burdened by a lot of deadlines.”

Fong also touched on the importance of allowing the mind to relax occasionally, especially when overwhelmed with schoolwork.

“When I’m struggling, I rely heavily on my intellect and intuitive thinking side to sort things out,” Fong said. “Sometimes I inundate myself with a constant stream of higher level critical content like informational podcasts, theoretical readings, and webinar streams, so pointless and fun shows like ‘Taskmaster’ and comedy podcasts like ‘Off Menu’ help me relax out of that mode.”

Sophomore fashion merchandising major Jose Mendoza described a simpler alternative to entertain himself when feeling low.

“Whenever I go on social media and see a relatable or funny meme, [it’s] what makes my day,” Mendoza said. “It makes my day because it makes me laugh and have a moment of happiness. I see people who are rude all the time, and that’s what ruins my day. So seeing something funny brings [happiness] back.”

Sophomore criminal justice major Mahad Abdulqadir spoke of looking to his peers as a way of combating sadness.

“A comedic thing that gives me joy is my humorous friends and the funny things they say,” Abdulqadir said. “Everytime I hang out with them it’s a fun time. Most of the time it’s roasting or teasing each other, but it’s all in good fun, and no one is seriously insulted.”

Abdulqadir is not the only one who named friendships as a means to happiness.

Esal Shakil, a second year student double majoring in honors liberal arts and psychology, referred to observing friendships as a way to illustrate the contagious nature of laughter.

“I also enjoy watching friendships,” Shakil said. “So like, if two people or a group is laughing together, then that changes my mood positively too. I start to mimic their behavior and laugh too.”

Shakil also noted her process of finding lighthearted entertainment through a popular media source.

“To laugh, I go to YouTube,” said Shakil. “The videos that make me laugh usually have really stupid bits, so I guess the simpler the humor is, the more likely I am to laugh, just because it’s easier to digest, extremely lighthearted, and doesn’t require me to think much.”

Oftentimes, sadness ends up overwhelming students, and it can be far too easy to get caught up in feelings of dejection or a lack of motivation. Fong concluded that it is essential to relax and give one’s mind a break.

“I think it’s good for us to do things that aren’t productive and help us take life less seriously,” Fong said. “It’s good to be idle.”