Happy Hour Escapades: 24 Feel-Good Films and Series To Lift Your Spirits – Lifotravel

If you’re tired of heartbreaking movies where the two soulmates don’t end up together, the main character is defeated, or the dog dies, here’s the perfect list to cheer you up. Check out 24 heartwarming and happy movies and TV shows that will give you all the good feelings you’re looking for!

1. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump Tom HanksForrest Gump Tom Hanks
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

While the end of the movie will likely have you in tears, it will also instill you with hope and love. Forrest Gump is a heartwarming film that hits all the right notes. It’s sad, funny, gentle, and humbling all at the same time, and it’s over two hours of pure goodness that can make you feel better about anything.

2. Friends (1994-2004)

Image Credit: Bright-Kauffman-Crane Productions.

While Friends may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s one of the most comforting and feel-good shows you can watch, and with ten seasons, there is plenty of content for binging. The characters are quirky and relatable, and most of the storylines are interesting enough to keep you hooked without stressing you out.

3. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will SmithThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith
Image Credit: NBC Productions.

While the internet may be sick of Will Smith now, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is still a lovable comedy that stays lighthearted while tackling meaningful themes. Young Will Smith is handsome and charming, and the rest of the sitcom family is perfectly wacky but sweet.

4. Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Jason AlexanderSeinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander
Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

One of the funniest parts of Seinfeld is that all the main characters are horrible people. Despite their consistently poor behavior, the show is fun and wildly amusing. Watching these four get into ridiculous shenanigans due to their lack of self-awareness will never get old, no matter how many times you watch.

5. Modern Family (2009-2020)

Modern Family Julie Bowen, Ty BurrellModern Family Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

TV lovers consistently rate Modern Family as one of the most feel-good shows, and it’s easy to see why. The ensemble cast is lovable and relatable, and the storylines are always heartfelt while still hilarious. For many, it’s like watching their own silly family on TV.

6. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting Matt Damon, Robin WilliamsGood Will Hunting Matt Damon, Robin Williams
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

On the flip side, Good Will Hunting is not a lighthearted movie. It’s a profoundly emotional and rich plot that will keep you captivated from beginning to end. The film leaves you with a lovely sense of hope and peace but also makes the future feel wide open like it is for the characters.

7. Clueless (1995)

Clueless Alicia SilverstoneClueless Alicia Silverstone
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Clueless might not be the most profound movie, but it has a lovely balance of humor and romance that is always delightful to watch. Alicia Silverstone plays the perfect ditsy blonde high schooler, and Paul Rudd is the sarcastic boy who sweeps her off her feet. And every outfit in the movie is iconic.

8. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss SunshineLittle Miss Sunshine
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Little Miss Sunshine is an endearing story about a family who takes their daughter to a beauty pageant, which is her dream. There are hijinks, speed bumps, and emotions on the way. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and everything in between because this movie is a wild and fun ride.

9. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon

Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Sweet Home Alabama is perfect if you want a delightful romantic comedy that delivers a happy ending that will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling in your tummy. Reese Witherspoon is sassy and spunky in this movie, and it has strong nostalgic vibes that will give you all the good feelings.

10. Mamma Mia! (2008)

Mamma Mia! Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters

Mamma Mia! Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Mamma Mia! has everything you could want in a movie: Meryl Streep, ABBA songs, romance, humor, and stunning views of Greece. While the wedding is the center of the plot, the true story is about the bond between mother and daughter and how it’s never too late to be who you are and live the life you want.

11. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Love Actually Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Follow the turbulent lives of eight different couples in this charming Christmas movie that will always be a fan favorite. With lots of big stars in it, you can watch it for Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, or Liam Neeson, or just watch for the supreme romantic vibe that permeates for the whole two hours.

12. Legally Blonde (2001)

Legally Blonde Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Cauffiel, Alanna Ubach

Legally Blonde Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Cauffiel, Alanna Ubach

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Another Reese Witherspoon movie that will lift your spirits is Legally Blonde, an iconic film about girl power and following your dreams, no matter what people tell you. It has humor and romance; most importantly, it’s about standing up for yourself.

13. School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock Jack Black

School of Rock Jack Black

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

My favorite Jack Black movie, School of Rock, is about a musician who lies his way into being a substitute teacher and winds up turning his class into a rock and roll band! It has the lovable Jack Black humor that will have you chuckling every five seconds, along with a heartfelt message.

14. Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)

Parks and Recreation Nick Offerman, Amy PoehlerParks and Recreation Nick Offerman, Amy Poehler
Image Credit: Universal Television.

Parks and Recreation is one of the top feel-good shows ever made. While all the characters are adorable, there is something so uplifting about watching Leslie Knope do her best to make the world better, even though no one appreciates or helps her.

15. Paddington (2014)

Paddington 2 Brendan Gleeson, Ben WhishawPaddington 2 Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw
Image Credit: StudioCanal.

Paddington is one of the sweetest movies to watch when you’re feeling down or just want something light to enjoy. This little bear with a red hat is a British icon that is just as soothing for adults as it is for little kids. It’s the perfect happy movie for a gray day.

16. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally... Meg Ryan

When Harry Met Sally... Meg Ryan

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Romantic movies where couples seemingly fall in love out of nowhere are annoying, so the slow-burn romance between Harry and Sally is so satisfying. The film is cute and quirky and perfect if you want to enjoy a hilarious and heartwarming movie.

17. Inside Out (2015)

Inside OutInside Out
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Inside Out is an animated movie that personifies emotions with funky characters. This movie tackles all our emotions and how complex it can be to be a human. The film reminds us that you don’t need to be happy all the time and, in fact, sometimes you need to let yourself be sad or angry.

18. Community (2009-2015)

Community Troy and Abed Danny Pudi Donald GloverCommunity Troy and Abed Danny Pudi Donald Glover
Image Credit: NBC Universal Television.

While Community was once considered a cult classic show, it’s growing in popularity almost ten years after it went off the air. It’s offbeat compared to most sitcoms but still has lovable characters and funny plotlines that keep you entertained for hours.

19. Bob’s Burgers (2011-)

Bob's BurgersBob's Burgers
Image Credit: Wilo Productions.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Belcher family when you meet them. Linda is loud, Bob is cranky, Tina is a typical tween, Gene is musical, and Louise might be the smartest. With musical numbers and wacky characters galore, it will surely make you happy and give you a few chuckles.

20. The Great British Baking Show (2010-)

The Great British Baking Show

The Great British Baking Show

Image Credit: Love Productions.

I prefer the intense cooking competition shows where Gordon Ramsay yells at everyone, but The Great British Baking Show is my go-to if I want to watch some adorable Brits talk about cake and cookies. This show is easily the most enchanting and pleasant show on television.

21. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Gilmore Girls has a warm, cozy, and nostalgic feel that puts many people in a good mood. While not everyone loves the characters or the storylines, something about the aesthetic of this show is just very comforting and friendly, with fall leaves and big cups of coffee.

22. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain Gene Kelly

Singin' in the Rain Gene Kelly

Image Credit: Loew’s Inc.

It’s hard not to smile and feel happy watching Singin’ in the Rain. The movie is wonderfully playful and beautiful, and you’ll be tempted to stand up and perform a tap routine. It’s one of the classic feel-good movies that always hits the spot when you need something fun and upbeat.

23. Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo Willem DafoeFinding Nemo Willem Dafoe
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Another one of the best animated kids’ movies to watch when you need something to make you feel good, Finding Nemo is about adventure, family, and how scary the big world can be. Watching Marlin search the vast ocean for Nemo is harrowing, but the journey is also humorous.

24. We’re the Millers (2013)

Emma Roberts We're the Millers

Emma Roberts We're the Millers

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

This film makes me laugh, and it has a charming romance storyline that isn’t too heavy-handed. It’s like the classic family road trip movie turned on its head, as a drug dealer, homeless girl, abandoned boy, and adult performer head to Mexico and back to make a bunch of money.

Screen Shot 2023 06 08 at 1.44.27 PM

Screen Shot 2023 06 08 at 1.44.27 PM

Veronica is a food, fashion, and entertainment writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for all things lifestyle and culture. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor’s in English literature. From Anna Wintour to Angelina Jolie to Alton Brown, she has her finger on the pulse of all things Hollywood and celebrity.

If she’s not in the kitchen crafting new recipes, then she’s binging the latest HBO series and catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue.

She has written for and been syndicated by publications like The Weather Channel, The Borgen Project, The Good Men Project, The Express, and Not Deer Magazine. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews to homemade recipes and more.

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