18 Feel-Good Movies and TV Shows to Lift Your Spirits Right Now

It is day who’s counting and we’re in a funk. Sure, “Tiger King” was a wild ride to binge-watch while we shelter-in-place, but it got pretty dark. “Ozark,” and our crush Jason Bateman, are back but the grey overtones—and all of the murder—don’t lift spirits. And during this dire time, we need to grasp happiness wherever we can, and in doing so, it may improve our mental health, too. “Find something to laugh or smile about every day,” therapists at The Family Institute at Northwestern University recommend, as a realistic way to improve mental health.

So, to lighten the mood, we searched for the most uplifting and feel-good movies and shows to stream right now. Most of our picks serve up some serious nostalgia too, so it will bring back memories of a coronavirus-free time.

“The Golden Girls”
Streaming on Hulu

There is no better squad than the Golden Girls squad, and a revisit to this series can take a surprising turn when you realize how many of their themes can be applied to our current life.

“Queer Eye”
Streaming on Netflix

If you are looking for a hefty dose of positivity and motivation, the Fab Five are here to deliver. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll want to redecorate your entire house and wardrobe.

“The Goldbergs”
Streaming on Hulu

If you love the ’80s (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love “The Goldbergs.” Heavy on the nostalgia, the comedy will bring back memories of simpler times.

“Parks & Recreation”
Streaming on Netflix

Has there ever been a TV character more optimistic than Leslie Knope? We could all use a little bit of her positivity, and with seven seasons, you have more than enough episodes to get you through quarantine. And it doesn’t end there—the Parks & Rec team are reuniting on April 30 for a special episode to raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

“Mrs. Doubtfire”
Streaming on Disney+

Rewatching childhood classics as an adult is wild. Is the premise really that a father disguises himself to “stalk” his family? Opinions aside, anything with Robin Williams is at the top of our list.

Streaming on Hulu

Employees like the ones in “Superstore” are our daily frontline heroes during this pandemic, giving us a new outlook on this comedy about a superstore (think Walmart vibes). If you haven’t watched this one yet, now’s the perfect time.

Streaming on Disney+

Among the many reason we love “Wall-E,” the themes of human consumption, love and optimism really hit home right now. Trust us, this movie isn’t just for kids.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Streaming on Netflix

In the show’s first episode, Kimmy escapes from a bunker. Sweet and naive Kimmy—we never knew how much we could relate to you here.

“Groundhog Day”
Streaming on Netflix

I’m betting we don’t need to sell you on this one—we’re basically living our own version of the Bill Murray classic as we safely shelter-in-place.

“Schitt’s Creek”
Streaming on Netflix

This heartwarming and hilarious show just wrapped up their series (sob!), so if you haven’t watched yet, stop what you are doing and stream away.

“The Wonder Years”
Streaming on Hulu

Ah, young love. This is a coming-of-age show that anyone can appreciate, and it might be one of the best “comfort TV” series to binge-watch right now.

Streaming on Hulu

Full of love triangles, and a plot with more holes in it than we care to dissect, “Younger” is an easy and fun show to stream when you need to take your mind off things.

“The Princess Bride”
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Fighting, love, mystery and comedy—is there a movie more perfect than “The Princess Bride?” The answer is obviously “Inconceiveable!”

“Salt Fat Acid Heat”
Streaming on Netflix

If you have channeled your nervous energy into cooking during the pandemic, you’ll appreciate Samin Nosrat’s lessons on what elements it takes to create the best dishes. Her bubbly nature will also put you in an instant good mood.

“Sex and the City”
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video


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I couldn’t help but wonder… Is this what Big meant by needing more space?

A post shared by Variety (@variety) on

I can just see it—Carrie, quarantined in her tiny NYC apartment, wearing designer sweats and typing away on her MacBook about how the pandemic has ruined her social and love life, but how she still loves her city.

“The Great British Baking Show”
Streaming on Netflix

If you know, you know. This baking competition is endless entertainment that the entire family will get a kick out of.

“New Girl”
Streaming on Netflix

Am I ashamed to admit that I binge-watched three seasons in a weekend? Not at all. Watch the pilot episode and tell me that this show is not the perfect mood booster (I dare you!).

“Always Be My Maybe”
Streaming on Netflix

If you are looking for a romantic comedy to ease your mind, this movie is it. Starring comedians Ali Wong and Randall Park, there’s love, nostalgia, food and Keanu Reeves, too.

If you are looking for ways to help the arts and entertainment community right now, here are some organizations that are in need of donations right now:

More from Better:

Macaire DouglasMacaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.


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