Inspiring movies uplift you when you're feeling blue or need a pick-me-up for any other reason. The next time you’re feeling down about something, pop in one of these inspiring films to lift your spirits and give you a temporary escape from everyday life. Whether you’re going through a break-up or just a bad day, allow yourself a short getaway and it might help you look at your situation differently and discover a different way to tackle it. There's bound to be an inspiring movie here for everyone!
Table of contents:
- the pursuit of happyness (2006)
- the devil wears prada (2006)
- the shawshank redemption (1994)
- it’s a wonderful life (1946)
- radio (2003)
- eat pray love (2010)
- adjustment bureau (2011)
- rocky (1976)
- a league of their own (1992)
- freedom writers (2007)
- the green mile (1999)
- soul surfer (2011)
- slumdog millionaire (2008)
- pay it forward (2000)
- 127 hours (2011)
1 The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith stars in this inspiring movie as Chris Gardner, an unemployed and homeless man who recently gets custody of his son. He tackles fatherhood and an internship at a brokerage firm to try and provide a better life for his son and himself. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place, this is a must-see movie when you’re feeling down.
2 The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) finds herself a job as an assistant to super snotty but super influential magazine editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) and struggles to fit in at her new job yet stay true to herself. Andy goes through tough times but perseveres and comes out a winner. If you feel like you just don’t fit in somewhere and are striving to find yourself, this movie is sure to inspire you.
3 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This is one of my favorite inspiring movies, without question. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins star in this movie that inspires and moves you. Tim Robbins plays Andy Defresne who is wrongly accused of a crime and is sentenced to prison where he meets Red (Morgan Freeman) and forges a lifelong friendship. This movie shows us how the power of hope and friendship can overcome anything life throws at us.
4 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
I know it’s a Christmas movie, but it’s a very touching and inspiring movie nonetheless! This classic film stars James Stewart as depressed and despairing George Bailey. Bailey gets a visit from an angel who shows him what life would be like without him and to stop him from taking his life. This is a great, heartwarming movie to watch with family and be thankful for one another.
5 Radio (2003)
Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Radio in this inspirational movie about friendship and acceptance. Radio becomes a student at a South Carolina high school and football coach Coach Jones (Ed Harris) takes Radio under his wing and encourages others to give Radio a chance. Funny and heartwarming, this feel-good movie shows us that deep down we are all the same and deserve respect.
6 Eat Pray Love (2010)
Unhappy with your life and feel like you’re in a rut? Join Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) as she travels around the world for a change of scenery and goes on a journey to find herself after she goes through a difficult divorce and longs for a change in her life. This is one of the best inspiring movies to come out in a while.
7 Adjustment Bureau (2011)
This forbidden love story features Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as strangers who meet and fall for each other but find that strange forces always keeps them apart. This inspiring movie shows us that although we might feel that we are on a predetermined path in life, we can change our lives and future despite the curveballs that life throws at us.
8 Rocky (1976)
Who can forget the rags-to-riches inspirational movie starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky, an amateur boxer who rose to the top of the ranks through honesty, integrity and good old fashioned hard work. Rocky was the all-American boy who had to go up against boxers who were pumped up on steroids and cheating their way to the top. Rocky is a classic movie about overcoming odds and fighting the good fight.
9 A League of Their Own (1992)
This film tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. This group of women were keeping the national pastime alive while the men were all away at war. It's really inspiring because we're given a look at how women had to struggle to be accepted and appreciated in society. How times have changed!
10 Freedom Writers (2007)
This movie definitely makes my Top 5 Favorite Movies list. It's so inspiring to see a teacher care so deeply about her students and go out of her way to make sure they get the education that they deserve. She teaches them multiple life lessons outside of the class room.
11 The Green Mile (1999)
If you haven't seen The Green Mile, you NEED to do that at your earliest convenience! It tells the story of a prison officer in charge of death row inmates during the summer of 1935 and when the newest inmate arrives, he changes the lives of everyone around him. It's truly a must-see film.
12 Soul Surfer (2011)
Soul Surfer is a true story based on pro-surfer, Bethany Hamilton. She was attacked by a shark and lost her arm but the tragic incident didn't keep her from doing what she loved to do. The movie tells the inspiring story that you can always overcome whatever your put your mind to. Never give up!
13 Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
If you ever need to reminded that love can conquer all, watch this film. It's a movie that inspires us all to overcome any hardships we might face and never forget where we came from. It's important to learn from the events in your life because you never know when it'll be helpful to you!
14 Pay It Forward (2000)
The movie's lesson is right in the title. It tells the story of a young boy who, through a school experiment, attempts to make the world a better place. He comes up with the idea of paying a favor back by doing a good deed for someone else and the next thing he knows, he's starting a revolution. It's a very touching movie that'll make you want to change lives and pay it forward!
15 127 Hours (2011)
127 Hours is a true story of survival and hope. It's a biographical film starring James Franco as Aron Ralston, a man who was trapped by a boulder in an isolated slot canyon back in 2003. It was based on Ralston's memoir "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" and if this movie doesn't inspire you to never give up, I don't know what will.
There are many others movies that should be on this list of inspiring movies, but the films on this list is a good start to getting some entertainment, motivation and encouragement. If you find yourself feeling blue about something in life, step back from the problem and take a break with a movie. What are some of your favorite inspirational films?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Vanessa Salles.
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