Feeling stressed out? Sad? These movies will help you smile



Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

I get it.

Life is stressful and in today's crazy world, it's easier than ever to feel overwhelmed.

There is a multitude of self-help books, positive mantras, and introspective journals out there. But, sometimes these are too much or not quite enough, to get you through those tough days.

Sometimes the best and easiest are the simplest.

When life feels too much for me sometimes, a good movie always restores my faith in why I'm trying.

So pull up a couch, gather your smorgasbord of snacks and make sure that butter popcorn's piping hot. Oh! and don't forget the blanket either!

I present to you my list of movies to get you through the toughest of days...

School of Rock

Jack Black does a fantastic job being himself in this rock and roll tale of seizing the day.

Dewey Finn (Jack Black) gets fired from his own band and finds himself broke and desperate for work. A conveniently timed phone call, finds him pretending to be his roommate at an uber elite (and stuck up) elementary school.

Posing as a music teacher, Dewey educates his students on the world of hard rock and all the idols he worshipped as a child.

Avoiding the watchful eye of the overly strict principal (Joan Cusack), Dewey enters his students in a local Battle of the Bands. More as a way to redeem his injured pride, but what he learns in the process is a lesson for us all.

This movie is crazily almost 18 years old now but, it never fails to entertain me, no matter how many times I see it.


Anything with Robin Williams in it is guaranteed to make you think and smile. No other person I can think of has been so capable of making people feel special and happy at the same time.

Teaming up with Steven Speilberg, the two of them ask the question:

"What if Peter Pan grew up?"

The story follows an orphan, Peter Banning (Robin Williams). A successful workaholic lawyer, gone slightly to seed. Peter constantly chooses work over his family, unable to see the damage this does.

Everything changes the night his children are kidnapped. All that is left is a note signed "Capt. James Hook."

Forced to remember a past he left forever, this magical tale reminds us it is never too late to be the person you were meant to be. No matter how many years have passed.

The Princess Bride

I only discovered this delightful tale when I was already well into my 30's. A fairy tale adventure filled with true love, pirates, bravo swordsman, Andre the giant, and a mysterious masked man...

Based on the William Goldman novel of the same name. This story follows a humble farm-boy, as he battles "inconceivable" odds to reunite himself with his one true love... Princess Buttercup (the best name for a princess ever!)

His quest finds him trading wits with a cunning Sicilian, wrestling with a friendly giant of a man. Crossing swords with a Spaniard with a past and overcoming death itself, all in the pursuit of love.

For such an over-the-top adventure, this movie somehow manages to be one of the most charming stories I've ever watched!

Though this story lacks a deeper plot, this movie leaves you with such a warm feeling, you realize sometimes you just don't care.

How to train your dragon

Anyone who owns a cat will instantly find appeal with this animated film from

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a teenager living on the fantasy Norse Island of Berk. "12 days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of freezing to death" the only thing that makes this island interesting are the pests... Dragons!

Hiccup is the weakest and most disliked Viking on the island. When he manages to shoot down and injure the most fearsome and mysterious dragon on the island, the "Nightfury." Hiccup is left with a moral decision of what to do next, changing his world in the process.

Blending perfect amounts of comedy with a dash of moral sensibility.

How to train your dragon teaches you that "all this" might just be what the world needs.

Surfs up

Maybe it's because I'm a surfer, or, it's the ridiculousness of surfing penguins? Whatever it is, Surf's Up has been on my top "feel good" movie list for more than 15 years.

Shia LaBeouf voices a teenage penguin Cody Maverick from the tiny fishing village of Shiverpool, Antarctica. Filmed as a documentary, Cody manages to convince a scout to take him to Pen Gu Island, the home of surfing.

Chasing respect and admiration, Cody believes winning the Big Z Surf Memorial will bring him the happiness he craves.

A chance encounter with a washed-up old surfer Geek (Jeff Bridges) allows Cody to learn from a legend. In the process teaching Cody what's really important.

My favorite part of this whole movie would have to be Chicken Joe, whose laid-back attitude can't help make you love him.

Just like everyone else in the movie!

Cool runnings

This is an absolute classic movie from Disney!

Following the struggles of four Jamaican runners who are forced to create the first Jamaican bobsled team. They end up recruiting the help of a disgraced gold medalist played by John Candy. This mismatched group of friends explode onto the world scene, showing everyone just what jamaica has to offer.

Unlike most stories, this movie doesn't try and push the idea of the little guy winning unbeatable odds. Rather, carrying yourself with dignity and pride no matter the circumstances is the real victory.

If you needed any more reason to give this movie a shot, I've been using quotes from this movie for 20 years!

Mrs. Doubtfire

The second movie with Robin Williams to grace this list. It's crazy to think this is almost 30 years old!

Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) loves his kids. The problem is, with a looming divorce, his access is cut with the granting of sole custody to his wife. In a desperate attempt to see his kids, he hatches a crazy plan with his supportive brother.

Daniel dresses up as an older British woman, "Mrs. Doubtfire" and using his skills as a voice actor gets hired as their nanny.

Struggling to juggle his many lives as a voice actor and nanny, Daniel eventually learns how to not only be a better parent but a better person too.

This movie always helps remind me that what I think I need, isn't always what I want!

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On a journey to discover better ways of living and succeeding in the modern world. Writing articles about my discoveries on the way!


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