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Watching Movies for Your Mental Health

There’s a reason they’re called “feel-good” movies. Movies could take your mind off of real life and make you feel better.

The main ways to treat depression are with medicine and therapy, but doing things that make you happy could also help.

When you’re feeling down, movies can help you feel better. A good movie could make you feel a lot of different things in just a couple of hours.

You might laugh one minute and cry the next, or you might be taken to outer space where you fight other beings for control of the world.

If you want to have a good time and feel better, you could pop some popcorn and watch your favorite movie.

Medication and therapy can help with depression, but they aren’t the only ways to feel better.

A 2016 study found that doing things you enjoy could also improve your mental health and well-being as a whole. Whether you like to listen to music, ride your bike, or watch movies for fun, these activities could be good for your mental health and mood.

After the video home system (VHS) player was made, therapy that involves watching commercial movies or videos became popular.

A 2021 study says that cinema and video therapy usually involves showing a person a movie or video in which a character is going through something similar to what the person is going through physically or emotionally. People could talk about you and how you feel based on the characters and situations on the screen.

A 2020 study found that certain movies could change how your brain works. Researchers found that movies could have some effect on the brain by measuring brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

But this was based on what was in the movie and how it was edited and directed.

We’ve all seen movies that spoke to us or gave us ideas. When you’re sad or depressed, it’s the same thing to watch a movie. It could give you something to relate to.

But the kind of movie that will make you feel better will depend on you and what you like. Not everyone will like every movie.

During a bout of depression, movies of any kind could be a good way to pass the time or get ideas.


When you’re sad, the most obvious type of movie to watch is a funny one. A 2016 study found that laughter might be good for your health. The immune system and mental health can both be helped by humor.

When you laugh, your body makes less of the stress hormone cortisol, which makes you feel less stressed. Laughter also changes the way serotonin and dopamine work and makes the body release endorphins, which make you feel good and can help make you feel less depressed.

Plays or sad stories

Even sad or dramatic movies can make you feel something. A 2016 study found that, like laughing, crying could cause endorphins to be released.

Dramatic movies could make people feel more grateful and less lonely.

They could also serve as a reminder that everyone has their own problems and make people think about their own problems.

Even though sad or tragic movies don’t make us feel better, they do show us that we’re not alone.


You might find documentaries interesting. The real-life events that these movies are based on could be inspiring or teach us something new.

They might not take away from reality, but they might draw attention to it.

Documentaries that focus on amazing or thought-provoking things that have happened or are happening in the world can be humbling and give you a sense of perspective.

Romantic comedies (aka Rom-Coms)

Romantic comedies, or “rom-com,” could make you feel better about your life or make you see things from a different point of view.

Depending on the plot, a romantic comedy could be just the thing you need to take your mind off things and make you laugh.

It was scary and tense.

Many of us like to be scared, whether by watching scary movies or reading books with a lot of suspense.

A 2019 review says that the tension, buildup, and conflict that we often see in scary and suspenseful movies are what make us enjoy them and make us feel and think more. Researchers point out, though, that most of the studies they looked at were small and relied on self-reports.

A study for 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found that watching horror and pandemic movies helped people practice ways to deal with stress that could be useful in real life. It’s also important to remember that this study was small and that more research needs to be done.

No matter what kind of movies you like, there are many you could watch when you’re sad or down.

Here is a list of the different streaming services. You could also find a movie on platforms like YouTube TV and Frndly TV, which are home to the cable TV channels Hallmark and Lifetime, which are known for having a large number of made-for-TV romantic comedies.


Watching Movies for Your Mental Health

  • “It’s Time” (2013)
  • “The Tale of a Knight” (2001)
  • “Annie” (1982) (1982)
  • “The Best There Is” (1997)
  • “Get On Up” (2014)
  • “Good Burger” (1997)
  • “Greater” (2016) (2016)
  • “Hugo” (2011) (2011)
  • “Les Misérables” (2012)
  • “My Dog Skip” (2000)
  • “Rain Man” (1988)
  • “The Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)
  • The song “Soul Surfer” (2011)
  • “Stay With Me” (1986)
  • “The Boy Who Taught the Wind to Dance” (2019)
  • “The Basics of Being Kind” (2016)
  • “The Vacation” (2006)
  • “Karate Kid” (1984)


Watching Movies for Your Mental Health

  • “Adventureland” (2009) (2009)
  • “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002)
  • “The Journal of Bridget Jones” (2001)
  • The movie “Dirty Dancing” (1987)
  • “Eat, Pray, and Love” (2010)
  • “Dick and Jane have fun” (2005)
  • “Hearts Ran Fast” (2018)
  • “Hidden Figures” (2016)
  • “How Stella Found Her Beat Again” (1998)
  • “The Wilderpeople: The Hunt” (2016)
  • “Interstellar” (2014) (2014)
  • “La La Land” (2016)
  • “Mamma Mia!” (2008)
  • “Mrs. (1993)
  • “Skate Kitchen” (2018)
  • The movie “The Help” (2011)
  • “Martian” (2015)
  • “There Are Benefits to Being a Wallflower” (2012)


Watching Movies for Your Mental Health

  • “10 Things I Dislike About You” (1999)
  • “Good Times” (1993)
  • “Encanto” (2021) (2021)
  • “Where’s Dory?” (2016)
  • “Inside Out” (2015)
  • “Mulan” (1998) (1998)
  • “Splash” (1984) (1984)
  • “Togo” (2019) (2019)
  • “The Toy Story” (1995)
  • “Up” (2009) (2009)
  • “We Purchased a Zoo” (2011)
  • “Zootopia” (2016) (2016)



  • “13 Turning 30” (2004)
  • “27 Dresses” (2008)
  • “42” (2013) (2013)
  • “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)
  • The movie “Life of Pi” (2012)
  • “Pride & Prejudice” (2005)
  • The movie “The Goonies” (1985)
  • The Shawshank Redemption is a movie (1994)
  • “Truman” (1998)
  • “How Harry Met Sally” (1989)
  • As in the book or movie “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009)
  • “Yes Man” “Yes Man” (2008)

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime

  • “Summer (500) Days” (2009)
  • “Going Back in Time” (1985)
  • “Brittany runs in a marathon” (2019)
  • “Forrest Gump” (1994)
  • “Grease” (1978) (1978)
  • “Green Book” (2018)
  • It’s a great life (1946)
  • “It’s a Funny Story, I Guess” (2010)
  • “In Place of; New York” (2008)
  • The movie “The Blind Side” (2009)
  • The movie “The Butler” (2013)
  • “The Goodbye” (2019)
  • “Walter Mitty’s Secret Life” (2013)
  • “Troop Zero” (2019)



  • “For sure, maybe” (2008)
  • “Teenagers” (2010)
  • “Hitch” (2005) (2005)
  • “Meet the Pales” (2015)
  • The movie “Miss Congeniality” (2000)
  • “Breakfast Club” (1985)
  • “Aunt Buck” (1989)

Movies are a way to temporarily forget about real life. Even after a movie is over, you may still feel good about it and want to talk about it with friends and family.

Movies can make you happy, give you ideas, and make you feel like you belong to a group.

What could be better than putting on your favorite movie when you need a quick pick-me-up?

But going to the movies isn’t a cure for depression. If your depression symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, you might want to get help from a mental health professional.


Q: How can movies help with depression?

A: Movies can help distract from real-life problems and stimulate various emotions, potentially uplifting moods. Additionally, some research suggests that certain films can influence brain activity and improve mental health.

Q: What types of movies are recommended for improving mood?

A: The article mentions different genres, such as comedies, dramatic films, documentaries, romantic comedies, and even horror or suspense films. The best type of movie depends on the individual's preferences.

Q: How does laughing while watching a comedy movie affect my mood?

A: Laughing decreases the stress hormone cortisol, changes how serotonin and dopamine function, and triggers the release of endorphins. These changes can enhance feelings of happiness and potentially lessen depressive symptoms.

Q: Can sad or tragic movies help me feel better?

A: Yes, they can. While they might not make you feel happy, they can elicit a sense of camaraderie, reminding viewers that they are not alone in their struggles.

Q: Can watching documentaries be helpful for my mental health?

A: Yes. Documentaries can be inspiring, teach something new, and give viewers a fresh perspective, which could enhance their mood.

Q: Are there any studies that prove the effectiveness of using movies as a form of therapy?

A: Some studies suggest that cinema and video therapy, where individuals watch films about their experiences, can be beneficial. Other research has found certain movies can influence brain activity. However, more comprehensive studies are needed.


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