In the 25 years since the September 22, 1994, premiere of Friends on NBC, the sitcom has not only proved to have incredible staying power in pop culture via its characters, its cult-beloved haircuts, and its syndication. Often cited as one of the most-viewed shows on Netflix (though its days available on the platform are numbered), people can’t stop watching over and over and over again. There are surely many reasons for this, including that some of the best Friends moments double as healthy-living tips we can all stand to bookmark.
No one’s arguing that many plot lines from those late-’90s/early-aughts episodes don’t hold up in today’s more socially conscious world. (For one example, consider the highly insensitive Fat Monica back-story. Yikes.) And the series couldn’t have been more homogenous from every angle if it tried. If there were ever a reboot, rallying for more authenticity and diversity would be the top priority. But to be clear, celebrating the series doesn’t mean ignoring its pain points—it means acknowledging them, and demanding more of entertainment sources moving forward.
It also means appreciating the additions the six Friends have added to our cultural lexicon. So, without further ado, turn on that Rembrandts bop (in your head, where it will no doubt continue playing involuntarily for the next stretch of time) and check out the best Friends moments that double as serious wellness tips.
1. Say it with me: coffee
Other than their apartments, the Friends gang spends the most time at the Central Perk coffee shop. With all those trips to their beloved haunt, they’re definitely all solid on soaking up the benefits of coffee (and then some), including essential nutrients and antioxidants.
2. Know your own erogenous zones
When Chandler asks Monica and Rachel for advice on how to make his girlfriend happy in bed, he gets an unforgettable lesson in anatomy. Monica points out all the spots that will get the job done. Once she reaches the number seven, she gets there herself just by thinking about it. When it comes to feeling good during sex, knowing your own body and listening to it is key.
3. Jog, and do it with a sense of joy
Jogging in the park may not be for everyone, but then again, not everyone has tried Phoebe’s take on it. She makes the case to Rachel that being especially carefree while running makes the whole experience way more fun. As for dealing with all the gawking strangers? Pheebs points out you only see them for a moment and then you’re out of their sight and they’re out of your mind. It’s freeing both for the mind and body, kind of like a self-led version of The Class, which checks out since Jennifer Aniston and Taryn Toomey are real-life pals.
4. Get massages for stress relief
Since experts recommend getting regular massage treatments (with the actual frequency depending on your emotional and physical needs), count yourself lucky if you have a massage therapist like Phoebe in your own friend group. In fact, Monica found out firsthand just how relaxed and, ahem, vocal, a massage can make you feel.
5. Unwind with a bubble bath
Another avenue for stress relief? Making like Chandler and taking an aromatherapy bubble bath full of calming essential oils. Just remember to lock the door, unless you want all of your roommates to barge in, compromising the relaxing properties of the activity (complete with candles and Enya).
6. Pursue your dream job
All of the friends explore their ambitions and chase their dreams throughout the run of the show, but the most inspirational of the career-based storylines is Chandler’s. Feeling stagnant and unhappy in his job that paid the bills but didn’t fulfill him, so he sought to start over and pursue advertising. Rather than wait and wonder what could have been, he made a major shift and set new goals for himself. After hitting reset on his career trajectory and starting over as an intern, the choice paid off for him.
7. Regard the rules of love and dating as guidelines to bend
There are plenty of lessons about relationships (including making sure both parties are totally clear about what being “on a break” means) to glean from the show, but one to bookmark is Monica taking charge of her love life. She took a page from the modern etiquette book of love by choosing to propose to Chandler. He ultimately asks her (spoiler: she says yes), but the whole scenario undoubtedly inspired many others to stop waiting to answer a question they themselves feel happy to ask.
8. Always prioritize your friends
The gang had their ups and downs, but they ultimately had each other’s best interests at heart. This group made so many people feel in on the joke with them for its 10 years of airing and 15 years of rewatching. Their enduring bond onscreen and with viewers off-screen can serve as a reminder that our pals should always be a top priority. After all, friendship is a positive for mental health. So make time to get together and watch some reruns together—including these best Friends moments for wellness.
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