The 20 best feel-good movies that are guaranteed to boost your mood.

It has certainly been: a year. 

Without getting into the nitty gritty of why 2023 has been challenging (let's just say there's been more than one crisis plaguing society), I think we can all agree that the close of this year is being welcomed with open arms. 

If you're looking to give your soul a bit of nourishment, why not pull up a spot on the couch and shake off the worries by watching some feel-good movies. 

Watch: Mia Freedman gets the Sliding Doors haircut. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

We've pulled together a list of 20 of the best feel-good flicks that will surely make you forget about the dumpster fire that has been 2023. 

Think of it as a 140-minute little break for your noggin'.

Bridget Jones's Diary.

Bridget Jones's Diary. Image: Universal Pictures.


How could we start this list with anything but Bridget Jones's Diary? Time and time again we keep coming back to this hilarious romp about a self-deprecating London woman who's trying to figure out life, love and everything in between. 

The performances from Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are so comically sharp you'll find yourself laughing even after the one zillionth watch.

Where to watch: Stan or Binge.

Sliding Doors.

Image: Paramount Pictures.


Before Gwyneth Paltrow parlayed her talents into becoming a health and wellness guru slinging vagina-scented candles, she had a chokehold on the romantic comedy scene throughout the '90s. 

Sliding Doors is one of those unique storylines that brings together the head and heart with a tale about a woman living two alternate existences all hinged on a split moment. 

Gwyneth's British accent might be lacking but she makes up for it twofold with a touching portrayal of a woman discovering the true meaning of life.

Where to watch: Stan.



Image: Orion Pictures.

Seeing Cher light up the screen is sure to cure any blues you might be having. The 1990s flick Mermaids has all the fixings of a feel-good flick: a coming-of-age story, breakout performances from Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci and some seriously stylish '60s outfits to ogle at. 

Cher plays a single mum to two girls raising them amidst turbulent personal and societal moments. We can't help but feel like we’re getting a warm hug every time we watch this. Oh, and the soundtrack will get you singing from the rooftops: Alexa, play 'The Shoop Shoop Song' by Cher. 


Where to watch: Amazon Prime.

You've Got Mail.

Image: Warner Brothers.

Meg Ryan! Tom Hanks! A dial-up modem! If those three things alone don't warm the cockles of your heart we don't know what will. In the era of Meg Ryan ruling the romantic comedy roost in Hollywood, You've Got Mail delivered two-fold when it comes to feel-good flicks. 


Meg and Tom are at their best in this movie but mostly watch it to get a good tickle out of the throwback to when 'cyber romances' were an entirely new venture for singles. Before catfishing and Tinder there was You've Got Mail - hit send and enjoy.

Where to watch: Binge.

Suddenly 30.

Image: Columbia Tri Star.


If you've been trying to pinpoint the moment you fell in love with actor Mark Ruffalo we'd say it was probably while watching him on screen in this very cute movie about growing up and falling in love for the first time. 

Jennifer Garner shines playing Jenna Rink, a young girl who gets caught in a 30-year-old woman's body after making a wish to become an adult on her 13th birthday. This very sweet tale is full of iconic scenes, fabulous fashion and blazing chemistry between the leads.

Where to watch: Stan or Binge.

The Holiday.

Image: Columbia Pictures.


Technically this movie falls under the Christmas bracket but we reckon the story holds up year-round. With a jam-packed cast including Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law, we're taken on a journey as two women house swap for the holidays after finding themselves in respective romance ruts. 

Notable feel-good highlights in no particular order are: Jude Law's smile, the snowy British countryside, Kate Winslet's friendship with her elderly neighbour, oh and did we mention Jude Law's smile?

Where to watch: Stan, Amazon Prime, Binge or Paramount+.


Image: Miramax


Hands up if you've travelled to New York and insisted on visiting the Serendipity restaurant just to try the infamous frozen hot chocolate featured in this film? 

With John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale at the helm, this romantic comedy is a little cheesy (in the best way possible) and has oodles of chemistry as the two leads find their way to a love match through a series of kismet-fueled encounters. 

A charming romance flick set in the Big Apple? Sign us up.

Where to watch: Stan.

Now and Then.

Image: New Line Cinema


If you're missing your friends then we think you'll be hard-pressed to find another film that does as good a job of capturing the magic of the bond you shared with your childhood buddies. Now and Then follows the lives of four young girls coming of age in the '60s and takes you on a journey to their present day. 

It's a beautiful story and the cast is brimming with your faves including Christina Ricci, Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson and Gaby Hoffman. 

Where to watch: Apple TV+.

Love Actually.

Image: Universal Pictures.


Yes, yes, we know, another Christmas movie, but it would be entirely remiss of us not to include Love Actually on a list about feel-good flicks because, well, it makes you feel so damn good each and every time you watch. 

This stellar cast (featuring Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson) explores love in all its iterations, from a bumbling Prime Minister who falls head over heels for his secretary to a young buck travelling overseas to discover fiery passion. 

Where to watch: Netflix, Stan, Paramount+.

The Notebook.

Image: New Line Cinema.


On paper, the premise for The Notebook is nothing groundbreaking and yet it shifted something in everyone's core after seeing the pure ELECTRICITY between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams playing Noah and Allie. 

It comes as no surprise that the actors fell in love in real life only to break up later and leave a generation of women heartbroken over their failed romance. To ease the anguish we might just need to watch The Notebook one or two or 78 more times.

Where to watch: Netflix, Stan, Paramount+, Amazon Prime and Binge.

Forrest Gump.

Haley Joel Osment and Tom Hanks on the set of Forrest Gump. Image: IMDb.


It's hard to pinpoint what makes Forrest Gump such a special movie to rewatch because there’s just so much to love about it. 

Between Tom Hanks in the titular role (which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award in 1995), the rolling story that spans across major historical moments, the impressive supporting cast (Robin Wright shines) or the rather tragic ending, it all comes together to make magic on screen that feels good every time you watch. 


Where to watch: Netflix, Stan, Paramount+, Amazon Prime and Binge.

Erin Brockovich.

Image: Universal Pictures

As women, we often need reminders that we have something important to offer the world. Watching the true story of Erin Brockovich play out on screen is a pretty good way to get some inspo on how to be a badass bitch thanks to the incredible acting chops of Julia Roberts in the lead role.


You'll be hooping and hollering at the screen when Erin sticks it to the corporate bullies in *that* glass of water scene.

Where to watch: Stan.

Good Will Hunting.

Image: Miramax

Although it's hard to watch films starring Robin Williams without feeling a twang of sadness, we're immediately brought back to a place of happiness when watching him in Good Will Hunting


This story is about a gifted young man from working-class South Boston who forms an unlikely friendship with a therapist while studying at MIT. 

There's a lot to love about this film and it still holds up twenty-something years after Damon and his writing partner Ben Affleck took Hollywood by storm with their script debut. 

Where to watch: Stan, Binge and Paramount+.


Image: Sony Pictures


Tap into the nostalgia of your childhood by watching the Roald Dahl adaptation of Matilda

Whether you need to feel healed by Miss Honey, you want to spark child-like joy or you’re desperate to see Bruce Bogtrotter go down in a battle against a chocolate cake, this feel-good film is a great one to watch with your friends or to introduce to your kids. 

And yes, you're still going to want to try and move objects around the room by pointing your finger. 

Where to watch: Netflix, Stan and Binge.

10 Things I Hate About You.

Image: Touchstone Pictures.


Heath, oh Heath. Our hearts may still be broken over the Aussie actors' untimely passing but this film is about as good as it gets when it comes to feel-good teen flicks. 

At the time of the release in 1999, it firmly planted Heath on Hollywood's radar with his broody portrayal of Patrick Verona in this Shakespeare adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew. You've got Julia Stiles, you've got the fun turn of the millennium fashion and you've got the most iconic line of the century: "I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?" 

10s across the board!

Where to watch: Disney+.

Bring It On.

Image: Universal Pictures


Remember when movies were truly dedicated to creating montage scenes? Gosh, they were simpler times and boy, were they glorious. 

We keep coming back to Bring It On thanks to the drama, the competition, the campy routines and Kirsten Dunst sparkling as head cheerleader of the Torros. 

Look, this one is not that serious but who said they all had to be? Zonk out for an hour and a half and give your brain a little break while watching this light feel-good flick.

Where to watch: SBS On Demand.


Image: Universal Pictures


At the time of Bridesmaids release in 2011 it was received as somewhat revolutionary by it featuring a mostly female cast in a sea of male-dominated comedy films. 

Now over 10 years later it is still a widely celebrated and beloved film thanks to the seriously hilarious performances from the likes of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph. 

Somehow, even though we know exactly what's coming, the bridesmaid dress shopping scene still has us in stitches every watch. Just try and hear the words "Fritz Bernaise" without your stomach flipping. 

Where to watch: Stan, Binge, Amazon Prime and Paramount+.

Feature Image: Orion Pictures.

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