Watching cat videos is why the Internet was invented, right? While catching up on Lil Bub鈥檚 latest upload may be one of the most popular uses for the web, it鈥檚 time to stop feeling guilty about it. You鈥檙e not procrastinating 鈥 you鈥檙e doing yourself a favor.聽A new study out by Indiana University聽researcher Jessica Myrick shows that watching cute videos of cats helps boost mood, lowers聽anxiety and can even increase productivity.


Researchers recorded the viewing patterns and reactions of over 7,000 participants and discovered that after people watched cat videos, 鈥渢hey were more energetic and felt more positive鈥 and had 鈥渇ewer negative emotions鈥 than before they watched the kitty antics. They also reported fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching聽the vids.


It鈥檚 not just that cats are hilarious. When you take a break to enjoy a video, you get so much pleasure that it outweighs any guilt you might be feeling for procrastinating.聽鈥淓ven if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,鈥 Myrick told Indiana University. Even people who don鈥檛 like cats can still laugh at a hilarious cat 鈥渇ail鈥 video. Cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat videos.


Basically, science just proved what we all already know 鈥 watching cat videos definitely makes your day better. But now you can use science as an excuse when your boss busts you. Myrick envisions聽her research聽paving the way for聽cat videos to be used as 鈥渁 form of low-cost pet therapy.鈥 YouTube stats show that over two million cat videos were posted to YouTube in 2014, achieving close to 26 billion views.

Like chocolate聽and聽naps,聽we just love finding out that our guilty pleasures are actually good for our health and well-being. Now, who needs A聽cat video break?