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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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                                Last Updated on October 30, 2019

                                How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                                How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                                Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

                                In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

                                Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

                                You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

                                What is the Stages of Change Model?

                                Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

                                Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

                                Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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                                  The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

                                  The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

                                  The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

                                  The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

                                  1. Precontemplation
                                  2. Contemplation
                                  3. Determination
                                  4. Action
                                  5. Maintenance
                                  6. Termination

                                  How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

                                  To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

                                    Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

                                    Stage 1: Precontemplation

                                    At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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                                    For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

                                    Stage 2: Contemplation

                                    At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

                                    You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

                                    The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

                                    Stage 3: Preparation

                                    At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

                                    Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

                                    Stage 4: Action

                                    When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

                                    Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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                                    Stage 5: Maintenance

                                    After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

                                    Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

                                    Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

                                    Stage 6: Termination

                                    Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

                                    However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

                                    How long does each stage take?

                                    You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

                                    So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

                                    The limitations of this model

                                    The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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                                    Require the ability to set a realistic goal

                                    For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

                                    If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

                                    Difficult to judge your progress

                                    The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

                                    Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

                                    Conclusion

                                    The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

                                    While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

                                    Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
                                    [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                                    [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
                                    [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                                    [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
                                    [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
                                    [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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