We've all used Netflix as a distraction. Maybe it helped to push off a project that eventually needed to get finished, or it delayed sleep until it was late enough to go to bed. Perhaps it also was a welcome form of entertainment when Saturday night plans changed, or even a way to make a Wednesday evening more exciting. But more than being a common distraction, Netflix offers the chance to escape. And that's especially true of feel-good movies, which manage to pass the time with transformative stories of love, friendship, and personal growth.
We gathered 30 feel-good movies on Netflix that encapsulate those three heartwarming themes and more for those moments when you just want to get away on the comfort of your couch. Some of the picks are romantic, some are dramas, and others are laugh-out-loud comedies. These will provide you with all the distraction you need to recharge, so go ahead and delve into these feel-good flicks. By the end of one—or three, no judgement—you'll likely feel the calm that comes from feeling connected to an optimistic story.
Here are our picks for the best feel-good movies on Netflix right now.
Julie & Julia (2009)
There are plenty of reasons this movie is destined to make you feel good. Not only is it directed by the timelessly charming Nora Ephron, but it also stars Amy Adams as Julie Powell, a woman who is committed to cooking the entirety of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. As she does so, the movie flashes back in time to the making of the famed cookbook, with Meryl Streep playing Child. It's filled with beautiful shots of delectable food, stunning scenes of midcentury Paris, and an ongoing message of determination to meet two shared goals.
The King's Speech (2010)
Based on the true story of Prince Albert's unlikely succession to the throne after his brother's tumultuous abdication, this period drama—which stars Colin Firth in an Oscar-winning role—explores how a sudden change in the making of history comes with its own private hurdles. Prince Albert has a speech impairment, and he and his wife Elizabeth know that public appearances and speeches are going to be a part of his future. So Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, hires an Australian actor and speech therapist to help, and the friendship that forms between the two men culminates in one particularly moving oration.
Mamma Mia (2008)
If you're not into a period drama, perhaps you'd like to see Colin Firth in a decidedly different role. In this shamelessly happy film, he plays one of three men who could be the father of a young woman, played by Amanda Seyfried. Her mother, played by Meryl Streep, never told her who her father is, but did keep a diary of that time—which the daughter finds. She invites the prospects to her wedding, and with the help of catchy ABBA songs and silly dance moves, the idea actually doesn't end in disaster. Watch this movie if you're looking for a feel-good escape.
This Pixar movie will make you laugh, cry, and make you want to hug your family. The story centers around the revered Mexican holiday El Día de los Muertos, and a boy named Miguel who is trapped in the land of the dead when he decides to become a musician against his family's wishes. The colorful 3D scenery is just one thing that will put a smile on your face.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
There's no better choice for a girl's night than this chick flick, starring Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel. Expect plenty of coming of age drama, Greek scenery, and all the best friend feels. (Plus some Blake Lively hair envy).
Now and Then (1995)
Your favorite 90's film has finally come to Netflix, and it's just as good as you remember it. The coming of age film is a hefty dose of nostalgia as four girlfriends recall a past summer they spent together in 1970. Get ready for the best of seventies music, fashion, and décor.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
This film is the story of how Walt Disney obtained the rights to the book, Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks delivers another flawless performance, while Emma Thompson is touching as author P.L. Travers. Expect nostalgia and heartwarming Disney magic.
What a Girl Wants (2003)
This Amanda Bynes film is a typical chick flick that will also make you a little bit emotional. The coming of age film follows a young girl getting to know the father she's never met. There's also Colin Firth, and plenty of London scenery to inspire your wanderlust.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
There's plenty to laugh about in this Julia Roberts movie, in addition to major food and travel envy, but the real-life tale will also stir up your emotions.t's a movie about finding yourself, spirituality, and love, set in Rome, India, and Bali.
The Ugly Truth (2009)
Opposites attract in this rom-com starring Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl. A chauvinistic morning show host attempts to prove his relationship theories true, bringing on all the laughs and romance.
The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)
When an Indian chef and his family decide to open a restaurant in the south of France, they clash with a snooty restauranteur across the street, played by Helen Mirren. The film will warm your heart—and also make you hungry!
The Spectacular Now (2013)
This film, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, is about a high school romance between an unlikely couple. He's hard-partying, she's driven and focused. It the story of a first love, and is heartfelt, emotional, and inspiring.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
Paul Rudd takes on a heavier role, starring in this dark comedy with Selena Gomez. Rudd stars as a caregiver to a young boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, and the two take a road trip together. It's an inspirational story of friendship.
Something's Gotta Give (2003)
If you want to feel good, you can literally never go wrong with a Nancy Meyers film. This one stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, and you can expect plenty of romance, laughs, and design envy.
As Good as It Gets (1997)
Another classic Jack Nicholson film, this movie about a self-obsessed author drawn to his neighbor, a stressed-out single mom, will make you feel all the things. Bonus: There's a totally adorable dog in it.
Bridget Jones Baby (2016)
The Bridget Jones series is our go-to when we want a quirky commentary that'll warm our hearts. The latest and final installment is on Netflix right now, so if you haven't heard how it ends up, it's time to check it out.
A Christmas Prince (2017)
OK, so this one might be a little cheesy, but aren't all great feel good movies? An aspiring journalist is sent abroad to report on a foreign prince, who's soon to be king. It's part romance, part comedy, pure holiday magic.
If you're a dog-lover, this movie is a must. The British feel-good film is about a school teacher who inherits an adorable pug. Warning: It might make you want to buy a puppy.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
If you can't resist a good coming-of-age flick, you'll love this 2016 film, starring Hailee Steinfeld. When a girl's best friend starts dating her older brother, her life becomes even more unbearable than it already was.
Bedtime Stories (2008)
What's a combination for a killer feel good film? Disney and Adam Sandler. When a man realizes his imaginative stories he makes up for his niece and nephew turn into reality, his life is turned upside down—and it's magical.
The Little Prince (2016)
This 2016 film boasts some seriously stunning animation. An over-scheduled girl befriends an eccentric aviator who regales her with stories about an unusual boy who lives on an astroid. It's a feel-good tale for the whole fam.
About a Boy (2002)
If you're a Hugh Grant fan, you can't miss this classic movie. Set in London, Grant stars as an irresponsible man who attends single-parent meetings in order to find a woman. It's part drama, part comedy, and we can't get enough.
Christopher Robin (2018)
Head to the Hundred Acre Wood with Christopher Robin, who's all grown-up now. Ewan McGregor brings the character into his adulthood, as he stumbles upon his old childhood friends.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
Loved it the first time around? Don't miss the sequel. The sisterhood teamed up for one more film, and it'll make you want to hug your best girl friends (and also make you want to book a trip to Greece).
The Princess Switch (2018)
Another feel good, romantic Christmas movie, Vanessa Hudgens stars in this flick that's The Parent Trap meets The Princess Diaries. Trust us—you won't want to wait for Christmas to watch this one.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
If Hugh Grant stars in it, we're there. This 90's comedy stars Grant as a commitment-phobe trying to reconnect with a woman about to marry a wealthy, but boring, man. It's a quirky rom-com you'll fall in love with.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
This Southern comedy has an all-star cast, including Sandra Bullock and Maggie Smith. It's about a group of lifelong friends, going through decades of ups and downs. You'll probably want to watch this one with your best girlfriends.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
This rags-to-riches tale takes place in New Orleans during the jazz age. A beautiful girl has a fateful encounter with a frog prince who longs to be human again. Oprah Winfrey lends her voice to this film.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
The remake is a bit more eccentric than the original, but it's also a lot more optimistic. Johnny Depp plays the quirky character, this time with a new backstory. Expect all your favorite characters, with a few new twists.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda star in the remake to the classic film. Expect the same magical moments, killer soundtrack, and feel-good moments, but with a new, updated spin on it. You'll be singing the songs for days afterwards.