You decide to start watching that new show everyone has been raving about by settling down in front of the TV after a long day at work. You find yourself tempted to stay up and watch one more episode after finishing half of a season by midnight, even though you’ll suffer for it the next morning at work. Even the best of us experience it. What a time to be alive, right?

Watching a show episode after episode is enjoyable, but why is that? It’s due to the chemicals that are released in our brains, claims clinical psychologist Dr. Renee Carr, Psy.D. When you’re having fun, like binge-watching television, your brain releases dopamine. This chemical gives the body a satisfying internal reward that motivates it to keep doing that action. While you binge-watch your favorite show, your brain continuously creates dopamine, giving your body a high resembling that of a drug.

All events are recorded as authentic memories in our brains, whether they were had in the physical world, on television, in a book, or in our imagination. Therefore, while watching TV, the same brain areas that are active during a live event are also active. We become engrossed in the storylines, form bonds with the characters, and care about how things turn out.