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The best feel-good movies to stream on Netflix

Feel-good movies are always there for us when we need them the most. Whether it’s a favorite flick that we return to every time we’re feeling blue or a new discovery that lifts our spirits in times of hardship, feel-good movies warm the heart and allow us to take a step back from whatever we’re facing in our lives. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ll be glad to learn that the streaming platform is home to all kinds of feel-good movies. In fact, we’ve put together this roundup to highlight all of the best feel-good movies you can watch on Netflix right now. All you’ll have to do is skim our selections and pick a title that’s right for you!

If this isn’t what you’re looking for, check out our other feel-good lists, including the best comedies on Netflix, the best stand-up comedy on Netflix, and the best romantic comedies on Netflix.

The Harder They Fall (2021) new

The Harder They Fall
68 %
r 139m
Genre Western
Stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King
Directed by Jeymes Samuel
When Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) learns that his adversary, the wretched Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison, it’s war as usual for both parties. Rounding up a formidable posse to take down old Buck, Nat is looking to settle the score once and for all. But true to the spirit of the Old West, Buck has his own band of outlaws lassoed up to go toe-to-toe with Nat’s crew. A mesmerizing take on the Western genre, packed with powerhouse performances and glorious set pieces, The Harder They Fall is sure to raise your spirits. After all, nothing says “happy day” like triumphing over an old foe.

About Time (2013) new

About Time
55 %
r 123m
Genre Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy
Directed by Richard Curtis
Time travel can quickly become cliche in the world of film, but this isn’t the case with director Richard Curtis’ About Time. Starring Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, on the man’s 21st birthday, his father (Bill Nighy) informs his son that the men of the family can all travel through time. Deciding to utilize his newfound gift to claim the girl of his dreams, all seems well until the struggles of love start unfolding. A sentimental journey that borders on family drama at times, About Time is a warm presence of a film, even when things aren’t going particularly well for everyone onscreen.

Wine Country (2019) new

Wine Country
56 %
r 103m
Genre Comedy
Stars Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch
Directed by Amy Poehler
An ensemble laugh-fest featuring many of today’s greatest female comedy talents, Wine Country follows the likes of Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph into Napa Valley, California for a weekend of drinking and celebration, as one of the ladies is tying the knot. But as the long weekend ensues, the working-life tribulations of the six longtime friends start bubbling to the surface, upending their girl’s getaway entirely. The feature directing debut of Amy Poehler, the onscreen chemistry between the six main players is certainly undeniable. And what’s not to like about the glorious sights and sounds of beautiful California vineyards?

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) new

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
68 %
pg 113m
Genre Drama, History, Family
Stars Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga
Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor
The vast majority of feel-good films tend to involve romance and courtship. However, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind draws its inspirational and heart-warming moments from the true story of William Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba). Chiwetel Ejiofor directed the film, wrote the script from William’s novel, and co-stars in the film as William’s father, Trywell Kamkwamba. As a young child in an impoverished village in Malawi, William struggles to educate himself after he is forced to withdraw from school. While nurturing his love for electronics and his ingenuity, William builds a working wind turbine that transforms the lives of his family, as well as his own.

Faith, Hope & Love (2019)

Faith, Hope & Love
pg 106m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Peta Murgatroyd, Robert Krantz, Michael Richards
Directed by Robert Krantz, J. J. Englert
Would it surprise you to learn that the two main characters in Faith, Hope & Love are named Faith Turley (Peta Murgatroyd) and Jimmy Hope (Robert Krantz)? Admittedly, that’s a bit on the nose, since it’s going to take quite a bit of faith and hope to get these two lovebirds together. Faith is coming out of a bad divorce while Jimmy is mourning his late wife. They find themselves drawn together for a pro-am dance contest that Faith enters in the hope of saving her dance studio. The sparks fly between them pretty early on, but both Faith and Jimmy will have to learn how to let go of their past before they can embrace the future and each other.

The Half of It (2020)

The Half of It
74 %
pg-13 104m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire
Directed by Alice Wu
In The Half of It, Leah Lewis stars as a lonely yet academically successful high school student named Ellie Chu. Much to Ellie’s surprise, her classmate, Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), earnestly approaches her to get help wooing Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). What Paul doesn’t know is that Ellie is also infatuated with Aster, and the feelings and words that she tells Paul to express are a reflection of her own. Additionally, Ellie is conflicted on what to do after graduation because she is reluctant to leave her father, Edwin (Collin Chou), behind to live out his life alone. Over time, Ellie comes to realize whom she can really rely on, even if she doesn’t get everything that she wants.

Dumplin' (2018)

53 %
pg-13 110m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush
Directed by Anne Fletcher
In Dumplin’, Danielle Macdonald plays the title character, Willowdean Dickson – her mother, Rosie Dickson (Jennifer Aniston), calls her daughter Dumplin’ both as a sign of affection and because of her plus-size body. For years, Rosie has neglected her daughter’s needs in favor of running beauty pageants, while Rosie’s sister, Lucy (Hilliary Begley), essentially raised Rosie herself. In the wake of Lucy’s unexpected death, Willowdean enrolls in one of her mother’s pageants as a form of protest. Willowdean’s best friend, Ellen “Elle” Dryver (Odeya Rush), also joins the pageant to support her. However, their friendship is tested when Elle becomes more enthusiastic about the pageant. This also forces Willowdean to reexamine her own reasons for entering the pageant.

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic
72 %
r 118m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Viggo Mortensen, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso
Directed by Matt Ross
In Captain Fantastic, Viggo Mortensen is Ben, the patriarchal leader of a left-wing extremist family. Living life off the grid for years, Ben and his wife Leslie (Trin Miller) have reared their six children to think practically and critically and to live off the land. When Leslie passes away unexpectedly, Ben’s beliefs and moral compass are put to the test when the widower is forced to reintegrate his clan into the civilized world. A testament to the strengths that lay in familial numbers, Captain Fantastic wins big with its earnest performances and spirit-lifting narrative, a story buttressed most triumphantly by leading man Mortensen’s believable efforts as the first-in-command of his kin.

The Artist (2011)

The Artist
89 %
pg-13 100m
Genre Drama, Comedy, Romance
Stars Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
There aren’t many silent films or black and white movies anymore. But The Artist intentionally calls back to the early days of cinema by employing both techniques to tell the story of George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). During the age of silent movies, George is a big movie star who elevates Peppy from an extra, thanks to their undeniable chemistry. Years later, their fortunes are reversed as “talkies” are introduced and George can barely find work while Peppy is a box office sensation. But Peppy won’t let George fall to despair, and she makes it her mission in life to lift him back up again.

Get on Up (2014)

Get on Up
71 %
pg-13 139m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd
Directed by Tate Taylor
The late Chadwick Boseman left us last year, but Get on Up is one of the films that cemented his legacy. Boseman stars as the iconic singer James Brown in a biopic about his life. This movie tracks several pivotal events that shaped James, from his parents abandoning him to his meteoric rise to stardom after a brief stint in prison. James’ relationship with Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis) is also explored, as their collaboration took James to his greatest heights. However James proves to be his own worst enemy, and his self-destructive tendencies nearly cost him everything.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
50 %
pg-13 123m
Genre Comedy, Music
Stars Rachel McAdams, Will Ferrell, Pierce Brosnan
Directed by David Dobkin
American fans may find this hard to believe, but the Eurovision Song Contest is very real … and it’s also a pretty big deal across the Atlantic. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a very silly movie, but it is also a loving tribute to the annual competition. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams co-headline the film as Icelandic singers Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir. The duo’s band, Fire Saga, has only a limited amount of success together. Yet through a freak occurrence, Fire Saga is chosen to represent Iceland in Eurovision. Unbeknownst to Lars, Sigrit is deeply in love with him. But the pressure of the contest may doom their personal and professional relationships.

Concrete Cowboy (2020)

Concrete Cowboy
67 %
r 111m
Genre Drama, Western
Stars Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, Jharrel Jerome
Directed by Ricky Staub
If you want the feel-good vibes from Concrete Cowboy, you’re gonna have to be patient. It’s a family drama first and foremost. Caleb McLaughlin stars as Cole, a troubled 15-year-old boy who is sent to live with his estranged father, Harp (Idris Elba). As it turns out, Harp is really into the local horse riding subculture, and he clearly loves his horses more than most of the people in his life. Although Cole has an affinity for one of the more difficult horses, he’s more drawn to his cousin, Smush (Jharrel Jerome). Smush was once a rider himself, but he turned to dealing drugs in order to fund his escape from the city. Ultimately, Cole will have to choose between following his father’s example or his cousin’s darker path.

Stardust (2007)

66 %
pg-13 127m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Stars Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Stardust is one of those fantasy movies that seems designed to lift your spirits from start to finish. Charlie Cox stars as Tristan Thorn, a young man who vows to present a falling star to the woman he loves, Victoria Forester (Sienna Miller). What he finds instead is Yvaine (Claire Danes), the fallen star in a pleasing human form. Tristan and Yvaine soon realize that they’re meant for each other, even as the witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her sisters pursue the duo so they can eat the heart of a star and recover their youth. Meanwhile, Tristan and Yvaine encounter and befriend Captain Shakespeare of the Caspartine (Robert De Niro), a flamboyant sky pirate who is in need of some affirmation as well.

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

The Fundamentals of Caring
55 %
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez
Directed by Rob Burnett
When Ben (Paul Rudd) becomes a registered caregiver, nothing prepares him for the once-in-a-lifetime road trip he takes with 18-year-old Trevor (Craig Roberts), a boy with muscular dystrophy. Convincing Trevor’s mother, Elsa (Jennifer Ehle), to allow him and Trevor to leave Seattle on a quest to visit roadside oddities, including the world’s deepest pit, Ben and Trevor form an undeniable bond that weathers a number of emotional events on their journey. In this adaptation of Jonathan Evison’s 2012 novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Paul Rudd delivers a stirring and grounded performance as Ben, helping this rather by-the-books road comedy become something much greater than just another buddy comedy.

Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird
94 %
r 94m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts
Directed by Greta Gerwig
It’s senior year for Christine McPherson — or “Lady Bird,” as she prefers to be called. Eager to escape the confines of Catholic school education and her stifling hometown of Sacramento, Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) dreams of a culture-filled life on the East Coast. Over the course of one year, she weathers school, romances, friendships, family hardships, and college applications, growing increasingly bitter and standoffish as graduation edges closer and closer. A mosaic of Lady Bird’s day-in-the-life experiences, writer-director Greta Gerwig’s stunning directorial debut is a mesmerizing, humorous, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale that reminds us to be thankful for the people in our lives who have never left our sides — no matter how many times we jump out of their passenger seat.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
81 %
pg-13 101m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Stars Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Directed by Taika Waititi
Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a foster child, is taken in by Bella Faulkner and her husband Hec. Living on a remote farm with the couple, city-raised Ricky isn’t warming up to their goodwill, and his standoffishness is further challenged when Bella passes away unexpectedly. Emotionally distraught, Ricky takes off into the nearby woods with his dog, Tupac. Hec tracks the pair down but suffers a broken ankle in the process. Together, the trio must contend with the New Zealand wilderness as a search party tries to find the farmer and his foster son. Taiki Waititi brings a breath of fantastical fresh air to the typical childhood adoption sub-genre, giving us one of the most delightful feel-good flicks of this roundup.

A scene from Set It Up.

Set It Up (2018)

Charlie (Glenn Powell) and Harper (Zoey Deutch) are the dedicated assistants to two highly-demanding bosses, Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs). Tiring of their lives as overworked go-getters, Charlie and Harper take it upon themselves to set their bosses up with the hope that once the two begin dating, their assistants will have more time to enjoy their lives. What ensues is a series of missteps and hijinks that hits all the major beats of the tried-and-true rom-com formula, but in a way that still feels fresh and authentic.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Glenn Powell, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Pete Davidson
Director: Claire Scanlon
105 minutes

Watch on Netflix

A scene from Work It.

Work It (2020)

Dance competition films tend to have a formula and Work It is no exception. The key difference between Work It and other movies in its genre is that it executes the formula extremely well. Sabrina Carpenter stars as Quinn Ackerman, a high school senior who is desperate to build up her resume with some extra-curricular activities so she can get into the college of her dreams. When Julliard Pembroke (Keiynan Lonsdale) denies Quinn a place on the dance team, she joins forces with Jake Taylor (Jordan Fisher) and forms her own team. However, the demands of Quinn’s ambitions and her mother’s plans threaten to end Quinn’s burgeoning romance with Jake as well as her team’s chances to go all the way.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy, Keiynan Lonsdale
Director: Laura Terruso
93 minutes

Watch on Netflix

A scene from The Princess Switch.

The Princess Switch (2018)

Vanessa Hudgens has a very charming dual turn in The Princess Switch as both an ordinary young woman named Stacy DeNovo and the Duchess of Montenegro, Margaret Delacourt. Because Stacy and Margaret feel trapped in their respective lives, they agree to pull a Prince and the Pauper-style caper and temporarily trade places. However, complications ensue when both women start having romantic feelings for the men in each other’s lives. But don’t worry folks, there are no broken hearts in this movie.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar
Director: Mike Rohl
102 minutes

Watch on Netflix

A scene from Always Be My Maybe.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Ali Wong and Randall Park co-star in this clever 2019 romantic comedy about a pair of childhood friends who rekindle their romantic relationship after their paths cross as adults. The pair co-wrote with Michael Golamco, and the story has the two lead characters deal with the stresses that fame, fear, and old memories can have on a new relationship. While the pair’s experiences are funny enough on their own, the film also includes a cameo role for Keanu Reeves that ranks right up there among the actor’s most memorable performances of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
 102 minutes

Watch on Netflix

A scene from To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

A teenage girl, content to spend her days with her nose in a romance novel, discovers that several secret letters she’d written to her crushes over the years were mysteriously mailed to them. This causes a domino effect of hilarious hi-jinks and heartwarming moments and leads this teen in a direction she never expected. This 2018 romantic comedy is based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name; it featured Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) and became an overnight hit on Netflix. Two sequels were filmed; the first of those sequels, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, was shared on Netflix in February of 2020.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish
Director: Susan Johnson
99 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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