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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Oishiki Ganguly 

Have you been regretting the time you spend watching your favourite movies and TV shows on Netflix? Does it all feel like a waste of time? I am here to tell you that film and mental health are related. Cinema therapy is an emerging field of research that focuses on the use of cinema to improve mental health. 

There is no doubt that lounging in front of a television is the simplest way to distract yourself from feeling low. It is a pleasant way to recharge after a stressful day. It is a form of respite, one  much needed these days. Upbeat shows, comedies, and family dramas have the potential to raise morale. Humour can help manage stress, anxiety, and fears. It is cathartic in this sense.

Films also help us gain insight on how to deal with problems in different ways. However, there may be times when we want to try new shows to ease our anxiety. However, finding these can get overwhelming. Every major streaming platform airs a variety of films and shows, all differing in genres, languages, time periods, and settings. 

It is important to keep in mind that each one of us has a different taste. Being cognizant of how and what films make us feel good is necessary to be able to tailor our choices accordingly.    

Keeping this in mind, here are 10 shows and movies I would suggest to help you wade through anxious times! 

  1. Begin Again

This poignant and graceful Hollywood romance is filled with wholesome moments. Keira Knightley’s melodic voice combined with Mark Ruffalo’s earnest acting gives the film a simplistic and heartwarming feel. Lovers of music, be ready to be moved by the most poetic and underrated songs of this film. This movie will renew your faith in art and life! 

  1. Parks and Recreation

This cleverly written show is all about people trying their best to do good. It is one of the only shows in which the female characters are not based around men. Its raw humour and carefree energy will leave you in splits. 

  1. Gilmore Girls

Explore the quaint town of Stars Hollow with two strong, passionate women:  Loerelai and Rori Gilmore.  Brace yourself for Loerali’s lively quips, Rori’s quirky comebacks, and their soulful banter. This mother-daughter duo will never fail to make you feel safe and warm. 

  1. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara 

This movie has it all: travel, deep metaphors for life, adventure, and a fun friend group. Though cliched, its “Live with no regrets” theme is a reminder that anything is possible in life. All you have to do is seize the day. 

  1. Modern Family

Imagine if sunshine were a show. ‘Modern Family’ would be it.  With its witty dialogues, brilliant actors, and unique theme, this family drama feels like home.  Prepare yourself for tears, both happy and sad. This show will leave you in giggles. 

  1. Planet Earth 

This docu-series teaches us to appreciate all that’s beautiful in the world. The striking visuals help in connecting with nature and winding down.

  1. The Theory of Everything

This inspiring movie follows the life and work of renowned scientist Stephen Hawking and his family. Despite the obstacles they face, everything seems possible. The film’s simplicity is heart warming and refreshing. 

  1. The Fundamentals of Caring

This upbeat feel good movie has honest humour and simple scenes. It seems ordinary in this sense. However, it is this plain tone that sets this movie apart from overdone dramas. The film will help restore your faith in humanity. It will remind you that goodness does exist in the world.  

  1.  Dear Zindagi 

“Losing friends as you grow up is a sign of growing up.” Filled with soulful dialogues, this movie teaches us to love our imperfect and messy lives. It is a timeless classic!

  1. The Voice

The poppy optimism that the contestants bring combined with the constructive criticism that the celebrity judges offer is the perfect combination for light-hearted entertainment. Watching aspiring artists showcase their talent makes life seem a little less hard. 

Miloni Shah

Ashoka '23

Miloni Shah is currently studying at Ashoka University, Haryana and wishes to pursue Psychology and Sociology and Anthropology. Dance is her one true love. She is passionate about theatre, cooking, board games, music, and writing. She loves experimenting and adventure, and created a YouTube channel discover new things in life.