21 Outstanding Movies To Elevate Your Mood on Difficult Days

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When you’ve endured a layoff, suffered a breakup, or just find yourself singing the blues, it’s best to find the healthiest remedy possible. While working out and having a good, old-fashioned cry can get you past the rut, you might also consider a movie. Or, more specifically, these movies.

We’ve got quite a mix here; from comedy-satire and so-bad-its-good, to b-rated movies for b-rated days, and even plain light-hearted, feel-good films. So keep scrolling and add some of these to your list for your next tough day (or even your next lazy Saturday. Who’s gonna know?)

1. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? will remind you that you’re not the only man of constant sorrow (for the uninitiated, that’s a reference). Not only did the movie receive rave reviews, but it earned cult status, and cemented the Coen Brothers as can’t-miss filmmakers. For Clooney’s sake, the soundtrack won the Grammy for Album of the Year! O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a movie that will instantly deliver you from your woes.

2. Superbad (2007)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

You don’t have to be a testosterone-fueled teenage male to laugh at Superbad. The film catapulted Jonah Hill into mainstream stardom and reinvented the raunchy comedy genre. Who knew that portraying high school-age males in their natural form could make for such a timeless comedy? This is one of those classics that are so bad they’re good, and we love it for that. 

3. Galaxy Quest (1999)

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Pictures.

A comedic twist on the alien trope, Galaxy Quest, is ridiculous enough that it will make you realize life’s too short to mope. Plus, the aliens might be coming, so snap out of it and get back on your horse. 

4. Chef (2014)

Photo Credit: Open Road Films.

Food is one go-to short-term cure for depression. Why not watch a film guaranteed to make you smile, reflect on your priorities, and get yourself in the kitchen to whip up something delicious?

Chef is a feel-good gem that’s one of the rare films you wish you could watch again for the first time. One fan of the film described Chef as “a warm hug,” but “warm Cuban sandwich” might be more apt.

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5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Photo Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

Any Wes Anderson movie could make this list, but The Darjeeling Limited is especially suited for someone in the dumps. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman headline a quirky cast. If you have lost someone you loved recently, The Darjeeling Limited may belong in the number-one spot on this list.

6. Paddington 2 (2017)

Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

On your worst day, is there any prescription more appropriate than a film literally about a teddy bear? Talk about the warm and fuzzies.

7. The Princess Bride (1987)

Photo Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

Prime Rob Reiner had a real knack for making feel-good movies with depth, and The Princess Bride is Exhibit A. Between Robin Wright in her prime, biting dialogue, an epic adventure through a fantastical world, and a cameo from Andre the Giant, The Princess Bride has everything a sad sack needs to perk up.

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8. Mean Girls (2004)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

I don’t care that you’re a dude who can bench 400 pounds and eats nothing but steak. You’re not above watching Mean Girls. Nobody is above watching Mean Girls. Any secure man recognizes that the Tina Fey-written movie is a masterpiece on several levels.

When you need to laugh and recognize that high school could have been a heck of a lot worse, get some Regina George in your life.

9. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is so well suited for depression days that it is cliche. The thing about us is we’re not above cliche. Like peanut butter and jelly and Bonny and Clyde, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and crappy moods were made for each other.

10. Airplane! (1980)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

If there is such a thing as a movie that is too absurd for belief, Leslie Nielsen is starring in it. Airplane! is a comedy most people have not overplayed, and it is one of the most beloved antidotes for a crummy day. I’m serious about you watching Airplane!, and don’t call me Shirley.

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11. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

This is one flic that has a bit of everything, and does it all really well. There’s career ambition, thriving despite a mean boss, the bustle of New York City, high fashion, and a woman forced to choose between all of her relationships and a job she loves but didn’t actually want in the beginning. Plus Meryl Streep. The Devil Wears Prada is a cheerful staple that might just make you feel better about your own life.

12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Sometimes when you’re blue, nothing will help but the feeling that you’ve entered a different world entirely. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is like that; it was released more than sixty years ago, and it has all the old-Hollywood charm that Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) can infuse. Besides, she’s a poor girl playing rich and eating her croissant while she gazes into the window of a breakfast place she could never afford. If that’s not relatable, nothing is.

13. Spaceballs (1987)

Photo Credit: MGM.

We’re moving into high art here … kidding, of course. But is there anything like straight raunchy comedy in a Star Wars parody to make you forget about your woes? From the parodied take on light sabers to the whole scene about merchandizing, this movie mocks the OG Star Wars from beginning to end. There’s enough dumb humor to lighten anybody’s mood at least a little bit.

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14. Iron Man (2008)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

If we’re honest, escapism isn’t always the right touch at the end of a rotten day. Sometimes you need the reminder that there are still good things in the world. Things like the first Iron Man movie. Besides, Tony Stark has his own share of bad days in Iron Man, and he came through them ok. Despite the unwieldy beast that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become, this original film is one of the greats.

15. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean_ Dead Man's Chest
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

I’m guessing we don’t have to tell you what Pirates of the Caribbean is about at this point. But it’s worth the reminder that Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow has some of the best one-liners and humor anywhere in the Caribbean sea. The costuming and visuals are dramatic, the plot is satisfyingly full of adventure and action. Besides, Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom leave nothing to be desired when it comes to adventure-romance.

16. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

If it’s romance you’re looking for, we offer you the Kiera Knightly and Matthew McFadyen version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s full of romance set in a society of manners and ever-important social circles. This film has just the calming, happily-ever-after drama to help you relax when you’re feeling tense.

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17. About Time (2013)

Photo Credit: Translux.

Imagine having the ability to travel back in time, but only you and half of your family know about it. How would you use that ability? Maybe you’d make sure you had a kiss for the stroke of midnight at a New Year’s Eve party. Maybe you’d use it to help a friend succeed in their career at a pivotal moment, or to try to impress a girl. Or maybe, you’d use it to just enjoy every day to the fullest, living over the special moments you’ve had with your family. That’s what Tim gets to decide in the lovely, emotional movie About Time.

18. Harry Potter (2001)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

If anyone has had a monopoly of bad days, it’s Harry Potter. But somehow, he makes the best of it and comes out stronger, kinder and wiser than he was before. All whilst having magical adventures along the way. So if you’re feeling upset and tired, hop on the Hogwarts Express and disappear into the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a while. You’re almost certain to get as lost in the moving halls as you are in the movie itself, which makes it the perfect remedy for a tough day.

19. Secondhand Lions (2003)

Photo Credit: New Line Productions.

This is an underrated film that should be on everybody’s shortlist. Sometime in the 30s, a young teenage Walter is left at a rural farmhouse with his two eccentric uncles, Hub and Garth. The two of them are rumored to be extremely wealthy, but they show no outward signs of it. They get their fun from chasing off salesmen who come to the property. Eventually, Walter convinces them to listen to the salesmen and just see what they’re offering … which results eventually in the purchase of a real, retired circus lion. The adventure never ends with this trio, and you’ll find yourself won over even faster than Walter was.

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20. How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days (2003)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

There’s nothing for cheering up like a cheesy, early 2000’s romcom. At the top of the list, we’re offering How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. The bets, the wooing, the betrayals! Two career-driven people are under pressure to prove their worth. Andie Anderson wants to impress her boss by writing a killer article about how to dump a guy. Benjamin Barry wants to branch out from advertising beer and sports, and he’s got to prove he understands women by making someone fall in love with him in just ten days. But will they actually fall in love, or will their secret agendas drive them away from each other?

21. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Warning: don’t watch this one after a breakup (unless you’re looking for a good cry.) Tom Hansen is certain he’s meant to be with Summer Finn. There’s only one problem. Summer doesn’t believe in love. The relationship seems to bounce up and down day to day. One afternoon they’re playing house in Ikea, and soon after Tom is smashing plates in his kitchen in frustration. His sister, Rachel, is even called upon to stage an intervention. It’s a romcom drama of its class, and we highly recommend it.

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10 Actors Perfectly Cast for Their Character Roles

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Many movies are cast with actors that are decent fits. They can even be great because the actor does an excellent job adapting to the role. However, there are some movies where the fit is just so perfect that you could not imagine the movie being a success if they had chosen anyone else.

10 Actors Perfectly Cast for Their Character Roles

11 Vampire Movies That Will Make You Thirst for More

Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

Sometimes, we just love to watch a favorite vampire movie, one of the ones that never get old. It piques our imagination with the unknown story of two teenagers fighting for their love, the incredible and creepy scenes, and the bloodsucking classics.

If you’re looking to get a good rest and watch vampire movies all day, look no further than this list!

11 Vampire Movies That Will Make You Thirst for More

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