The 15 Best Movies to Watch When Depressed or Feeling Sad

Movies, like physical exercise, reading, or painting, can serve as therapy when someone is depressed or feeling sad. Cinema therapy can be used as a form of self-help, and is recommended by mental health professionals to help change the way we think and feel. An increasing number of American therapists prescribe films to explore their patient´s psyches and help them achieve their goals and overcome their hurdles. If you have feeling blue lately, you should give the following movies a go. Read on!

Best Movies to Watch when Feeling Depressed

Cinema therapy, made popular by Dr. Gary Solomon, is the process of using films for therapeutic purposes and can have a positive effect on most depressed patients except those suffering from psychotic disorders. If you have been feeling sad or lazy for more than two weeks, you might be struggling with depression. Although professional help is recommended to put depressed individuals on their way to recovery, movie therapy is an opportunity to do interventional work by yourself. All you have to do is pick your favorite genre!


Top 3 Sci-Fi Movies to Watch When You Are Depressed

Films have the power to shape how we perceive reality, and many treat mental illness in a respectful and honest manner, instead of contributing to stigma. Below are the top 3 Sci-fi movies to watch when feeling sad or willing to understand depression better.

  • Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) is unable to feel happiness, not even on the day she is getting married. Meanwhile, a blue planet called Melancholia is hurtling towards the Earth. Justine could not be bothered by the upcoming end of the world.

  • Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)

After escaping a bizarre accident, a depressed high schooler (Jake Gyllenhaal) is plagued by visions of a man in a rabbit suit that chases and manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

  • Solaris (Steven Soderbergh, 2002)

A grieving psychologist (George Clooney) is sent to investigate a space station orbiting a mysterious planet named Solaris. Its terrified crew members experience strange phenomena, such as the appearance of dead colleagues.

Top 3 Comedy Movies to Watch When You Are Depressed

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to watch when you are feeling low. If you are looking for a feel-good flick to lift your mood, here are 3 wonderful comedy films that will help you take a break from depression:

  • The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987)

Buttercup, a farm girl, has been chosen to marry a prince she does not love. Instead, she is lamenting the death of her true love, a former employee of the farm.

  • Despicable Me (Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, 2010)

The World’s greatest villain, who is planning on stealing the moon, meets his greatest challenge: three little orphaned girls who see a potential dad on him.

  • Rat Race (Jerry Zucker, 2001)

A casino magnate sets up a race for money. Six contestants must outrun each other for a chance to win $2 million.

Top 3 Action Movies to Watch When You Are Depressed

When you are battling the blues, a good action movie can sometimes provide a therapeutic distraction. Here are the best 3 action films to watch when feeling sad:

  • The Italian Job (F. Gary Gray, 2003)

After being betrayed in Italy, Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) and his team carry out an elaborated gold heist against their former ally (Edward Norton).

  • Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

T’Challa, heir to the advanced and isolated African kingdom of Wakanda, must lead his nation into a new future while defying a challenger from his country’s past.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

In an apocalyptic desert landscape, a woman (Charlize Theron) rebels against a tyrannical ruler helped by female prisoners.

Top 3 Family Movies to Watch When You Are Depressed

Spending time with your loved ones will help you keep the depression dark cloud at bay. If you are feeling sad or lazy, sit down with your family members and watch one of the following movies on Netflix:

  • Matilda (Danny DeVito, 1996)

People can’t get enough of it. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, this charming story is guaranteed to boost your mood.

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (J.A. Bayona, 2018)

When the dormant volcano on the iconic Isla Nublar comes back to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) set up a campaign to save the remaining dinosaurs.

  • Twister (Jan de Bont, 1996)

The perfect lazy day entertainment. Two professional storm chasers on the brink of divorce must team up to create an advanced weather alert system.


Top 3 Romantic Movies to Watch When You Are Depressed

Love can work wonders when it comes to recovery. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, sit down or lay comfortably and enjoy one of these romantic films:

  • Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

Italy, 1980s. Love blossoms between a young student (Timothée Chalamet) and the older man (Armie Hammer) hired by his father as a research assistant.

  • The Notebook (Nick Cassavetes, 2004)

A must. A passionate man falls in love with a rich young lady, but they are soon separated because of social differences.

  • The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, 2017)

Inside a top secret research facility in the 60s, a lonely janitor starts a unique romantic relationship with a creature held in captivity.

Depression & Anxiety: It´s OK not to be OK

If you are feeling sad and the low mood lasts for more than two weeks, seek professional help and surround yourself by your loved ones. During your recovery, try to stay active. If you are not able to exercise, keep yourself entertained with our selection of movies, which are sure to keep you distracted from those negative thoughts. Our picks have been carefully selected to entertain without much mental effort or concentration from your side, so you will be able to enjoy them even on the toughest days. Treat yourself!