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15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch to Beat the Blues

15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch to Beat the Blues

We all get into a slump once in a while. Maybe you were excited about a plan that fell through, or things have been stressful at work. Perhaps you took a risk and met rejection. Whatever the circumstances, you might feel completely unmotivated.

You can either wallow in your gloomy feelings, or you can work to make yourself feel better. I have a few go-to uplifting movies that I watch that always make me feel better.

The next time that you’re feeling down, watch a film from this list. You only need the energy to push “play” and these stories will work their magic on you. By the end of each one, you’ll be ready to leave the pity party and get back to doing the things that matter to you.

1. Sing Street

    Sing Street (2016) takes us to Dublin in the 1980s, during a time when music videos are changing the way that people listen to pop music. The teenage protagonist, Conor, deals with a tense family situation and issues at school. He meets a girl and decides to impress her by telling her he’s in a band. The only problem is, he doesn’t have a band, and he doesn’t know much about music.

    Conor’s story reminds us that we can make the best of a bad situation. Even though his home life and school were difficult, he boldly reshapes his future. He sets a vision, and he goes for it. Sing Street reminds us that when it comes to life, we can’t control everything, but we’re still in the driver’s seat.

    Sing Street will remind you that you can manifest a better reality.

    2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

      Ferris Bueller fakes sick to skip school, but his principal suspects that he’s playing hooky. Ferris, his best friend, and his girlfriend have a wild adventure as they avoid Principal Rooney.

      You’ll get a few laughs out of this film, but this classic has a deeper meaning. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) reminds us that if we don’t stop to enjoy life, it will pass us by.

      Be spontaneous, and watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

      3. Little Miss Sunshine

        A dysfunctional family rallies around 7-year-old Olive, who has an opportunity to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant. They take a road trip from New Mexico to California to reach the pageant, and it seems like everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

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        Little Miss Sunshine (2006) will make you laugh while it addresses complicated personal issues. In spite of all the troubles that the family has along the way, they are determined to help Olive reach her goals. This film reminds us to hang on to our dreams and support one another, even when the chips are down.

        Let Little Miss Sunshine brighten to your day.

        4. School of Rock

          Dewey Finn is a loser living with former band member, Ned. Dewey is completely broke, and Ned is on the verge of throwing him out because he won’t pay his share of the rent. Dewey poses as Ned and takes a job as a substitute teacher at a stuffy private school. He teaches his students about rock music.

          School of Rock (2003) shows us that our passions always have a place in our lives. Dewey loves music more than anything. Even though his band didn’t work out for him in the beginning, his talent and dedication to his craft paved the way for opportunities and adventures he couldn’t have imagined.

          Watch School of Rock and rekindle your excitement about your unique talents.

          5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

            Andy is a 40-year old nerd who has not lost his virginity. Even though he’s a nice guy, he’s just not had the opportunity to have sex, and as he gets older, being a virgin becomes more embarrassing for him. His friends attempt to help him meet a woman and lose his virginity, but the woman he falls for has other plans.

            The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005) is a good reminder that you don’t have to live your life the way that everyone else does. You have to find what’s right for you, and in the end, everything will be okay.

            The 40-Year Old Virgin lets you know that there’s nothing wrong with being unconventional.

            6. My Neighbour Totoro

              Two young girls and their father move into an old home to be closer to the girls’ mother, who is in the hospital. The sisters befriend spirits of the forest, who expose them to a beautiful supernatural world.

              The girls have moved to a new home because their mother is in dire straits, but they find comfort and friendship among the spirits of the forest, including Totoro. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) shows us that even in the most challenging situations, there are places to find joy and hope.

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              Remember that our bonds with others can help us overcome adversity when you watch My Neighbor Totoro.

              7. Babe

                Farmer Hogget wins the piglet, Babe, at the county fair. Babe befriends the other creatures on Hoggett’s farm and grows especially close to border collie, Fly. Babe learns a special skill set from Fly, which makes him the first pig of his kind.

                Babe was destined to be dinner, but his buoyant spirit and willingness to learn enable him to master a new skill. Babe (1995) shows us that it’s okay to be unique. Look for others who are willing to appreciate your dreams and help you grow, and you can achieve the impossible.

                March to the beat of your own drum with Babe.

                8. The Bucket List

                  Edward and Carter come from different backgrounds, but they are united by the common diagnosis of terminal cancer. The pair strike up an unlikely friendship as they set out to do all the things on their bucket list while they can.

                  When you watch The Bucket List (2007), think about what might be holding you back from the next great adventure. Every day above ground is a good day. Be open to trying new things to avoid stagnation.

                  Live life to the fullest when you watch The Bucket List.

                  9. Jumanji

                    Judy and Peter move into an old house with their aunt. They are learning to cope with the death of their mother, when they come upon a mysterious board game in the attic. The game turns their world upside down, and the only way to bring things back to normal is to finish the game.

                    Jumanji (1995) helps us remember the importance of finishing what we start. While you are unlikely to come upon a supernatural board game, you may be feeling gloomy because you haven’t been able to follow through on something that is important to you.

                    Play the Jumanji film when you need an adventure to break out of your slump.

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                    10. Amélie

                      Amélie leads a sheltered life that gives her a naive and sweet perspective on love. After she sees the way that kindness affects others, she dedicates herself to making a positive difference in the world.

                      Amélie learns that in order to help people and actualize her positive vision for the world, she has to stand up for what she believes in. Her kindness and sense of justice are strengths– not weaknesses. When you’re feeling down, Amélie (2001) can give you a fresh new outlook on the world.

                      Let Amélie remind you that life is beautiful.

                      11. Juno

                        When 16-year-old Juno gets pregnant, she decides to give the baby up for adoption. She meets the child’s prospective parents and strikes up an interesting relationship with them. Meanwhile, she grapples with her feelings about the baby’s father.

                        Juno (2007) shows us that even when life throws us a curve ball, we can still find a way to make things work. When you’re honest with yourself and commit to doing the right thing, you can find peace and love in challenging times.

                        Watch Juno to remember that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it’s always worthwhile.

                        12. The Boss Baby

                          Tim spent the first seven years of his life as an only child, but all that changed when a baby destined for management at BabyCorp is accidentally placed in his home. The baby takes over Tim’s household. Tim is jealous, but he has to join forces with his baby brother.

                          Boss Baby (2017) has a star-studded cast of voice actors, and it’s sure to provide some levity on a tough day. Tim has to learn to overcome his dislike for his brother to combat a common enemy. Sometimes emotions can affect your ability to get things done, but if you view a problem objectively you can push forward for the greater good.

                          Let The Boss Baby remind you that staying focused and working as a team will make you stronger.

                          13. The Darjeeling Limited

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                            Three brothers struggle to get along as they take a spiritual journey together after the passing of their father. As they make their trip, it becomes clear that they are all grappling with personal problems.

                            The Darjeeling Limited (2007) is quirky and funny, but it also has a dark side. The brothers learn that they must accept one another’s flaws and work together. This movie will remind you that everyone has a complex inner world that affects how they handle situations. If you’re feeling down because you’ve had a disagreement with someone, it might be worthwhile to think about why they hold a different perspective from you.

                            See what’s beneath the surface when you watch The Darjeeling Limited.

                            14. Rocky

                              When boxing nobody, Rocky Balboa, gets the chance to fight the champion, Apollo Creed, he knows that this is his opportunity to change his life. He must overcome his circumstances to train for his upcoming fight.

                              Rocky (1976) reminds us of the importance of doggedly pursuing our dreams. Even if it seems like you are facing something that’s nearly impossible to overcome, you don’t stand a chance unless you’re willing to step into the ring.

                              Watch Rocky when you need to have the eye of the tiger.

                              15. Step Up

                                Tyler hangs out with a bad crowd, and he gets caught vandalizing a performing arts school. His punishment consists of doing community service in the place that he vandalized. He gains a new respect for the arts and wants to become a student at the school, but he has to prove his worth first.

                                Step Up (2006) reminds us that we do not have to be defined by our circumstances. If you’re struggling because you feel like you came from the wrong side of the tracks, know that your dreams are still possible.

                                Watch Step Up when you need to break the mold.

                                When you’re feeling down, bust out the popcorn.

                                If you can’t bring yourself to do anything else, settle in to watch one of these uplifting movies. Each one can illuminate possibilities for you so that you can break out of your funk.

                                Save this list and refer back to it when you need to feel inspired.

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                                Brian Lee

                                Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                                Published on October 30, 2020

                                11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

                                11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

                                There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

                                While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

                                Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

                                How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

                                Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

                                We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

                                • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
                                • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
                                • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
                                • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

                                1. Meditations

                                  One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

                                  We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

                                  All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

                                  Buy Meditations here.

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                                  2. Letters From a Stoic

                                    Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

                                    While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

                                    Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

                                    3. Nicomachean Ethics

                                      Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

                                      Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

                                      4. Beyond Good & Evil

                                        Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

                                        Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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                                        Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

                                        5. Meditations on First Philosophy

                                          In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

                                          Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

                                          6. Ethics

                                            Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

                                            Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

                                            Buy “Ethics” here.

                                            7. Critique of Pure Reason

                                              Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                                              In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                                              Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                                              8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                                                Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                                                In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                                                Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                                                9. Everything Is F*cked

                                                  The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                                                  While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                                                  Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                                                  Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                                                  Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                                                  10. Reasons and Persons

                                                    One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                                                    Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                                                    Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                                                    11. The Republic of Plato

                                                      Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                                                      Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                      Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                                                      More Books to Open Your Mind

                                                      Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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