11 Guilty Pleasure Examples And How To Overcome The Guilt

guilty pleasure examples

Do you ever indulge in activities or habits that you feel a tad bit guilty about later? Welcome to the world of “guilty pleasures“, those irresistible desires we all sneakily enjoy, yet often feel embarrassed admitting.

In this enriching piece, we will explore 11 common guilty pleasure examples and provide thoughtful strategies to overcome the associated guilt. Ready for some self-discovery? Let’s dive in!

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Key Takeaways

  • Guilty pleasures are enjoyable activities that make us feel guilty afterward, such as eating indulgent desserts or binge-watching reality TV shows.
  • It is important to recognize the potential consequences of indulging in guilty pleasures, such as health issuesfinancial problems, addiction or dependency, and damage to self-esteem.
  • To overcome the guilt associated with guilty pleasures, we can practice moderation, accept our enjoyment of these activities without judgment, and find a healthy balance between indulgence and responsible behavior.

What Are Guilty Pleasures?

Guilty pleasures are things we love doing but feel bad about. Think of them as little treats that make us happy, yet guilty at the same time. They might be small habits or actions that others see as not so good.

People often link these acts to being excessive or against social norms.

Eating fast food can be the reason to feel guilt for many people. Similarly, watching reality TV shows can also bring on this same mix of joy and guilt. For some binge watching reality shows, watching Disney movies, eating dessert or junk food, endless social media scrolling and immersing in conspiracy videos can be the reason for feeling guilt.

These types of activities may lead to shame or embarrassment if shared with others, even if they lighten our mood and make our day a bit better! Everyone’s got their own guilty pleasures because they are shaped by personal likes and the rules set by society around us.

11 Guilty Pleasure Examples

Some examples of guilty pleasures are indulging in desserts, social media stalking, lazy days in bed, binge watching reality TV shows, adding entire wishlist to online shopping cart only to end up overspending, playing app games before bed, fast food favorites, cheesy romantic comedies, wearing pajamas all day, and daydreaming or fantasizing.

Indulgent desserts

Indulgent desserts

Rich, sweet desserts are a top one for many with a sweet tooth. Think of biting into a Klondike Mint Chocolate Chip bar. The ice cream melts on your tongue first, followed by the crunch of minty chocolate.

With so many good treats in the world, it’s just something hard to say no!

Beware though! There is a dark side to these sugary delights. Eating lots of desserts can harm our health if we don’t watch out. It’s wise to know just what all you eat before making them part of your everyday life.

Binge-worthy reality TV shows

Binge watching reality TV shows

Binge watching TV shows are a fun guilty pleasure for many. These shows can make you laugh, gasp, and even shed happy tears. Some old favorites like “Flavor of Love,” “For Love or Money,” and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” were once the talk of the town.

They might not air anymore, but their magic lingers on! A survey also found out that people love dramas such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Shameless,” along with thrillers like “The Walking Dead.” Watching these shows lets us forget everyday life stresses for a little while.

This is what makes reality TV a great pick when you want pure escapism.

Social media stalking

Social media stalking

Social media stalking is something that many people engage in without realizing the potential consequences. It involves obsessively scrolling through someone’s social media accounts, often to gather information or keep tabs on their activities.

While some may argue that they do it out of concern for others’ safety, such as in cases of abusive ex-partners, it is important to recognize that this behavior can easily cross boundaries and become harmful.

Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are often associated with this type of stalking due to their popularity and accessibility.

Lazy days in bed

Lazy days in bed

Lazy days in bed can be a guilty pleasure for some people. It’s tempting to skip work or exercise responsibilities and just stay under the covers all day. But this can result in feelings of guilt, especially when there are important tasks that need to be done.

Finding a balance between indulging in lazy days and maintaining a productive lifestyle is essential. Setting boundaries and allocating specific time for lazy days can help avoid excessive guilt while still enjoying those cozy moments of relaxation.

Overspending on shopping sprees

Overspending on shopping sprees

Shopping sprees can be exciting for many people, but you may end up spending more money than you intended to. It’s the thrill of buying new things and treating yourself to something special. However, overspending on shopping sprees can have consequences.

Impulsive purchases can lead to financial issues and strain relationships with loved ones. Compulsive shopping is a behavior that can harm your bank account and cause stress in your life.

Recognizing signs of compulsive shopping and seeking help if needed is important to avoid the negative impacts it may have on your finances and relationships. It’s okay to enjoy shopping, but finding a balance and being mindful of your spending habits will ultimately benefit you in the long run.

Playing app games before bed

Playing app games before bed

Playing app games before bed is a common one for many people. It can be enticing to unwind and relax by immersing yourself in a game right before sleep. However, it’s important to recognize the potential consequences of this habit.

Studies have shown that using devices, such as smartphones or tablets, before bed can disrupt your sleep and circadian rhythm and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Also, the blue light emitted from these devices can suppress melatonin production, making it more difficult for your body to prepare for restful sleep.

While playing app games may provide temporary entertainment and distraction, it’s essential to prioritize quality sleep for overall well-being.

Fast food favorites

Fast food favorites

Indulging in junk food favorites is something many people can’t resist. Despite being aware of negative impact it has on health, millions of burgers and fries are consumed each year.

These greasy meals often contain high calories and unhealthy fats, leading to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases. However, the convenience and delicious taste make it hard to resist these tempting treats.

So, if you find yourself craving fast food, remember to practice moderation and make healthier choices whenever possible to minimize the guilt while still satisfying your cravings.

Catchy pop music

Catchy pop music

Catchy pop music is often considered a guilty pleasure because it’s fun, easy to sing along to, and sometimes seen as less “serious” than other genres. People secretly love these songs but may feel embarrassed to admit it because they don’t fit into their usual taste in music.

Some popular examples include ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” Britney Spears’ “Oops!. I Did It Again,” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” These songs are known for their infectious melodies and catchy hooks that make them hard to resist.

While some may view catchy pop music as cheesy or shallow, others appreciate it for its ability to lift the mood and provide an escape from everyday life. So go ahead and enjoy some guilty pleasure pop tunes without feeling guilty about it!

Cheesy romantic comedies

Cheesy romantic comedies

Romantic comedies are those movies that often make us roll our eyes with their predictability and cheese. But for many of us, they’re the ultimate guilty pleasure. Despite feeling guilty about it, we can’t help but fall in love with these feel-good stories.

Romantic comedies offer a chance to escape from reality and dive into a world where true love always wins. They provide a mental break and leave us feeling hopeful and optimistic. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite cheesy rom-coms guilt-free!

Wearing pajamas all-day

Wearing pajamas all-day

Wearing pajamas all day is a guilty pleasure that many of us can relate to. It’s the cozy feeling of staying in our comfortable sleepwear, even when we have no plans to leave the house.

While it may seem harmless, wearing pajamas all day can actually lead to feelings of guilt and unproductivity. It’s like we’re tricking ourselves into believing that we’re still in relaxation mode instead of getting things done.

In fact, some believe that purchasing a full pajama set signifies adulthood, making this guilty pleasure not just about comfort but also about maintaining an illusion of maturity. So while it may be tempting to stay in your PJs all day, remember that it’s important to find a balance between comfort and productivity for your overall well-being.

Daydreaming or fantasizing

Daydreaming or fantasizing

Daydreaming or fantasizing is a guilty pleasure that many people enjoy. It allows us to escape from reality and create our own private world in our minds. Daydreaming can be peaceful and enjoyable, providing a break from the demands of everyday life.

While it may evoke feelings of shame or embarrassment, recognizing daydreaming as a guilty pleasure can actually help prevent it from becoming a harmful habit. Accepting and embracing daydreaming or fantasizing as a guilt-free indulgence can help alleviate any associated negative emotions and allow us to fully enjoy this form of pure escapism.

There are still some guilty pleasure worth keeping because they can help relieve stress, for example watching your favorite children’s movies as an adult. Sometimes, they make you laugh; other times, they make you realize how incredibly creative they are. It’s one of the best guilty pleasures where you don’t need to feel guilty.

Consequences of Guilty Pleasure

Consequences of Guilty Pleasure

Indulging in guilty pleasures can have negative consequences, such as health issues due to overconsumption of unhealthy foods or sedentary behavior, financial issues from overspending, addiction or dependency on certain activities or substances, damage to self-esteem from feeling guilty or ashamed, and strained relationships if loved ones view the guilty pleasure as harmful or unacceptable.

Health Issues

Engaging in guilty pleasure activities can sometimes have negative effects on our health. Overeating indulgent desserts or fast food favorites, for example, can lead to weight gain, eating disorder or other health issues.

It’s important to recognize that excessive indulgence in these pleasures can result in unhealthy habits like overeating or neglecting our responsibilities. Additionally, feeling guilty about what we eat, known as food guilt, can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.

However, it’s also important to note that engaging in guilty pleasures can bring us joy and pleasure, which is good for our overall well-being. Finding a balance between indulging in these pleasures and maintaining healthy lifestyle is ver important for our long-term health and happiness.

Financial Issues

Financial issues can arise as a consequence of guilty pleasures. Indulging too much in these pleasurable activities can lead to overspendingaccumulating debt, and neglecting financial responsibilities.

This behavior is known as financial infidelity, and it can have negative consequences on one’s bank account and overall financial well-being. It’s important to recognize the potential harm that guilty pleasures can have on our finances and develop strategies to overcome the guilt associated with them.

By being mindful of our spending habits and finding ways to balance indulgence with responsible money management, we can avoid falling into risky financial situations.

Self-forgiveness can go a long way in helping you deal with guilt.

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Addiction or dependency is a serious consequence of guilty pleasures. It can happen when we rely too much on these activities to feel good or escape from reality. Addiction often leads to negative consequences like health issuesfinancial problems, and strained relationships with loved ones.

When guilt becomes toxic and shame-filled, it can keep individuals trapped in addictive behaviors, making it difficult to break free. Overcoming addiction requires support, self-awareness, and a willingness to make positive changes in our lives.

Damage to Self-Esteem

Feeling guilty about our guilty pleasures can actually harm our self-esteem. Guilt can make us feel ashamed, doubt ourselves, and decrease our confidence. It is a negative emotion that encompasses feelings of regret and embarrassment.

Research has shown that guilt and depression are linked, suggesting a connection between these two emotions. Surprisingly, feeling guilty can even enhance the enjoyment of indulging in our guilty pleasures.

Over time, this guilt can contribute to low self-esteem by causing doubts in our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behavior. False responsibility can also lead to false guilt, which further fuels self-blame and internalization.

Strained Relationships

Guilty pleasures can put a strain on relationships. Indulging in these guilty pleasures may cause tension and conflict between you and your loved ones. When you prioritize your own enjoyment without considering the needs or feelings of others, it can create distance and resentment.

Over time, this strain can have a negative impact on the quality of your relationships and lead to feelings of isolation. It’s important to be mindful of how your guilty pleasures may affect those around you and strive for open communication and compromise to maintain healthy connections with people you care about most.

How to Overcome the Guilt of Guilty Pleasures

How to Overcome the Guilt of Guilty Pleasures

To overcome the guilt of guilty pleasures, practice mindful indulgence, moderation, acceptance, reframing your mindset, and self-discovery.

Practicing mindful indulgence

When it comes to guilty pleasures, practicing mindful indulgence can help alleviate the guilt associated with them. Mindful indulgence means being aware of and fully present in the moment while engaging in activities that bring you pleasure.

It involves giving yourself permission to enjoy these pleasures without judgment or shame. By being mindful and present, you can savor the experience and truly appreciate it. This approach allows you to indulge in your guilty pleasures without feeling overwhelmed by guilt, as long as it is done in moderation and does not harm your well-being.

Practicing mindful indulgence helps shift the focus from guilt to self-care, allowing you to enjoy life’s simple pleasures while maintaining a healthy balance.


Enjoying guilty pleasures in moderation is key to maintaining a healthy balance. It’s important to remember that indulging in these pleasures occasionally can bring joy and fun into our lives.

By practicing moderation, we ensure that our guilty pleasures don’t become harmful habits that negatively impact our health, finances, or relationships. Recognizing the existence of these guilty pleasures allows us to enjoy them without feeling ashamed or guilty.

So go ahead and savor that piece of chocolate cake or binge-watch your favorite reality TV show, as long as it’s done in moderation and doesn’t take over your life.


Acceptance is a crucial step in overcoming the guilt associated with guilty pleasures. It means acknowledging and embracing your own humanity, accepting that it’s okay to have moments of indulgence and enjoyment.

Feeling guilty about these pleasures is normal, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own version of guilty pleasure. Recognize that society often associates guilt with pleasure, but there’s no need to feel ashamed or judged for doing things that bring you happiness.

Accepting your guilty pleasures allows you to let go of the negative emotions attached to them and fully enjoy the little indulgences in life.

Reframing mindset

To overcome the guilt associated with guilty pleasures, reframing your mindset can be really helpful. Instead of viewing these indulgences as negative or something to feel ashamed about, try to see them as important forms of self-care and stress relief.

Psychologists have found that feeling guilty about our choices doesn’t necessarily lead to a healthier life. By shifting our focus away from guilt and embracing these activities as small moments of joy in our everyday lives, we can free ourselves from the burden of guilt and enjoy our guilty pleasures without shame.

It’s all about changing how we think about them and giving ourselves permission to indulge in activities that bring us happiness, even if they don’t always align with societal expectations.


Self-discovery is an essential step in overcoming the guilt associated with guilty pleasures. By engaging in self-discovery, individuals can better understand and acknowledge their specific guilty pleasure.

It allows us to explore why we feel guilty about certain pleasures and helps us find acceptance within ourselves. Self-discovery plays a crucial role in embracing our guilty pleasures without feeling bad or ashamed about enjoying them.

By understanding ourselves on a deeper level, we can learn to appreciate and indulge in our guilty pleasures without letting guilt hold us back.


In conclusion, guilty pleasures are a normal part of life and can provide a much-needed break from our daily responsibilities. Instead of feeling guilty about them, we can learn to embrace and enjoy these little indulgences.

By practicing moderation, acceptance, and reframing our mindset, we can overcome the guilt associated with guilty pleasures and find a healthy balance in our lives. So go ahead and savor that slice of cake or indulge in your favorite reality TV show – you deserve it!


How can I overcome the guilt of my favorite guilty pleasure?

To overcome guilt from your favorite app game or other responsibilities like dirty dishes that distract you from remote working, have self-care time to relieve stress.

Is it okay to keep some guilty pleasures?

Yes! Some, like watching a dramatic movie scene or listening to certain music, may be considered the healthiest guilty pleasures or pleasures worth keeping if they bring joy into your life.

Can having certain ‘guilty pleasures’ affect our own lives socially and professionally?

Yes, indulging too much into celebrity gossip could impact your social and professional network negatively-it’s a bit naughty but socially unacceptable.

Do all people view ‘guilty pleasure’ the same way?

No! One might feel joy after an entire pint of blue bell tub ice cream in one sitting, while another person might feel guilt for similar act-what feels acceptable varies per individual!

Why do I feel a bit naughty when engaging in my favorite children’s movie or mindless entertainment?

This is because society deems those activities as unproductive- like drinking beverages more than necessary -and deviations often trigger feelings of being risky business.


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