When your day is a bit blue (or you just want to make your smile even wider), there’s nothing like getting cozy at home with your favorite feel-good movies and shows. Even if you’re feeling down, these titles are the perfect pick-me-ups to bring out the laughs and uplift your mood.
Grab your favorite snacks, invite your besties over, and get ready for a good time. From vintage finds to modern-day masterpieces, these movies and television shows will warm your heart, have you laughing until you cry, and spark your belief in love and humanity.
Below, read on for the best feel-good TV shows and movies to brighten your day.
Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)
The filthy rich and flamboyant Rose family, whose patriarch (Eugene Levy) made his fortune in the video store business, loses everything due to a social status-rocking fraud scandal. Everything, except for a podunk place they happen to own in the middle of nowhere named Schitt’s Creek, that is. They move the very few belongings they still have into a side-of-the-road motel and attempt to forge a new life with the local characters. What they first consider to be a temporary road stop in their riches-to-rags (and back to riches) journey ends up being a transformational life experience for all of them, reminding us all that it is not material items—but love, family, and personal growth—that truly make the world go round.
While most of us have experienced the Friends phenomenon at some point in our lives, this is the perfect time for a refresh. The iconic '90s show centers around six twenty-thirty-something pals as they navigate their professional and personal lives in New York City. It also serves as a journey through hairstyle history, because Jennifer Aniston’s locks literally inspired millions of women around the world to chop their locks into the iconic “Rachel.”
Golden Girls (1985-1992)
This American favorite is basically the sitcom version of The Real World starring geriatrics. A group of four incredibly quirky, hilariously unique, divorced or widowed women end up living in Miami as roommates. They go through good times as well as bad, managing to keep us in stitches through every hiccup along the way.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2020)
Seinfeld creator Larry David first introduced Curb Your Enthusiasm to viewers in 2000, playing an even more hilarious version of himself. Throughout the decades the show has provided pee-in-your-pants entertainment, as the politically incorrect, no filter, socially unobservant writer manages to offend everyone from Chinese food restaurant owners to Ted Danson. The latest season focuses on David’s “spite store,” a coffee shop he opened directly next door to another, whose owner wronged him. Cameo appearances by everyone from Sean Penn and Vince Vaughn to Mila Kunis complete the flawless 10-episode arc.
Notting Hill (1999)
This romantic comedy slash fairy tale focuses on the love story between the world’s biggest American movie star (played by the world’s actual biggest movie star at the time, Julia Roberts) and a hunky Brit bookstore owner Hugh Grant, who she brushes paths with at his Notting Hill bookstore. While their romance is complicated by her fame, it's a great happily-ever-after tale when you're craving a feel-good romance.
The Sandlot (1993)
This endearing 1990s coming-of-age story set in the '60s is the perfect family-friendly movie to watch with kids. Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood and is the new guy in town. However, he makes friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Not only do they teach him how to play ball, but the neighborhood gang goes on adventures and gets into trouble, of course.
Queer Eye (2018-)
Who doesn’t love a good makeover show—especially when it involves makeovers that are more than just skin deep? While this show won't make you ponder the true meaning of life, it will keep you thoroughly entertained, shedding plenty of tears, and throwing your head back in laughter.
Available on: Netflix
The Blind Side (2009)
This 2009 Sandra Bullock film is a reminder that good things happen to good people—and that a little bit of love can go a long way. Inspired by the true story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless Black teen, taken in by Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock) and her husband, Sean (Tim McGraw), it is both an underdog sports movie and a tear-jerking adoption love story. The heartwarming tale even earned Bullock an Oscar.
This Is Us (2016-)
If you haven’t started watching This Is Us, now is the time to binge. The multigenerational saga surrounding the gorgeously flawed Pearson family, headed up by Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), will seriously make you experience a range of emotions—laughter, tears, and everything in between—in a single episode.
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-)
Miriam "Midge" Maisel is everything a 1950s Jewish housewife can aspire to be: attractive, well-dressed, married with kids, and housed in a gorgeous Manhattan pad. However, when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her with the secretary, she realizes that her “perfect” life is all a facade—and that her life's real purpose is making people laugh. She embarks on a career as a standup comic, a taboo aspiration for women at the time. One thing is for sure: She is hilarious. And as she navigates through personal, professional, religious, and family obstacles, you're sure to cry tears of laughter.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
This feel-good family dramedy follows Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), a single mother who gave birth to her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), when she was just a teen. The mother-and-daughter slash best friend duo live in an idyllic fictional small town, Stars Hollow, Connecticut, where they are constantly interacting with the eccentric town folk, pursuing their dreams, exploring their relationship, falling in love, and coming of age. In the process, the smart and sassy protagonists will capture your heart and keep you watching season after season.
La La Land (2016)
Two of our favorite actors, Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia), reunite in this flamboyant Hollywood love story about an actress and musician that find themselves drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. As each of them gets closer to achieving their dreams, they learn that happy endings aren’t always what you think they will be in the beginning. The entire movie is a gorgeous modern musical, with song and dance that will captivate even those whose worst nightmare is attending a Broadway show.
Love, Actually (2003)
This 2003 British Christmas rom-com movie captivated audiences in the mood for love. It centers around nine intertwined love stories that aren’t necessarily traditional. Some of our favorite characters: David (Hugh Grant), a hunky newly-elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon), Sarah (Laura Linney), a graphic designer more devoted to her mentally ill brother than her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), the married man who is being tempted by his attractive new secretary.
Forrest Gump (1994)
Tom Hanks plays the slow-witted and sweet Forrest Gump, whose life is chronicled through several decades and historical moments in this stunning book-turned-movie dramedy. The classic film earned Hanks a Best Actor Oscar, and also won awards for several others including Best Director and Best Picture. “Run Forrest, Run!” became one of the biggest catchphrases of the decade, and the film was so influential on pop culture that decades later, a seafood franchise, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., inspired by the film is still going strong. Did we mention you will laugh and cry, but ultimately be reminded that love endures?
The Princess Bride (1987)
Everyone loves a good fairy tale love story, especially when it involves adventure. The gorgeous Buttercup (played by a young Robin Wright) is chosen to be the next princess and marry Prince Humperdinck of Florian, but she is hopelessly in love with Westley (Cary Elwes), who seemingly died five years earlier. After she is kidnapped, a mysterious masked man appears to save her. And guess who it is?