We all know that life can sometimes knock us down and it’s not always easy to pick ourselves back up and get on our feet again. Sometimes, we just need a boost of inspiration and something to relax our mind.
If you’re feeling this way, here are some TV shows and documentaries you can stream to help lift you up and offer that feel-good energy you might be craving.
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Jenna Boyd, Amy Okuda
In this heartfelt comedy, a teenage boy on the autism spectrum decides to start dating and find a girlfriend, sending his family into a tailspin. The events that follow teach everyone about self-discovery, overcoming perceived limitations, adapting to change and redefining what being normal means.
Stream Atypical on Netflix
This Way Up (2019-Present)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Aisling Bea, Sharon Horgan, Aasif Mandvi, Kadiff Kirwan, Indira Varma
This UK series may be about depression, but it’s more about coming back from depression and a “teensy little nervous breakdown,” than anything else. This show tackles the hard topics facing someone experiencing mental illness while demonstrating the capacity to overcome the struggles and challenges it presents with a bit of resolve, humor and the right people around you.
Stream This Way Up on Hulu
Zoey´s Extraordinary Playlist (2020-2021)
Genre: Comedy-Drama, Musical
Starring: Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, Felix Mallard, Lauren Graham, Peter Gallagher
After a bizarre accident with an MRI and a truly extraordinary streaming playlist, a young woman gains the fantastical ability to hear other people’s thoughts as musical numbers. A ridiculous premise perhaps, but it seems completely plausible when you’re tapping your toes and singing along to your favorite hit songs as office geeks and angry pedestrians start bursting out into song and dance! The uplift and inspiration in this show doesn’t just come from the musical numbers though. It comes from the afflicted heroine’s decision to use her abilities to help the people in her life get what they want and need. And empathetic good deeds aren’t all, either. At the root of Zoey’s “superpowers,” she believes, may be the onset of a degenerative, hereditary, neurological disorder called PSP with symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease from which her father is already suffering in the advanced stages. Watching how Zoey handles these exaggerated and un-ignorable insights into other people’s own hopes and fears while inwardly battling her and her family’s own may be the true song at the heart of this show.
Stream Zoey´s Extraordinary Playlist on The Roku Channel and Peacock
Ted Lasso (2020-Present)
Genre: Comedy-Drama, Sports
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt
Finally, we close the TV part of this list with an all-out comedy, but not just any comedy: one about the undefeatable strength of optimism. When an American football coach takes a job managing a British soccer team, he brings with him little more than his Midwestern charm, fondness for wordplay and incredible talent for baking. Yet, that somehow seems to be enough to get him through the vicissitudes of coaching a sport he knows nothing about in a country he knows nothing about. Through this prism of positivity, this deceptively hilarious laugh-fest manages to tackle some fairly relevant and important emotional and social topics.
Stream Ted Lasso on Apple TV+
Genres: Documentary, Self-Improvement
Director: Roko Belic
Starring: Gregory Berns, Roy Blanchard, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Tenzin Gyatso, Richard Davison, Ed Diener
What makes people happy? This documentary aims to answer that question, or at least explore it in depth. It spans the globe examining how people in different parts of the world, in different conditions and environments, experience life. It looks at their own perceived levels of happiness on their own terms, by how they define it, and it tries to find some link between them to draw a larger picture of how people achieve happiness. For the viewers, this can offer great hope, encouragement, perspective and empowerment to examine how they define happiness, redefine it if necessary and proceed to achieve it with strategies known to work.
Stream Happy on Tubi TV, Kanopy, Fandor and Fandor Amazon Channel
Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds (2012)
Genres: Documentary, History, Canadian
Director: Daniel Schmidt
Starring: Patrick Sweeny (narrator)
Throughout history, it’s gone by many names, but, whatever one calls it, a single vibratory field is said to link all things. It is believed to be the source of the wisdom of philosophers, the discoveries of science, the inventions of art and the transcendence of the spiritual masters. By understanding this nameless timeless energy, this force, viewers can’t help but feel connected to all things past, present and future and feel empowered to tap into that source themselves to understand themselves better, to grow, heal and transcend their obstacles, within and without.
Stream Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds on The Roku Channel, Vudu Free, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Plex, Flimsie and IMDB TV Amazon Channel
Genres: Documentary, Self-Improvement, European
Director: Kelly Noonan
Starring: Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Anita Moorjani, Bruce H. Lipton, Michael Beckwith, Gregg Braden
This film wends the spiritual and the scientific on the path to discover the human body’s capacity to heal itself from any illness simply by altering one’s thoughts. It features some of the top thinkers, educators and leaders in various spiritual and scientific disciplines.
Stream Heal on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Hoopla and Tubi TV