Image of woman watching TV with text overlay 35 days without watching true crime.

Do you feel like you might be addicted to true crime documentaries and wish you knew how to stop watching them?

Or maybe you find yourself listening to true crime podcasts or YouTube channels, and before you know it, you’ve gotten sucked into a time warp and done nothing productive with your day? Well, don’t worry, because I’ve been trapped in that cycle, and there is hope—here’s how I broke free!

How to know if your true-crime addiction is actually a problem

First, here’s a bit of a personal question: have you ever dealt with an addiction?

I believe addictions come in many forms, from physical addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, overeating, etc. to mental and emotional addictions as well.

For example, I battled anorexia for a decade at one time in my life, and it truly was an addiction in its own right.

But I have a confession to make about a much more recent addiction in my life. And that is my addiction to true crime.

Watching true crime videos on YouTube, you know the ones.

Or episode after episode of murder mysteries on 48 Hours, Dateline, etc.

Binge-watching documentaries about serial killers.

Listening to true crime podcasts nonstop.

It’s something that many people (even Christians) deal with. Some talk about it openly and don’t even seem to realize it’s a problem, while others keep it quieter…

…probably because they know deep down that something about it just isn’t right, and they don’t know how to stop watching true crime.

I was one of the latter, and I became seriously addicted to true crime content.

I didn’t like to admit it, but my day revolved around it. Almost first thing in the morning I’d put on a murder mystery video while doing my chores and morning routine.

Oh yeah, I’d do my Bible reading each morning and have my intentional prayer time. And I enjoyed that time. But as soon as I was done and ready to make my breakfast… here came the true crime YouTube videos.

Time to hop in the shower? Gotta get another murder podcast queued up first.

Time for lunch? Pull up another true crime video on the TV.

Just think about it. How messed up is that?

Thankfully, I never had the ill effects of nightmares or not being able to sleep even though I was pumping that true crime garbage into my mind day in and day out.

But guess what I was doing?

Wasting my time. Squandering the precious time God gave me filling my mind with evil things. All because I didn’t know how to stop my true crime addiction.

RELATED: 9 thrilling YouTube channels to watch instead of true crime

Image titled 35 days without watching true crime, how I broke my addiction and showing crime scene tape in the woods and a woman watching TV.

But there’s nothing really wrong with consuming true crime content… right?

Well, according to Cleveland Clinic, watching true crime shows can impact your mental health in 4 big ways.

But then there come those little thoughts in your mind that try to justify watching daily true crime videos:

Umm, you’re overreacting. I mean, what does it matter? It’s not like you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just listening to something.

It’s easy to fall into telling yourself that. But here’s what the word of God says about it:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. // ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬, ‭NLT‬‬

And yep, listening to true crime is fixing your mind on the opposite of every one of those things. Definitely not honorable or pure, nowhere near lovely or admirable in any way. The opposite of excellent and praiseworthy.

Then, because you’re dead set on finding an excuse that will let you continue doing what YOU want to do, that dadgum voice pops in with another objection:

But it’s not like you were the one doing any crimes… It’s just for entertainment, and even education.

Let’s go back to the word of God to see what else we find:

There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. // ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6‬:‭16‬-‭19‬, NLT

So if all the things we’re dwelling on when we listen to true crime content are things the Lord hates… Why keep doing it?

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. // ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬, ‭NKJV‬‬

Instead of dwelling on such evil things and pouring that content into our souls throughout the day, we should instead be using that time to meditate and feed our spirits with God’s word. That will make us prosperous and give us good success. How much better is that?!

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. // ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭37‬, ‭NLT‬‬

Lord, yes, please! This was my prayer and my heart’s desire even while I was still indulging in my true crime addiction.

I had to confess to Him:

Lord, I want to listen to these. I don’t know why. I shouldn’t. I need Your help because I want to do this. But I want to NOT want to.

And that was the turning point—my surrender and sincere prayer.

Coincidently (or maybe not? 🤔), it was just over a month ago that I got sick. I had a horrible sore throat and awful gagging coughing fits so that I couldn’t sleep. When you feel like that in the middle of the night, who wants to watch a murder documentary? Not I.

So I started watching other things instead. I was sick for a couple of miserable weeks, so when I finally got better, I’d been without those awful videos for longer than I ever had since I started watching them.

I pulled up a popular true crime YouTube channel one day just to see what the latest video offering was. And to my surprise, I didn’t even want to click on it. I was like, Ugh, why did I ever like these? Gross. Waste of time.

Praise God!

Even though I couldn’t get rid of that addiction that was pulling me to indulge in that worthless and ungodly content day after day, God could. And He did.

He heard my prayer and answered me when I called out to Him.

And, as of the time of updating this post, it’s been 2 months now since I’ve watched or listened to any true crime podcasts, YouTube videos, or anything of that nature. I’m so thankful!

RELATED: Are ghosts even real? (shocking answer!)

Reset your mind—away from true crime and toward things that please God—with this free Prayer Board printable

Ready to set up your own Prayer Board and start experiencing the freedom of a renewed mind? Get the printable below and have it set up in 5 minutes!

How to break free from your own true crime addiction

If this is something you struggle with (and I know there are many Christians who do),  just come before the Lord as you are and ask Him to remove the desire and help you to walk away from it. The desire might not leave immediately, but choose to walk away and the Lord will help you.

Here are a few other verses that are eye-opening when it comes to this topic:

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” // ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭33‬, ‭NKJV

It sure does. And when you’re listening to documentaries about serial killers, you’re keeping bad company. Don’t expect to binge on ungodly things and not have it impact your life in negative ways.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. // ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬, ‭NLT‬‬

So maybe when you’re listening to these things, you’re not the one doing the evil acts, but here it tells us to have nothing to do with them. AND… it tells us we’re committing idolatry by being greedy and feeding our souls with such grotesque things. It is “worshiping the things of this world,” the Lord says. Big yikes!

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. // ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭12‬, ‭NLT‬‬

Exactly! Obsessively consuming true crime content is something you have the choice to do, but it’s not good for us in any way, and it’s essentially becoming a slave to it.

 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. // ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬, ‭AMPC

What a priceless gem of wisdom! Guard your heart, my friend! We must do this daily against the temptations of the world and against our foolish flesh!

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. // James 4:4-8, NLT

When we listen to foul, unwholesome content, it’s like our loyalty is divided between God and the world. What an awful realization!

I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes. I hate the work of them who turn aside [from the right path]; it shall not grasp hold of me. // ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭101‬:‭3‬, ‭AMPC‬‬

Amen! Let’s hold fast to scriptures like this when we feel tempted to indulge in impure things.

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” // ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭22‬-‭23‬, ‭NLT‬‬

If our eyes are the lamp for our bodies but we are filling them with dark things, we cast darkness into our whole being, and what a dishonor to the Lord. We must set our sights on better things and let the light of God’s word shine into our being!

RELATED: DIY quick & easy Prayer Board! (FREE printable)

Image titled 35 days without watching true crime, how I broke my addiction and showing a woman watching TV and eating popcorn.

Replacing true crime with better content

We have a responsibility to spend our limited time on this earth wisely, to dedicate our thoughts to things above this world, and to be ambassadors for Christ while we are here:

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” // ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬, ‭NLT‬‬

We are the salt of the earth—we are charged with preserving the faith, that is, the good news and the word of God, and we are meant to be salt that causes the lost to thirst for the living water of Christ through the gospel. What a responsibility—let us not lose our flavor!

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. // ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭15‬-‭16‬, ‭NKJV

What a comfort to know that Christ Jesus stood in our stead and died a sin-free death in our place! Because of that, we can approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and help when we face trials or temptations. Thank You, Lord!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. // ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬, ‭NKJV‬‬

Amen! This doesn’t mean we can be Superman or Supergirl, or that we can make our wildest dreams a reality. It means that we can bear all things and persevere through any trying circumstance when we rely on Christ’s strength instead of our own.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. // ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬-‭11, NKJV‬

Amen! We must not have any fellowship with darkness. We shouldn’t get close to it, and we should by no means become comfortable or cozy with it.

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YouTube channels it’s okay to get addicted to

If you are looking for something good to fix your mind on and help replace ungodly habits, but still get that thrill that you’re used to, check out these 9 thrilling YouTube channels to watch instead of true crime. They’re exciting to listen to AND help set your mind back on good things!

May we stop indulging in things that nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross.

I said, may we stop indulging in the sins that nailed Christ to the cross.

This is my prayer for us, Lord. Please help us, and thank You for inviting us to receive Your forgiveness, help, mercy, strength, and grace!

Turning from true crime to the Kingdom of God

If you need help getting into the things of God, here are some awesome resources to consider!

This post may contain affiliate links. Anything I earn helps maintain this site at no added cost to you. I’m grateful for your support!

NKJV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible (affiliate link) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is the Bible I use for my daily study. Each day’s reading contains a passage from each portion of scripture: Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament.

NASB Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible (affiliate link) The same Bible except in the New American Standard Bible translation instead of the New King James Version.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words (affiliate link) This is a great tool to help you look up the original Hebrew or Greek words from passages to clarify their intended meaning in the original phraseology.

New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (affiliate link) An index that will help you locate every other time a particular word is used in the Bible. It pairs extremely well with Vine’s Expository Dictionary.

✳️ If you prefer accessing these types of study resources on your phone or tablet, try the Blue Letter Bible app. I use it daily during my Bible study time and love it! It’s free in any app store.

FriXion Erasable & Retractable Gel Ink Pens, Assorted Colors (affiliate link) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I love these pens and use them daily for taking notes during Bible study time. They’re erasable without leaving smudges, and they don’t create big wrinkles or tears on thin Bible pages.

Beautiful Floral “I Know The Plans I Have For You” Journal (affiliate link) If you prefer using a separate notebook or journal for taking notes, this is a gorgeous one!

Lovely Pink Embossed Floral “More Precious than Rubies” Journal (affiliate link) Another journal choice, this one has a ribbon bound into it to mark your place.

Set of 6 Pretty Magnetic Bookmarks (affiliate link) If you’re in need of a bookmark to mark your daily reading, these are so cute! There are many designs to choose from.

Pretty Pastel Leather Bookmarks with Scripture, set of 10 (affiliate link) If you prefer more traditional bookmarks, these are a lovely, minimalist option.

RELATED: Are you doing anything displeasing to God? Find out for sure now!

Final thoughts on going 35 days without true crime content

Whether you’ve struggled with an addiction to true crime or some other bad habit or sin that you know is unpleasing to the Lord, I hope these verses have helped to renew your mind. There are so many better things to dwell on, and what you put into your mind and heart is what you get out, so fill your mind with beneficial things! Because if I can break my true crime addiction, so can you. (As of publishing this post, it’s now been 65 days.)

🤔 What do you think about this topic? Share your opinion in a comment below!

Other posts related to true crime addiction:

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Images of crime scene tape in the woods and a woman watching TV with text overlay how I broke my true crime addiction for good.

How I went 35 days without watching true crime videos (and broke my addiction for good!)

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