Banish the Guilt of “Guilty Pleasures”

I was listening to one of my fav podcasts this week and the host talked about joyfully indulging in a “guilty pleasure” which totally got me thinking…and feeling. 


Because…Guilt feels AWFUL.

Physically, I get a tight squeezy feeling in my chest, maybe some nausea, and my throat might tighten up. 

Emotionally, I run through the story of whatever happened over…and over…and over, telling myself mean things about what a horrible person I must be to have so totally failed to do/not do whatever I’m feeling bad about.

It sucks. 

But when I think of doing something that I love, a “pleasure,” like riding my bike like I did this afternoon, or sitting in the hot tub with my hubs and talking about life, I instantly feel that joy in my heart. It feels SO much better, lighter. 

Guilt is totally misplaced when it’s equated with pleasure.

So, here’s the big question…

Why…WHY…do we “treat” ourselves with something called “guilty pleasures”?

A “guilty pleasure” is something that you find super fun or enjoyable, but for whatever reason, society says you’re supposed to feel guilty for. This is ludicrous. 

And, it’s a problem.

We’ve all heard of “treating ourselves to a guilty pleasure” if we’re having a rough day. 

But does adding guilt to a crappy day help? 

I’d argue that it, unequivocally, does not. 

Instead, let’s treat ourselves with pleasure…because it’s fun, and it feels good. And…bonus in that it increases our creativity and productivity.

You should NOT feel guilt if you… take time out in the middle of the day to take a bath or read a book. Or maybe for you it’s getting a massage, treating yourself to a pedicure, having a glass of wine or a bowl of your favorite ice cream after a long day, having a cookie, or bingeing on your favorite Netflix show.

Why would anyone want to feel all the yuck that guilt brings up when they’re doing something that is FUN and pleasurable?!? I certainly don’t want to feel that way, and I’m fairly confident you don’t want to either.

So, let’s not.

It’s the definition of ‘misplaced guilt.’

Let’s ban that whole idea that anything we do for fun or pleasure must also coincide with a feeling of guilt. I will a make a promise, right now, to ban the concept of a “guilty pleasure” from my life and my vocabulary.

Pleasure is NOT and should NOT be guilty.

Instead, let’s play with this whole idea of “pleasure for pleasure’s sake” and actually do it, and savor our pleasures. When I’m doing something fun and enjoyable, without thinking at all of something that I “should” be doing, it’s so much more enjoyable. 

As you look ahead to this week, what’s ONE thing that you might plan to do for fun, just for you?

Maybe that’s savoring a drippy ice cream cone on a sunny afternoon, grabbing a steamy romance at the library or downloading one onto your kindle and reading purely for your enjoyment, or taking a quiet walk by yourself or with a dear friend. 

If you need some ideas, this blog post might help you out. 

Once you decide on your guilt-free, lovely, fun pleasure for the week, I’d love for you to leave a comment and share how it’s going.

To playing a little every day.




  1. Stacey on June 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Love this post‼️

    • Amy Isaman on June 10, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you!!!! Miss you! So glad you “found” me again at my online home!

    • JBodin on June 10, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      I’m leaving dishes in the sink and clothes in the washer and going outside to soak up the sun and okay I’m my (weedy) garden.. And I just don’t care! Love your blog Amy, you do it girl!

      • Amy Isaman on June 11, 2019 at 1:27 am

        YOU go girl!!! Because really, at the end of the day…the dishes will still be there, but you’ll be a hell of a lot more content!

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