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How a kids show helps me with my mental health

Now you probably read that title and thought "um, hello? Are you okay?" And the answer as always is: nope, but that‘s alright.

I‘ve written about this topic so many times here and I know that I probably sound like a broken record, spinning endlessly around and around, blabbering and muttering the same old stuff over and over again, until one day someone picks me up and puts me back into a dusty shelf. Mental health - yes, it can be exhausting, annoying and most importantly: human.

Whenever I hit one of my lows, my coping mechanism is scrolling endlessly through social media, until I hit rock bottom even worse. Or just fall asleep. During one of my daily TikTok trips, one video specifically caught my attention: the caption was "this cartoon discusses adult problems!" Weird, but okay, I‘ll watch it!

The video was 30 seconds long and before it was even over, I already felt hot, steaming tears rolling down my cheeks. That show was "Bluey".

© BBC Studios

For your information, "Bluey" is an Australian cartoon show, that follows Bluey, an energetic Blue Heeler puppy, and her life with her parents, Bandit and Chilli, her younger sister Bingo and her friends. Each episode lasts around 10 minutes and follows the different adventures the Heeler family experiences. By that I mean normal life stuff, like getting the kids ready for bed, playing a game with an imaginary friend or even just enjoying a nice time on the beach. Sounds like a normal kids show, right?

What makes “Bluey” different from normal kids TV?

Let‘s face it, the shows that I grew up with in the early 2000s weren‘t really the best programs for vulnerable and impressionable young kids. Remember "CatDog"? What the heck was that even about, if not just for giving me nightmares and reasons for my parents to not let me watch Nickelodeon for a few weeks? I‘m not gonna blame Nickelodeon for my anxiety issues, but I am indeed blaming Nickelodeon for at least participating in it. "Bluey", however, is different than any show I have ever watched before and I wished I could have had it when growing up. There‘s so many episodes and small scenes that define the quirks and habits of growing up, but also handling life as a functioning adult in these crazy times and sometimes, this hits really hard.

"Bluey" isn‘t there to provide kids with crazy-colored and over-the-top-stupid and mindless scenes, which should make our kids laugh (or at least keep them occupied for a few hours). It‘s here to show them: sometimes life isn‘t perfect, sometimes your days don‘t go well and sometimes you don‘t feel okay - but that is fine. This show was so completely different from what I grew up with, because it teaches kids lessons: to be more mindful, to build your friends up when they‘re feeling down, to make everyone feel included and so many more.

A kids show that describes an adult's thoughts and fears

I‘ve mentioned it before and while it‘s obviously aimed at kids, the show also features a lot of content, which is relatable to any grown-up out there. In one episode (season 2, episode 27), Chilli (the mother) takes her kids out to her father‘s place in the woods. Taken in by their grandfather, Bluey and Bingo start a high speed chase through the woods with their grandpa. What the kids don’t understand is that he had recently undergone surgery and Chilli is super concerned about his health, chasing after them and wanting them to end their run, and relax in peace by the lake. At one point, she meets an old friend of her father. He asks why she‘s so concerned about this, since it‘s just a game. She gets angry and says that he has to take care of himself… because she still needs him, she admits. It’s the inevitable we all have to go through. Our elders get older and so do we. You can grow up, you can move away from your hometown and change your entire identity, but nobody will ever take it away that you’re the child of your parent, and you will forever be their kid.

At the end of this episode, Chilli and her father sit by the lake, the kids are swimming in front of them. They reminisce about her dad bringing her down to this lake a lot, when she was younger. “That was a long time ago”, Chilli says. “No”, her father says, “it was yesterday” and the scene transforms into the last shot that shows adult Chilli slowly morphing into a little kid, being embraced by her father. Even as I’m writing these lines into this little blog post here, I can already feel the tears coming in. If you want to watch this specific scene, you can watch it here:

Another episode, which is also one of the highest rated and recommended “Bluey” episodes, is episode 26 from season 2 - “Sleepytime”. In this episode, Bingo experiences an intergalactic adventure in her dream, while the rest of the family gets deprived of sleep and have their own adventure. The episode starts with Bingo telling her mother that she wants to wake up in her own bed tonight. She says she wants to try and “have a big girl's sleep”. Her mother puts her plushie into her bed and reminds her that if she cannot sleep or needs anything, she’ll always be there for her. Bingo falls asleep and the most visually stunning episode of any kids show ever begins.

Planet earth cracks and Bingo shows up, starts travelling through space, flies through stars and comets and…

© BBC Studios

I’m not going to spoil it, but I will however say that this episode has won multiple awards for a good reason, and even the toughest critics have admitted that this episode made them cry.

Let me say that the whole solar system stands for one big metaphor. And the moment Bingo feels cold and alone in space, the sun suddenly appears… but is the sun really just a planet, or perhaps a special person in the life of a kid?

I could honestly name every single episode (and there are well over 140!), that made me question my lifestyle, the way I treat people and myself and how I perceive my life, but then this blog post would be millions of pages long. One final episode (the last one, I promise!) I want to introduce to you would be the episode “Camping” (Season 1, Episode 43): the family goes camping and Bluey meets another kid - they have plenty of fun together, until one day, he and his family have to go home again, since it’s the end of their holiday. Bluey doesn’t understand this and gets frustrated and emotional that he had to leave, and that she won’t see him again.

Then Chilli, Bluey's wise mother says: “sometimes special people come into our lives, stay for a bit and then they have to go.” Bluey understands it: “Yes, but that’s sad!” So, Chilli adds: “but the bit where they were here was happy, wasn't it?"

I think we all can relate to friendships that dried out over the years, wonderful people we just stopped communicating with and conversations that died down - I’m missing a special person in my life and I know I’ll never be able to talk to her again. Hearing these words comforted me and made me look at this entire situation with a smile.

© BBC Studios

Why do I love it so much?

When I started watching that show, I was just recently diagnosed with burnout disorder and just moved out of my parent's house. All of these huge life steps made me feel lonely, but also misunderstood. “Bluey” came into my life at the right time - it taught me so many new things of which I wished I could have learned as a kid because it would have helped me in so many life situations.

"Bluey“ is a special show, for kids and adults. I can recommend it to everybody who wants to feel a little bit of peace and make amends with their inner child. It's a great show and definitely one I would want my future child to watch. Like I said, I wish I could have had it back then, when growing up.

If this post has raised your interest in "Bluey", the show is currently on Disney+ and Disney Junior. Enjoy it, and enjoy making your inner kid feel peaceful!

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


May 15



Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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