It’s essential to watch a happy, feel-good movie once in a while, whether it’s to make you feel better after a stressful day to work, there’s gray weather outside, or because you need a good laugh.
Whether it’s an animated film like Up to accompany you while you sit in your pajamas or a romantic comedy like La La Land, there’s nothing like a movie to cheer you up.
Not only do films trigger nostalgic feelings, but they can also make you feel happy. Research indicates that your favorite movies are enticing to your brain. In other words, it’s human nature to want to re-watch TV shows and movies. As we’re all aware, life is better with laughter, cheer, and a singalong. Here are some movies to watch when you’re in a bad mood.
"The Sound of Music" (1965)
Maria, a young novice, is sent to become a governess and to a sizeable family in 1930s Austria. She comes into the home of Baron von Trapp, a widowed naval officer with seven children with various personalities, giving Maria her fair share of challenges in her first few days on the job. As Maria navigates the home, tantrums, roller-coaster emotions, despair and joy of the family, she finds herself at a crossroads. Starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, this film is filled with lots of laughter and singalongs.
This hilarious film will have you cracking up whether you or a close friend are getting married or not. This movie centers around two longtime friends: Lillian, played by Maya Rudolph, who seems to have her life together, and Annie, played by Kristen Wiig, who is at war with herself. When Annie learns that Lillian is engaged, she feels various emotions, taking stock of where she is in her life. Add in the comedic stylings of Melissa McCarthy, and this movie will instantly put you in a better mood.
Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone, is a privileged high school student from Beverly Hills navigating and tackling teenage life with her friend Dion, played by Stacey Dash. Friendship, sex, boys, and how to accessorize a plaid skirt are the central themes of this movie. Cher and Dion also try to tackle making over a new girl at school, Tai, played by Brittany Murphy, before realizing they might need a life makeover. From Cher’s pure optimism to laugh-out-loud one-liners and a happy-making wardrobe, everything about Clueless will uplift your mood.
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
Go back in time with this 1960s classic that tells the story of the life of socialite Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn. Golightly reluctantly falls for her neighbor Paul Varjak, a struggling writer played by George Peppard. The film’s music alone will leave you feeling the urge to throw on a black dress and grab a croissant. Based on Truman Capote’s novel, this film will make you feel better, especially if you’re a hopeless romantic. Another fun fact about this film: Hepburn wore the same black dresses throughout filming and simply changed the accessories.
"Pitch Perfect" (2012)
Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, and Anna Kendrick are only a handful of all-star comedic actresses that star in this musical comedy movie. The film’s plot follows The Barden Bellas, an all-girl a cappella group, as they strive to win Nationals. Self-deprecation, music, and sarcasm are the central themes of this film. If you enjoy this movie and it makes you feel better, you could also try watching the sequel films; they’ll be sure to leave you in stitches.
"Legally Blonde" (2001)
Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, has everything, but she wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III, played by Matthew Davis. However, one thing stops Warner from proposing: Elle is too blonde. After dealing with the heartbreak, Elle gathers all her assets and is accepted into Harvard, determined to win Warner back. After watching Legally Blonde, you’ll feel like you can do anything you put your mind to, even get into Harvard.
"Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
There’s a reason why everyone can’t get enough of this romantic comedy. Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians has an all-star cast, including Henry Golding, Constance Wu, Lisa Lu, and Gemma Chan. This film follows Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, as she goes with her boyfriend, Nick Young, played by Henry Golding, to his best friend’s wedding in China. Soon, Rachel realizes that Nick is exceptionally wealthy. Similar to Mean Girls and Sex and the City, this film will have you laughing and crying.
These films are only the tip of the iceberg of feel-good cinema. If you’re feeling down or there’s bad weather outside, turn on one of these movies. When it’s over, your mood will be instantly rejuvenated, and you’ll feel much better.