Sometimes when my head is a mess I have to distract myself with movies. You’d think that ridiculous comedies would be the best thing for depression but I’ve found that the cognitive dissonance on not being able to laugh at something that I know should be funny actually makes it worse and so instead I have a list of what I call “My Depression Movies” that I can watch to help me escape. Some of them are old. Some are new. Some are complete box-office bombs but all of them have some magical bit of comfort in them that just work for some reason.
So today I’m sharing some of my favorite movies that help to either pull me out of my broken head or at least keep me company in it. (Please be aware that some of these are bleak as fuck. This is not a list of happy movies to fight depression…just a list of movies that work with my head when I’m fighting depression.)
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
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The Joy Luck Club, The Color Purple, Tootsie, What About Bob?
i LOVE Bad Seed and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane is probably, in my opinion, the best movie ever made. That monologue! The Queen of cinema at her finest
Fresh (on Hulu). I’ve watched it three times. It makes me happy every time, despite the unconventional and dark story line.
We owned like 3 movies when I was a kid, and it was pre-internet, which meant every time I stayed home sick, I watched The Princess Bride. My dad taped it when it was on TV, because that’s how the 80s worked. It still feels like comfort soup.
Thelma and Louise.
In and Out, Victor/Victoria, Soapdish, Arsenic and Old Lace, Some Like It Hot, Singing in the Rain, The Birdcage, Kiss Me Kate, Real Genius, and Spotlight (which isn’t happy but it works for me).
Sense and Sensibility with Emma and Kate. It’s quiet and isn’t all pointy in my brain. And Alan Rickman is in it.
My current list of Joy Movies includes “Long Shot”, “Metal Lords”, and “The Heat”.
The Salton Sea (2002, Val Kilmer, Vincent D’Onofrio); The Tall Man (2012, Jessica Biel).
I forgot Less Than Zero 😭
The Salton Sea (2002, Val Kilmer); The Tall Man (2012, Jessica Biel).
Mr Hulot’s Holiday – the folding boat shark makes me hurt myself laughing every time. Mon Oncle, the second Mr Hulot movie, also very sweet and silly. Casablanca because I lose myself in the story. Thor Ragnarok. Sense and Sensibility. The Olivier Henry V.
When I’m in a hole, I always watch The Heat. Melissa McCarthy always makes me laugh.
Love Actually, Local Hero, That Sinking Feeling, Raising Arizona
I just feel like Grey Gardens would just make me feel worse about the appalling clutter of my home 🙁
I’ve been dealing with a lot of chronic pain (It turns out that getting hit by a bus makes you feel “like you got hit by a bus”) and fluffy gay paranormal romance audiobooks have been my jam these past months
Clue. Adventures in Babysitting. Undercover Blues.
I go for Gilbert and Sullivan–The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance. My husband can even lure me out of bed with one of those when I am in a bad way.
Instead of movies, I watch Doctor Who and The Office.
You can pry my neighbour totoro out of my cold, dead fingers. Plus I usually cry but in the cathartic way.
Garden State does it for me as does Amelie. Quirky and offbeat and definitely not what I would define as pure comedies.
The Pirates of Penzance or The Mikado.
Princess bride, meet the robinsons, sweet home Alabama, a star is born (gaga), Easy A, steel magnolias
The 1939 version on Wuthering Heights – when I was younger, I deeply related to Heathcliff and now my heart bleeds for Isabella. Huge, cathartic tears.
Horror movies because I’m all strange and stuff.
I forgot the Scream movies.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Master Ninja 1, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Holiday Inn, North By Northwest
The Hours, Joy Luck Club and, for reasons I can’t explain, Draft Day.
It depends. There are times that I want to cry and so then I watch Cyrano de Bergerac with Gérard Depardieu and Anne Brochet. When that movie is over, I am bawling my eyes out! I could probably add Hamilton to that list now as that leaves me a crying mess too. But if I need a salve for the soul (not necessarily bring me out of the depression, but it doesn’t add to it and I can also keep up with it) I have been watching Good Omens, The Philadelphia Story, The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, Pride and Prejudice (the mini-series one by the BBC), The directors cut of the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. I like movies that I can also knit to, especially socks that are a lot of just knitting the leg so no thinking is necessary.
I’m probably just going to rewatch Heartstopper every time I feel depressed 😛
Hitch, Hello Dolly!, Man from Snowy River, Disney movies I can sing along too.
You’ve Got Mail, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Tuscan Sun
The Women – the 1930’s version.
Almost Famous (for some reason), the Harry Potter series (for comfort) and when I feel like I need to cry (and feel) and my brain just won’t let me, there PS I Love You, The Fault in Our Stars, and Me Before You.
Harold and Maude. It is the most life affirming movie about suicide I’ve ever seen.
But if you want gut wrenching feels, Grave of the Fireflies. I have only watched it twice, as it is very intense.
Also, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Tea With Mussolini.
My go-to cry fest movie is “Who will love my children?” It was a made for TV movie so I don’t know how to find it but when I do, it is a must watch box of tissue movie.
The Princess Bride, Blues Brothers, Gettysburg, Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance, John Wick anything, The LOTR movies, and anything I can sing along with (except Les Mis with Gerard Butler). For bad movies that are fun to watch in their terribleness: 2012, Pacific Rim, The Day After Tomorrow, generally movies that are nominally action but have wretched science.
Ordinary People. The Crow. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is tricky but maybe if I’m alone.
Pride and Prejudice; Sabrina (the original)
So many on your list are my favorites! I would add The Burbs and What About Bob.
I liked the Lobster when I was not doing well.
I just love The Shop around the Corner. I watched it for the first time around Thanksgiving when I had Covid. I was very lucky with my bout of Covid and felt ill only for a day. But let me tell you, I deserve an Oscar for the theatrics that convinced my family that I felt lousy. Thus, they left me TOTALLY ALONE! Oh, the lovely times I had during that week locked by myself in the bedroom having meals delivered on a regular basis and otherwise being left to my own devices. It was a real “hardship,” and my recovery, as you may imagine, was slow:) Another movie that I love and that usually helps me is Bridges of Madison County. It is a real tear jerker, to be true. BUT, the act of watching it reminds me of when I saw it in a movie theater when it first was released. I went to a weekend matinee with a dear friend. The theater was packed with women “of a certain age and time in life,” and it was a hell of a roller coaster ride. The collective angst and sadness in that theater was palpable, and not one person moved out of her seat as the credits rolled. The whole place was a sobbing, heaving mess. “Oh, the sacrifices we women make for our families! How sad to go through life never having really been SEEN! How awful to have that kind of love RIPPED AWAY!” I can tell ya, it was a thing of glory to behold…
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder, Real Genius, Murder She Wrote, The Mummy
My go-to when it’s really bleak is always Harold and Maude. But I also love Cannery Row, The Misfits, The Court Jester, The Majestic, and Under the Rainbow, when I’m feeling down
First and foremost, I binge watch documentaries. Favorites comfort rewatches are: Nomi Song (about the life and career of Klaus Nomi), Blackout (a PBS documentary about the 1977 NYC blackout), Losing Sight of Shore (the video log of the Coxless Crew’s journey), Synth Britannia (heavy on my favorite band OMD, w/other greats like Depeche Mode and Throbbing Gristle), and The Winding Stream (about the original Carter Family).
Comfort movie rewatches of choice when I’m in my pit:
Desperately Seeking Susan
My Man Godfrey (only in the original B&W!)
Vibes (1988, Cyndi Lauper and Jeff Goldblum)
Married to the Mob
Sex and the City (the first movie)
both Princess Diaries movies
Grosse Pointe Blank
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
My comfort rewatches of choice re:TV are Warehouse 13, Night Court, and Deep Space Nine.
If you need a good hard cry out of a movie, nothing beats A League of Their Own.
I go to film noir and Hitchcock. The last two I watched as depression water-wings were The Big Sleep (Bogie and Bacall) and Rear Window (Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly).
For a really good, puffy eyed, snotty cry, I always go for Somewhere in Time, with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. Sometimes getting out a depression for me means breaking down that wall and just releasing it all.
Free Willy. All three of them.
The Bad Seed!! I’ll give you a basketful of kisses for a basket of hugs! I watched this movie so many times as a kid; whenever it came on TV. VCRs didn’t exist yet! See, I KNEW we had a history!!!
April Story (1998), a Japanese film about being in a transitional place and the loneliness and hope and impermanence of it.
Persuasion, the 90s version with Amanda Root.
Harvey. Harvey is my go-to when I need a reminder that in an imperfect world, there is still unconventional kindness and goodness. The heck with It’s A Wonderful Life; Harvey is Jimmy Stewart’s best movie by far.
The Birdcage, The Princess Bride, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Vertigo, Interview with the Vampire, Dragonwyck–a B&W Gothic drama with Vincent Price, and Wuthering Heights (1939)
Inside Daisy Clover. Anything by Natalie Wood
It Happened One Night, My Man Godfrey, The Misfits, Knives Out, Alive in Wonderland
My go to movies are all over the place, The Poseidon Adventure (original), Willy Wonka, Jurassic Park, Brewsters Millions, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, Birdcage, Jumanji and Wall-E. If I’m having a bad day one of those will be on my TV so I can zone out in my comfort movie.
For a while, if I was miserable I would watch Circle of Friends, because then I wasn’t miserable alone. Though it did almost ruin Alan Cumming for me, but that’s a sign of a great actor isn’t it?
Steel Magnolias is my go to. I watch it as more of an educational film on how to be over 50. Weezer is my role model and so changing my perspective from “this is funny and I should laugh” to “I want to be a weird old Southern woman” gets me through the first half of the film and then the end allows for the release of tears. (Great for sinus headaches too!)
Sabrina, the remake, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Some Like It Hot, Blow Dry, Singing In The Rain and Last of the Mohicans.
Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle, Young Frankenstein because I laugh no matter what, and the Shirley Temple version of A Little Princess.
Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Labyrinth with David Bowie. Fried Green Tomatoes. Toy Soldiers always made me cry.
The Big Chill. Goonies. White Christmas. Meatballs.
Amazed to see “Inside Daisy Clover” in one person’s list! I watched that a LOT as a kid. And, I’m pretty sure I remember “Who will Watch My Children” on TV!
You’ve Got Mail, Midnight in Paris, Nacho Libre, Howl’s Moving Castle. Also, not a movie, but Our Flag Means Death has helped me through many a low mood over the last couple months. 🙂
I remember watching The Bad Seed as a kid and it scared the bejeezus out of me! It was horrifying and mesmerizing and I couldn’t not watch it until the end. Definitely not a happy movie but karma does make for a good ending.
Cloud Atlas, Coherence, The Matrix
For some reason National Treasure has been my go-to for years when my depression is acting up, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at least 25 times at this point. It replaced The Challenge, a “Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen” movie I used to watch constantly as a teen fighting not-yet-diagnosed depression.
And to a smaller degree, I’ve also found that wildlife documentaries hold my attention and help me focus on something besides myself for awhile. It has to be the right kind, though, not the ones with animals fighting or dying or anything, more the ones where they follow a specific animal/group through the year or whatever.
Sense & Sensibility w/Emma Thompson (The characters, the cast, the score, oh my!).
Original Ghostbusters (I know the whole script).
Damn near anything Pixar.
Bringing Up Baby with Kate Hepburn and Cary Grant.
Oh, and old Muppet movies!
The movie Airplane is really great for this kind of thing.
I love Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. I know what you mean about comedies making you feel worse, but I love that one because of the music and because it’s just a nice movie. There’s nothing mean-spirited in it whatsoever. Also Amelie or just about any dance movie. Center Stage is my favorite for sad days though.
not a movie but my favorite comfort rewatch is hannibal (2013 – 2015, nbc)!! always grounds me somehow… very violent though so if that’s not your cup of tea i’d stay away
Yours mine and ours with Lucille Ball. The Philadelphia story with Cary Grant. Beaches if I need a good cry.
Lost in Translation. This one goes either way for me. If I’m really, really down I deeply feel Charlotte’s loneliness and isolation and somehow it’s comforting but on a good day I feel optimistic that the loneliness is just for the moment and when she goes home it all works out.
In relation to The Shop Around the Corner may I suggest the musical version, She Loves Me. The most recent production was filmed and should be pretty easily found. Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi are just the most charming. You can’t help but feel joy watching this show no matter what mood you’re in.
I like to watch zombie movies. I try to watch “Night of the Living Dead” every year around Halloween and call it my feel-good movie. I just feel that it helps to put into perspective that life could really be SO MUCH WORSE.
Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movies.T2, Total Recall, Predator, and Running Man specifically really hit well when the brain is doing the thing.
I listen to Patsy Cline when I’m depressed. I know what you mean about happy stuff not working to pull you out, but the sad stuff says maybe I’m not the only one. Somehow comforting. Stay strong & keep writing!!
Flea bag—I know it’s a series. Little Miss Sunshine & love actually…
Crying Game, Princess Bride, LORT trilogy (it distracts you for hours and hours and hours) and Jane Austen for movies, and Good Omens, Our Flag Means Death, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Galavant, Schitt’s Creek and Lost in Austen for TV.
Argo – winds me up so tight I can barely breathe. And then…. I can breathe again.
Adventures in Babysitting – there’s so much to love! That blues club scene gives me so much JOY! Brenda and her “kitten”. Thor-I’m embarrassed at how many years went by before I realized Bobby from Criminal Intent was also Thor, the God of Repaired Tires (& Thunder).
I tend to gravitate toward thriller/horror when I am in a low. And then I came across an article that said those movies actually can help. My favorites are Hush, Rust Creek, and What Keeps You Alive.
The Thomas Crown Affair, Elf, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Prince of Egypt, the Road to El Dorado, Lillie’s of the Field with Sidney Poitier, and Tank Girl. ❤️
I like ‘Yes, Man’, ‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, ‘Stranger than Fiction’, ‘Harry Potter’ (any of them, but particularly the first one), or ‘Help’ (the Beatles one)
Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Raising Arizona
The movies that always make me feel better no matter how many times I’ve seen them: Shakespeare in Love, Almost Famous, Murial’s Wedding, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Galaxy Quest, King’s Speech, Mildred Pierce (Veda can suck it!)
Coraline is a go to for me!
Crazy, Stupid Love. Emperors New Groove. Megamind. Any Harry Potter movie.
Step Brothers, Grandma’s Boy, Palm Springs, When Harry Met Sally
My go to depression distractor is to re-read or watch Pride and Prejudice, or sometimes both (the movie with Matthew Macfadyen. Screw Colin Firth). Predictable. Simple. Comforting.
The entire Universal Monsters collection, Heavy Metal, and Wizards.
Constantine (with Keanu Reeves), Sense and Sensibility, Monty Python and the Holy Grain (I watched it five times last month), Inception, Rogue One if I need a good cry, Iron Man 2
The Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction, Bull Durham, The Godfather (Parts I & II), Goodfellas, Dr. Strangelove, This is Spinal Tap.These are movies I MUST watch if they’re on.
Joe vs the volcano a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie neither of them admit to making and Dead Again with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson
The Clock with Judy Garland- sweet and innocent NYC romance movie.
The Little Princess -1995
The Secret Garden- there is more than one version, but I’m not sure which one I liked best, maybe the 1993 version?
Brazil- wonderfully crazy dystopian world.
Really any movie by Terry Gilliam https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Gilliam_filmography
They are all insanely wonderful, Jabberwocky, Adventures of Baron Munchausen, etc.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -1971
Excalibur- with Helen Mirren
Mary Poppins original version or Sound Of Music or or anything with Julie Andrews in it. Or most Disney musicals from before 1980
Same Time Next Year with Carol Burnett
What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams
The Wizard Of Oz with Judy Garland
Hair with Treat Williams
Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder
Harold and Maude
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
A Christmas Story
Close Encounters of a Third Kind
Stand By Me
Rocky Horror Picture show with props! Act it out, and dance and sing along.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or any stop action animated traditional holiday movie from before 1980
Charlie Brown and Snoopy Peanuts movies from before 1990
Any John Hughes movie
Love in the Afternoon! I think, “I’m susceptible.” in Audrey’s voice at least once a week.
Usually School of Rock helps me.
Oh and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
My all- time favorite movie is All About Eve. My go to when I need a good cry is Steel Magnolias. When I want to laugh out loud, What’s Up Doc. Other favorites that make me feel good are The Princess Bride, court jester, my blue heaven. My favorite thriller (I don’t like horror) is Dead Again. And Harry Potter movies I watch every year.
Before I Disappear, Into The Wild, Love Actually
Persuasion (1995 version)
A. Jane Austen (no brained for me)
B. Amanda Root played the lead character so well! You see her overlooked and taken for granted by her family and blossom away from them.
C. Happy Ending. Having a 2nd chance at something big and finding the courage to not let it pass by again.
Any good horror movie, any Scandinavian TV series, and “Harold and Maude.”
The Lady Vanishes (the original), The Women (again, the original – those costumes!), the Miss Marple movies from the 60s with Margaret Rutherford as MM (Murder, She Said; Murder at the Gallop; Murder Most Foul; Murder Ahoy), The Bat, Dial M for Murder, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (but only on sunny days), Suspicion, North by Northwest, Rope, and Bell, Book, and Candle. I might have a Jimmy Stewart problem.
Any Harry Potter film. I can get lost in that world for days. Plus, Alan Rickman.
Or The Princess Bride, as I speak along with the movie’s dialogue
Most Wes Anderson films (the newest one…not so much!) What We Do in the Shadows, both the movie, and the series (vampires who live on Staten Island…I mean, how can you go wrong!) vampires 🧛🏻♀️
LOVE The Shop Around the Corner. IN THE good Ole Summertime is the same story but a musical with Judy Garland. Hoosiers is one of my comfort movies. Pride and Prejudice for the soundtrack. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
In Bruges, Joe vs the Volcano, Reign of Fire, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Heaven’s Gate
+1 for Amelie, Garden State, the Thomas Crown Affair (the remake) and The Princess Bride
Stranger Than Fiction
The Motorcycle Diaries
Hot Fuzz (for The Greater Good of course)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
All movies here have been on the rotation when I’m out of sorts. May you find something that hit’s the spot!
Shaun of the Dead, Michael, Buckeroo Bansai,
Buckaroo Bonzai, Bladerunner, Brazil, The Fifth Element, Constantine, Reign of Fire, Bringing up Baby, 30 days of Night
I love the Queens of Mystery. It’s a TV show, but the episodes are done in pairs, so they kind of add up to little movies.
To Have And Have Not. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. Hands down the best.
What Dreams May Come
Keeps me company: Casablanca, The Crow, Veronica Mars (tv show and movie), Dead To Me (tv show), Leon the Professional, any Wes Anderson film, Practical Magic
Pulls me out: Empire Records, Schitt’s Creek (tv show), Pushing Daisies (tv show), Galaxy Quest, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Cool Runnings
Waiting For Gufman,The Bishop’s Wife (the original!! ) and Yesterday.
Pushing Daisies ❤️ Also love Schitt’s Creek
Office Space (for the scene where they beat the crap out of a fax machine with rap playing 🤣), Wedding Crashers, The Internship and The Hangover
Apocalypse Now for when I’m angry or depressed. Sunset Boulevard, Reversal of Fortune, To Catch a Thief, and Baby Boom.
Stranger Than Fiction and Up In The Air.
Clever, smart, well-written funny not laugh out loud funny. For those that prefer humor, martinis and summer days dry.
The Stranger – EG Robinson, Orson Welles – it’s a post-WWII spy movie. Watching the screws turn is damn intriguing, gets my head right out of a collapse.
In and Out – the most bizarrely-comedic coming-out film I’ve ever seen. Bonus, you see Tom Selleck without a mustache.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein – giggles, just giggles at the comedic shenanigans with all the big monsters – the Wolf Man, Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, heck even the Invisible Man. But the best is Wilbur, lovable dumb ole Wilbur (Costello).
When I’m lowest I feel everything. I’m pretty sure I feel emotions even German psychologists haven’t named. I once had a major crying jag watching Big Bang Theory reruns because Sheldon Cooper is loved and I felt so alone. So my list includes things with no real emotional ties, things which do have strong emotions so I can feel the correct emotions at the right times, and things which are just nice to listen to.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Cabin in the Woods
Pride and Prejudice (Ehle and Firth)
Avengers (the one where Fury first brings them together, I think because I understand Hawkeye and wish a good friend would smack my head against a metal rail for “cognitive reset”)
Avengers (Thurman and Fines, based on the 60’s tv show)
Penguins of Madagascar animated series (Kowalski’s voice is as soothing as a waterfall or ocean waves to me)
Batman Returns (I id with this version of Selena Kyle too much but the darkness of it helps me)
Batman (90’s animated series)
Man from U.N.C.L.E.
I absolutely am not allowed to read when my anxiety and depression get really bad. I can’t focus, which is for the best. My brain picks books like 1984, The Death of Ivan Ilych, and the whole run of Sandman graphic novels. So obviously my brain can’t be trusted.
Sliding Doors, Office Space, Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies, Princess Bride, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Big Fish, A Life Less Ordinary….
The Princess Bride, The Empire Strikes Back, Double Indemnity, The Apartment
I find the old B&W classics to be very soothing when I’m in a mood. The old Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone, Gaslight, The Maltese Falcon…love ‘em.
The Way Way Back, The Holiday, Love and Mercy.
Benny and Joon
Oh yeah, and Billy Elliott.
REPO! The Genetic Opera
The Fifth Element
Either or both Deadpools
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
And, always and forever,
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)
Lilo and Stitch…Love Actually…Sneakers…School of Rock
First off, so sorry your brain is being a lying mean-face Jenny. 💕💕hope you and others here feel better soon, and you are not alone! My brain has been a major butthole to me as well lately-must be in the air!
Below I have a list that helps me, but those are across multiple genres. These listed movies/tv shows below may or may not help:
Romantic comedies that are comforting: “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Funny Face”’and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Stupid funny/ridiculous: “Kids in the Hall” all of those seasons (on Amazon prime) along with the latest NEW SEASON. Must watch. Dave Foley as the Doomsday DJ… brilliant.
MSTK “The Final Sacrifice,” RiffTrax “Miami Connection,” Riff Trax, “To Catch a Yeti” and the all time genuine magnum opus cinematic train wreck “The Room”
Childhood/cartoony favs: “Return to Oz,” “The Never Ending story,” “Aladdin,” “The Emperors New Groove.” “Coraline” and “The Last Unicorn”
Sci-fi-ish: if you want to get sucked into a different world this is your show: “Outlander.” There are lots of intimate scenes FYI, but the storyline is incredible enough to fast forward
through those. Thrilling, unique, great writing. Netflix.
“Dead Like me,” (about being a grim reaper in the next life-strange and oddly lovely)
“Willy’s Wonderland” (it’s on Hulu I think), tv version: “What we do in the Shadows,” “The Burbs,”
“Penny Dreadful,” “Outer Range” (on Amazon Prime) “Ash vs Evil Dead”
I have way too many feelings so sentimental/sad movies can kick rocks when I’m depressed. No more feelings thank you! I’m all stocked up here! Hope these suggestions help 💕 sending many hugs!!
Since my husband died six months ago all of my favorite “feel better” movies have changed. I am still at the stage where everything reminds me of him and I get so low my kids worry about me. A Greif-Explosion is never far away. So, instead I am watching movies we never watched together. Things he never wanted to see-and that I didn’t see because of that. Mostly lots of Disney and Pixar animation (Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Encanto, Toy Story), mindless comedies and silly romance. I know there will be a time when I can go back and watch our favorites and remember sitting holding hands and watching together, but it is still too raw right now.
If I’m feeling really low, I love to watch episodes of Doctor Who that were written by Stephen Moffat or Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite movies, if I’m really blue, is Elizabethtown with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. The dialog to The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail are on autopilot in my brain, so those are always very suitable as well.
I really enjoyed the new movie “Everything Everywhere All The Time.” It is certainly distracting!
Definitely Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the Hunger Games Trilogy (okay quadrilogy, but the books were a trilogy, so I refer to the movies as the same even though there are four of them.)
Definitely Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Hunger Games movies. Such happy films….
Sorry, we are not in sync. I need romantic comedies. Preferably one’s involving weddings or Christmas. Bonus if they have both weddings AND Christmas. Weirdly I don’t do Christmas, so go figure. I suppose I need something desperately silly and deeply predictable to make me feel like the world is safe again and I can come out of my shell. The thang that gets me is when a romantic comedy is NOT a comedy (even though they bill it that way, d*mn them). I do need to laugh, even if it’s ever so feebly.
I don’t have the patience for movies when I’m in a slump. You’d think that if you have no energy, you’d have tons of patience, but no. I just want them to stop talking. I can, however, be motivated by books and I have a small stack of special ones that I try to save for when I need a serotonin fix. If I read them too often, the fix stops working (turns out there’s science behind that, but don’t ask me what because it’s 9:30 on a Friday and it took me 3 tries to spell because).
When making dinner I need the distraction of a movie to stay focused on making dinner. We have an entire shelf of DVDs and Blu-rays we’ve collected over the years. Old movies like Darby O’Gill and the Little People (starring a 20-something Sean Connery), to all the Marvel, Star Trek, and Star Wars movies. And we have Amazon Prime for even more! It’s getting difficult to decide what to watch, we’ve watched them so many times. Tonight, as I make Mushroom Chicken served over egg noodles with ginger flavored green beans, the movie will be (if I can find it): Too Wong Foo, Thanks for everything! Julie Newmar. Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swaze, John Leguizamo and others.
Deep Impact, Legend, Where the Heart Is, The Day After Tomorrow, Labyrinth, Chain Reaction, The Mummy (1999), Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Some Kind of Wonderful, That Old Feeling, Straight Talk, Hope Floats, The Beastmaster, Mask (1985), The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, Aliens, Small Soldiers
King of Hearts with Alan Bates, The Producers (both versions), BBC’s Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett.
Tootsie, The Full Monty, Almost Famous work for me
The Sandlot, any Star Wars movie, Independence Day, Twister, You’ve Got Mail. Also, adding a tv show, The Sopranos.
The Princess Bride
The Shawshank Redemption
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
All That Jazz
Little Women (with Winona Rider)
The Neverending Story
That Darn Cat (Hailey Mills version)
All of these are ones I watched as a kid or as a teenager, way back in the stoneage when bullies couldn’t find you after you left school.
Nature documentaries about birds are my depression watch. If I feel at all capable of laughter, I watch Best in Show or standup specials (Michelle Buteau and Fortune Feimster’s are a couple of favorites). Other slump busters are When Harry Met Sally, Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods, and (because I have small children), Encanto or Raya and the last dragon (which both make me cry evvvvery time). And I’d highly recommend a stranger things binge (especially because season 4 episodes are basically movie length).
Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus
So many that I like are mentioned, but my go to at times is Hamlet (the one with Mel Gibson). So much angst and of course classical tragic ending. It’s expected to not end well. It’s satisfying for some odd reason.
That said, sometimes I need Napoleon Dynamite, Galaxy Quest, Raising Arizona, or Joe vs the Volcano, kinda tweaked people.
Oh sunset blvd and the bad seed for sure. I even have a framed picture of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond. Also,
The Omen (original)
The haunting of hill house (original)
To kill a mocking bird
Worst rated movie I always watch when it comes on? Stigmata
It depends a lot on what the cause of my mood is, but often just watching movies that I know enough to end up crying, even if just from habit, will help me work through everything. Some of the movies that I go back to are (I’m going to include both make me cry and get me to laugh movies): Big Hero 6, Coco, Collateral Beauty, Down Periscope, Hocus Pocus, Oscar, Schindler’s List, The Shape of Water, Sky High, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark… it’s a weird range, but I like it.
The Lake House – least romantic romance of all time, and it has Keanu Reeves. Or Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, they use suitably-aged actors with clear voices and natural lighting so it’s dark and quiet (often my first screen time about day 3-4 of a migraine). Holding you and your messy head in my thoughts.
Gilmore Girls or Friends are my go-to shows for comfort. Movies: Xanadu, Grease 2, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Bring It On, Bridesmaids. These all make me smile & bring comfort because I know them so well. The dialogue, songs etc.
A few of my comfort movies off the top of my head: Music and Lyrics, Fifth Element, Princess Bride, Forget Paris, Natural Born Killers, Babe The Talking Pig
Stealing Home, The Lake House, Stepmom, If I Stay, You’ve Got Mail, Imagine Me and You, Spiderman 2, Seems Like Old Times and Top Hat.
I like cheesy sports movies, particularly if they’re based around something like gymnastics or dance – something that’s graceful and inherently impressive. “Stick It” is a perennial favourite. Anything that shamelessly and predictably manipulates your emotions – yes, of course the main character is going to win the big game, but just because I know its coming doesn’t mean I won’t sob at their victory. I also enjoy choreographed proposals and soldiers reuniting with their dogs. Crying about something that’s actually upsetting me (or would make me mad/sad outside of a depressive episode) will only make me spiral further, but having “happy” tears forced out of me is actually cathartic.
When i need to watch something when i’m depressed, i watch series, not movies… Is it ok if i list series? For me it’s Golden Girls, Friends, Full House (which i actually don’t like, but for some way it.helps me pass time when i’m depressed; i even watched Fuller House when i was depressed, and it gloriously terrible!), Superstore, The Office, That 70s Show (i was really shocked with how much that shoe DID NOT age well, but i listened on anyway)… I’m a really judgey depressed person. Meaning that when i’m depressed, i very rarely laugh when i listen to these shows, and i catch myself being really judgey at them, but somehow it takes me elsewhere, at a place where i’m not-so-depressed-anymore, but where i’m not laughing either. It’s pretty odd, when i think about it. I should maybe dig into this a little more with my psychologist… 😅😜
The Hours. Hardly a joyfest, but when I’m stuck on something in that bad way The Hours either gets me unstuck or at least I get to rewatch my favourite movie ever.
Pride and Prejudice. Heathers (bleak as fuck). Igby Goes Down (also bleak). Hocus Pocus. The Addams Family. Saved! 10 Things I Hate About You
Interesting, I find Whatever Happened to Baby Jane to be pretty funny. Of course I am a bit weird that way.
I have to watch funny things to keep from sliding into the D.
Splendor in the grass, Artificial Intelligence and I own a box set of The Little Rascals from the early 1900’s
I found reality TV to be soothing. Not the kardashians but like Masterchef Australia, Project Runway, Making it- Anything with the creative process. Found a new British one where people make miniatures for a dollhouse that you would love Jenny. Hit me up!
I have a large drawer card catalog that contains the movies I could always rewatch. Most of them are movies that other people have rarely heard of:
Last of the Dogmen (it’s a drama, and I have always thought that it deserved more attention)
Wind (with Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey, I find it a feel good movie, at least for me)
Paul (Strictly comedy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, again sooo funny)
View From the Top (Comedy with Gwynneth Paltrow, comedy / romance, a cute movie)
Medicine Man (Drama with Sean Connery, this one was well known when it came out)
Then I have all of the Cutting Edge and Center Stage movies in case I’m in need of a binge watch, I recently added the Pitch Perfect movies to this group. I know I am missing some, but my 5 top favorites are there.
Going through other people’s lists here, I have seen so many old favorites of mine that need to be revisited.
Whoever hasn’t seen Spiral Tap needs to go do that right now. Just for Big Bottom. 😆
Deadpool. I realize it’s comedy but it’s what I do when I need distraction. We have it on disc.
A very very old movie, “Since you went away” It’s something that takes me out of my head and I get something new from it, every time.
Sweeney Todd, Tomorrowland, Hannibal (the show). Something about them just comforts me.
If I need or want to think : Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistle Stop Cafe , Sense and Sensibility or Moulin Rouge, Amelie , Nightmare before Christmas.
If the last thing I need to do is think then movies that provide an adrenal e-ticket ride: Die Hard, Under Siege, Tombstone, any of the Jurassic Park movies, any of the matrix movies.
Any movie directed by Tim Burton as long as music was composed by Dany Elfman. Music matters so much.
The Lovely Bones (2009), Kiss The Girls (1997), The Hunger Games. I have a hard time watching happy movies.
Amelie and he loves me he loves me not both have actress Audrey tautou. Sometimes I don’t read the subtitles just listening to them speaking and watching the movie soothes me enough to keep me from spiraling.
If I need a good cry, “Life as a House” or “Road to Perdition”. If I need a laugh, “The Birdcage” or “Grosse Point Blank”
1408 (director’s cut), Clue, Mixed Nuts, Frankenstein, The Thing from Another World, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Old Dark House (released in 1932).
I watch Buffy when I feel emotionally shitty. I really liked Mare of Easton. I live right next to the area it takes place in. PLUS Kate Winslet
Also, The Night of the Hunter and Forbidden Games (French)
“The Shop Around The Corner” is an all time favorite.
For pick me ups, any movie with a shopping montage, like “Pretty Woman”, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation “, “The Sweetest Thing”. Now that I think about it I’d love to watch a montage of movie montages.
Also the part in the original “101 Dalmatians”, where Pongo is watching all the different dogs and their people walk down the street and the people look like the dogs.
“Bruce Almighty” for a crisis of faith.
The “Final Destination” movies because it helps to know I’m not the only one who can ride a crazy spiral down a weird rabbit hole.
Harvey. Which is probably in the comedy category but its complicated. And it reminds me that being kind is really the only solution to conflict, even though my own brain invariably becomes angry mean when I’m sunk in the abyss.
All About Eve, Now Voyager, any Hitchcock movie with Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart.
Catch and Release. <3
Four Weddings and a Funeral because it makes me sob, which is cathartic.
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The Harry Potter Series. I will do the movies or audio books. I can listen to it just enough to distract my mind and then my body can do other things like cleaning, folding laundry, small self-care things.
Doctor Who with David Tennant as the 10th doctor and bursting with life saved me from a depression once for which I will be forever grateful.
Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet”. With the biggest bowl of popcorn you have ever seen.
Also: “Withnail & I”.
Anna and the Apocalypse! Do you like zombies? In Scotland? With music and dance numbers? At Christmas??? Then do I have a movie for you. “Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land.” Funny and sad but I cannot love it enough. Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6433880/
Bond. James Bond. Daniel Craig’s James Bond. That is all.
Here are some good summer movies..https://www.bestmoviesof.com/list/summer
American Graffiti, The Parent Trap, National Lampoon Vacation… good summertime movies for a couple hours’ distraction. https://www.bestmoviesof.com/list/summer
Last Christmas (with Emilia Clarke). Also, my current happy place is Heartstopper.
I have a favorite bad movie. It’s called The Barbarians and it stars Eva La Rue and a pair of twin bodybuilders named David and Peter Paul. I love it because there are so many things about it that are just goofy. It’s funny in an unintentional sort of way. Like when someone loses an arm and it’s clearly an arm made of rubber. It brings up important questions such as; why is one of the concubines green? and how would the animatronic dragon with the small mouth swallow a person whole? I will never know, but I laugh every time I watch it. And, beautifully, whenever I watch it with a new person, they always spot something of their own to be amused by.
Groundhog day, Baby Boom, Goodfellas, the shining, what about bob, horrible bosses, the hangover
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Moulin Rouge, The Martian, and This is the End are the ones I go to for distraction. Hang in there -you’ll get through this!
I am loving these comments from you (tribe). One of these comments inspired me to watch “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Thank you whoever you are! It was such a beautiful, uplifting movie!
I forgot to add in my last comment that I LOVE and miss traveling (painfully) since the pandemic.
Not sure if anyone else gets this (I call this the go-gos) which is a feeling of wanting to run far away the further away from home the better.
What helps me with those feelings (or my general depression bouts) are foreign movies/tv shows as well as movies/tv shows filmed in foreign places.
Watching these make me feel like I’m elsewhere, and I adore absorbing stories outside of my everyday experience.
Below are my go-gos list/depression foreign movie/tv/book list recommendations:
Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version)
4 Weddings and a Funeral
Bridget Jones Diary (the book is even better)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (warning it has a very sad ending, but it’s so visually stunning and moving that it’s worth a watch)
Lost in Translation
Midnight in Paris
The Secret of Kells
Song of the Sea
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Waking Ned Divine
Keeping Up Appearances
Wallace and Gromit (anything)
Home for Christmas
The Phantom of Opera. The book that the musical is based on is scary (definite horror read), thriller elements, and delves into grief and is a major departure from the musical. Not a happy ending fyi! Highly recommend!
Old Black and white suspense movies, take my mind away.
Pip the paps mom
Not movies, but when I need to calm myself, my go-to television is West Wing or sometimes MASH. I have watched West Wing A LOT since 2016.
I loved watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” during the holidays with my Dad. Now that he’s gone, it can go either way, but by the end, I’m smiling.
Other than that, it’s hard to pass up “The Princess Bride.”
Guilty pleasure: “Knight and Day.” Also a great diner near Lancaster, PA.
More recently, “The Mandalorian”
This is the Way.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Terminator, helps every time
Ah, the Bad Seed. The poor maintenance man and the tap shoe. Always a favorite.
I love Whatever Happened to Baby Jane! The movies I would add are Jerry McGuire and As Good As It Gets.
Disaster movies. The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, San Andreas, and World War Z.
Shirley Valentine; An Affair To Remember; Moonstruck; Mystic Pizza; and my new one: Pig
There is a Grey Gardens parody in the Documentary Now! series that is creepy and hilarious at once. Plus, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader.
Rubber, or as I call it “murder tire” It’s so horrific you forget about everything
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
-Sense & Sensibility (so great to see that here so frequently!)
-Return To Oz (yes, the sequel to The Wizard of Oz!)
-The Iron Giant (if I want to wallow)
-The Hours (more wallowing)
-The Fellowship of the Ring
-Alice In Wonderland
-You Can Count On Me
-Succession – the acting is just so good it takes me completely out of my head
-Documentaries about Egypt or sort of mystical or grand places like British Castles
-Portrait Artist if the Year, Great Pottery Throwdown – shows about making stuff.
-Seinfeld – the jokes hold up.
Destination Wedding. I’m all fucked up and I always will be.
Wallander original Swedish series with Ola Rapace. Sweetly dark.
The Whole Nine Yards and Amelie