Films about depression

When you feel depressed on these cold nights, here are some movies you should watch. 

There is no denying that we live in difficult times. The world is experiencing several conflicts, our society just survived a pandemic, and two old, senile buffoons are running for office. In addition, companies are laying off employees left and right, and loneliness is a real problem for more people than usual. 

Yes, the world sucks. But there’s always an existing movie to help us escape it and transport us to a better one. The following films are recommendations to watch when feeling depressed. You’re not alone. You’re not the only one, and our mission is to share our love for movies as an art form that makes us feel better. 

I hope you enjoy these movies. 

10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Property of Summit Entertainment

We kicked off this list with a film about an anxious and depressed high schooler. This one’s for the teenagers. Because there’s no minimum age for the possibility of suffering depression. This film follows a socially awkward high school freshman suffering from PTSD, finding himself with the help of two new friends. It’s a film about friendship and overcoming trauma that could prepare youngsters as they reach adulthood. 

9 The Royal Tennenbaums

Property of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Any Wes Anderson film can cheer someone up during a bad day or depressing cold night. For this list, we’re choosing The Royal Tennenbaums. A story about family and redemption, this is an inspiring movie for those with family issues. And even if you’re sadness doesn’t have anything to do with your family, the wittiness, the soundtrack, the cinematography, everything about it can make anyone smile. 

8 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Property of Universal Pictures

There is no secret about E.T. being really about divorce. Speilberg’s smash hit was inspired by his own parent’s divorce. And there’s also this powerful sequence about the stranded extra-terrestrial drinking his sorrows. As the son of divorced parents and a beer addict, I can relate to Elliot and E.T. Especially, the scene where Elliot’s bike elevates under the moon, which we still see in the Amblin logo. 

7 Almost Famous

C’mon, look at this. This will make you sing along with the characters and forget your problems. The scene is not the only one that will make you feel nostalgic and dreamlike. Maybe it’s the way Cameron Crowe filmed his semi-autobiographical film that we had these feelings. And it totally works as an escape from reality.  

6 Lars and the Real Girl

Property of MGM

Long before Craig Gillespie was making realistic depictions of Tonya Harding and Pamela Anderson during their respective scandals, he made this heart-warming little film about a socially awkward dude dating a life-sized doll and his family running with it. It’s a cute, feel-good story if you’re feeling lonely. 

5 Little Miss Sunshine

Property of Searchlight Pictures

This 2006 acclaimed film got Steve Carell, Toni Collete, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, and Zombiland’s child superstar Abigail Breslin. With a cast like this, I’ll be a happy dude, no matter the subject matter. Nevertheless, a quirky, dysfunctional family traveling to follow the kid’s dream to L.A. in their V.W. is something to watch and be inspired by. The scene where Paul Dano’s main character trait is revealed has stayed with me ever since I first saw the movie. Powerful stuff! 

4 Lost In Translation

Property of Focus Features

We all want to travel the world. Then again, how would it feel if it were a boring business trip and you didn’t even wanna try speaking the language and even the restaurant menus were a pain. Sofia Coppola’s modern classic movie about an aging actor in loneliness and isolation gives us a taste of that. This film teaches us that anything can make us sick when it’s work, but it also reminds us that there will always be someone who will make anything better. 

3 Everything Everywhere All At Once

Property of A24

The Daniels 2022 film EEOAO took the world by storm, exceeding the expectations of how a multi-universe is done. Already a prime example of meta-modernism, this blend of philosophical themes also explores comprehensible themes such as depression and generational trauma. And let’s be honest, sometimes we need an absurd and nihilistic take on our traumas to feel better and work on ourselves. 

2 Amélie

Property of Miramax

A film as beautiful and delightful as this one should be in people’s memories and always should be in everyone’s collection. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s direction is inexplicable. The visuals look like an illustrated book, making the film an immersive experience. Audrey Tatou’s main character is magical. She helps people on screen and will help you feel better as well. 

1 Inside Out

Property of Disney

One of my favorite Pixar films tells the story of an 11-year-old girl being controlled by her sadness when she needs to move to the city of San Francisco. Everyone can feel the stress of moving to a new environment. Even if this is not the reason, sadness can take over our minds. It is the perfect film to help everyone understand mental health better with this clever depiction of emotions. And it’s our pick for the best movie to watch when depressed. 

Movies can help, but if you or someone you know is going through a crisis, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

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