It’s back! America’s favorite pastime. The one responsible for packed bars, an influx of pizza and wing orders, and everyone digging out their favorite jerseys. Have you guessed it yet? That’s right—football! The NFL season kicked off a couple weeks ago and college football is in full swing as well. A lot of people couldn’t be more excited that this time of year is back—they live, breathe football and anticipate it’s return at each season’s end. But others question this undying love for the sport. They see the screaming fans, hear about the rivalries and the fights, and feel their loved ones slip into this mania they just don’t understand. Ultimately, they’re convinced that the world would be a better place without the craze that is football. Well, here’s some consolation for those individuals: football (if enjoyed correctly) can have a positive impact on one’s health and overall wellbeing. So if you’re one of these people, don’t worry too much about your football-obsessed friends. And if you’re football-obsessed yourself, check out the benefits that come with football season:

1. It brings friends and families together.

I’ve never seen camaraderie quite like the one rooted in sports, especially football. People really band together, united by their love for the sport as well as their favorite teams—heck, they become a team themselves. And being a part of a team or group like this absolutely boosts someone’s spirits. They develop this sense of belonging and are backed by a loyal support system.

2. It fosters healthy competition.

Sure, people get out of control. But that doesn’t represent the whole of football nation. People love to rally behind their teams especially when pitted against their rivals, such as when the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys go head-to-head. And as long as they can keep the competitiveness at a healthy level, it can promote goal-setting, strengthen the camaraderie further, and leave an individual with a sense of pride—even if their team didn’t win, they backed them the whole way.

3. It serves as an escape from life’s stressors.

Everybody needs some form of escape from life’s stressors. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying you should avoid your problems; I’m saying that it’s unhealthy to fixate on them. You need to instead relish in the joys, even the simple one’s like watching football on Sunday. Devoted fans surrender themselves during games and, in turn, get that much needed escape from everyday worries.

4. It inspires.

The biggest smiles I’ve ever seen on my dad’s face have been direct effects of his football team winning big or two teams putting up a great fight against each other. He’s inspired by the hard work that the players put in and showcase and feels motivated to be great himself. So, while you may never become a professional football player, watching these guys lay it all on the field can certainly inspire you to achieve your own goals.

5. It allows emotional release.

Sunday night football is your allocated time to be a little crazy. Get up out of your seat and yell at the screen, paint your face with your team’s colors if you want, chant and cheer when you feel like it. You can release whatever emotions you have built up inside of you—it’s acceptable. So take advantage, because doing so at work or on a date isn’t quite normal just yet.