These Are the Best Movies to Watch When You’re Feeling Stressed

Massages are nice, but if you are looking for a little stress relief without having to leave the comfort of your own home, look no further. This collection of self-care films are great for when you need a little boostbecause calm movies have a way of easing people out of states of stress.

While everyone needs a break sometimes, stress relief is different for each person, and so are movies to relax to. This collection will include films that motivate youmake you laugh, films that make you cryand even films for reflection and mindfulness after the fact. However you cope with stress, using movies can be a great way to feel good about yourself and the world around you.

As a little bonus, if you do not have time for feature-length relaxing movies and need something a little shorter and right away, check out this smile-inducing montage that is sure to get your dopamine flowing. It’s going to be okay, because these are the best movies to watch when you’ve stressed.

5 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
20th Century Fox

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is both motivational and awe-inspiring. The beautiful cinematography and breathtaking landscapes that are showcased throughout the film help articulate a sense of love for the planet and its inhabitants. This film stars Ben Stiller, whose acting perfectly encapsulates the ethos of man wanting more from his ordinary life, Though the film also features great performances from Kristen Wig, Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Scott.

The film, also directed by Stiller, tells the story of an asset manager at Life magazine. Walter Mitty embarks on an imaginative adventure of epic proportions after feeling trapped by the routine lifestyle his job has created. This adventurous and tremendously motivational story is almost sure to lighten your mood and leave you feeling stress-free and with a sense of wonder.

4 The Other Guys

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg walk toward the camera in The Other Guys
Sony Pictures Releasing

Some people need motivation to relieve stress, while others may just want a bit of light-hearted distraction. If the latter sounds more like you, then The Other Guys may be the perfect film. With non-stop laughsengaging acting, and a healthy dose of action, this film can help de-stress with the tried and true best medicine, comedy.

This film is directed by Adam McKay and features an incredibly talented and versatile cast, with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (each playing against type) as two New York City detectives, alongside performances from Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Micheal Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Damon Wayans Jr., Rob Riggle, and Derek Jeter. Even if you have seen the film before, the hilarious acting and storyline make The Other Guys incredibly easy to re-watch, which is great because laughter is proven to relieve stress.

Related: These Are 5 Comedies Which Got Way Darker Than Expected

3 Good Will Hunting

Good will hunting
Credit to Miramax Films

Good Will Hunting may give your heart strings a little tug, but the emotionality exhibited throughout the film may be exactly what you need to relieve stress. The film is about human compassion, comradery, family, and overcoming difficult circumstances; it’s motivational without being preachy, and emotional but neither sentimental nor upsetting.

The film is directed by Gus Van Sant and features very powerful performances from Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Robin Williams. It tells the story of Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT who is incredibly gifted in mathematics, but needs the help of a psychologist named Sean in order to find direction in his life and deal with past trauma. The film is an emotional rollercoaster but is very heartwarming overall, remaining one of the perfect flicks to compliment a night of self-care.

2 O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Universal Studios

O Brother, Where Art Thou? boasts a wonderful, spirit-lifting soundtrack, delightful performances, beautiful imagery from the great Roger Deakins, and a very interesting story. The movie is set in the 1930s and has many scenes taking place in an idealistic countryside.

The film is directed by Ethan and Joel Coen and based off of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. It follows three escaped convicts who search for a hidden treasure all the while being pursued by the law. The relatively simple story and straightforward if whimsical presentation keeps everything light. Performances from George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Goodman give the story an uplifting and feel-good tone. If not for just the soundtrack, this film is a perfect choice for an easy-going stress reliever.

Related: 10 Best Coen Brother Films, Ranked

1 Little Miss Sunshine

Big Beach Films

Rounding out our collection of feel-good, stress-relieving movies is Little Miss Sunshine. It is another film that may precipitate a few tears, but not without a simultaneous smile on your face. With superb acting and chemistry among the performers, this movie hits on the theme of family and what it means to really succeed. Specifically, it asks how far and to what extent a family can go to support each other, through thick and thin.

The movie, directed by Jonothan Dayton and Valerie Faris, tells the story of the Hoover family, who are determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant. They are forced to take a cross-country road trip in their VW bus in order to get to the location of the competition. With stellar performances from an ensemble cast of Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, and Paul Danothe film executes a perfect representation of a volatile but loving family dynamic. Little Miss Sunshine is a compelling and unique story that leaves you coming out the other side feeling full hope and determination.

Hopefully these films bring you a modicum of relief from stress. If you still need an extra bit of comfort, here are some adorable puppies.

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