Cinematherapy: These Flicks Can Heal You

Cinematherapy: These Flicks Can Heal You

Getty Images/Niyaz_Tavkaev

The Cinematherapy book series co-author shares picks for flicks and TV series to uplift you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cinematherapy is a way to practice self-care without needing to leave your house. It’s all about choosing movies that entertain, but—more than that—also help you process your emotions by working through some of the challenges you’re facing via witnessing onscreen characters overcome theirs. While stuck inside and feeling a little anxious, pessimistic, or irritable, the right movie or TV series can help you acknowledge all that’s going wrong and still rekindle your belief in a better tomorrow.

Here are suggestions for some cinematherapy relief. If you are feeling:


Wanting to expand your horizons or release the cagey stuck feeling? Seek greener pastures with movies like Edie or Chocolat, and plant the seeds of your own reinvention. No matter how grim things may look, you get to dream a new dream, so start thinking about what your next goal might look like.


Open the heart chakra, reconnect with your feelings and experience a catharsis with a movie or series like Lion or Call the Midwife, and remember tears of sorrow can give way to tears of joy. Keep that tissue box close by.


Feeling lonely? Watch a feel-good we-got-this flick like Harriet or Ernie & Joe, and regain your trust that everyday heroes surround you. You might even feel inspired to serve your community in a greater way as these films give birth to the hero within you.

A Need to Express Yourself

Have a longing for greater self-expression? Find your voice with the likes of Unorthodox or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to help you find the courage to shrug off the naysayers.


A bit conflicted about spending so much time with your family? Rekindle the family “we’re sticking together” spirit with The Farewell or Little Women. These help us remember that owning our own quirks—even as we feel frustrated or annoyed by everyone else’s—can help us more deeply appreciate the families we have … instead of wishing for perfect relatives.

Want more? Read 5 Ways to Calm Down During COVID-19.

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