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33 Happy Movies to Light Up Your Heart

33 Happy Movies

Seeing The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Still Alice in swift succession left me emotionally exhausted from all the pain and suffering I took in.  I’m a highly sensitive person.  The ambiance of a movie can linger in my mind and heart for days.

These dramatic stories are extremely important.  They tell the truth and remind us of the suffering in our world.  They offer us an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to practice compassion.  They remind us to do whatever we can to alleviate suffering – large or small acts all make a difference.

At the same time, I don’t think it’s good to constantly dwell on suffering.  Doing so will only bring you down and could eventually effect your health too.

Goodness also abounds in this world.  The more joy you feel, the more joy you will exude.  You’ll naturally uplift others when you have a positive heart.  So why not tap into some happiness and amplify your joy?

I needed a little happy break after those intense movies, so I asked my friends on Facebook to recommend their favorite “happy” movie.   They enthusiastically shared the following titles, which of course I wanted to share with you.

Proviso:  These movies aren’t completely devoid of difficult or sad moments.  Usually, there’s a bit of emotional mileage to travel through before getting to the happy ending.  But they’re a pleasant break from hardcore drama.

  1. Up
  2. The 100 Foot Journey
  3. Zoom
  4. Fried Green Tomatoes (Oops! A few people say this one is depressing.)
  5. Austenland
  6. So I Married An Axe Murderer
  7. The Wizard of Speed and Time (YouTube) – This one is a bit speedy!
  8. Little Miss Sunshine
  9. Harold and Maude
  10. The Enchanted April
  11. Pretty Woman
  12. Herbie the Love Bug
  13. Sweet Home Alabama
  14. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
  15. Living Is Easy With Your Eyes Closed
  16. Hector and the Search for Happiness
  17. Don Juan de Marco
  18. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  19. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  20. A Year in Tuscany
  21. Babette’s Fest
  22. Pauline and Paulette
  23. Boyhood
  24. Stardust
  25. The Princess Bride
  26. The Last Mimsey
  27. Princess and the Frog
  28. McFarland USA
  29. Happy-Go-Lucky
  30. 15 Candles
  31. Mona Lisa Smiling
  32. Mama Mia
  33. Calendar Girls

20 New Additions

  1. Court Jester
  2. You’ve Got Mail
  3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  4. Any Muppet movie
  5. The Holiday
  6. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse
  7. Paul
  8. Christmas Vacation
  9. Mrs. Doubtfire
  10. What about Bob?
  11. Despicable Me 2
  12. The Longest Ride
  13. Rudy
  14. Flirting with Disaster
  15. Tootsie
  16. Splash
  17. Steel Magnolias
  18. Some Like it Hot
  19. Groundhog Day
  20. Four Weddings and a Funeral

What happy movies do you recommend?

Join me for daily inspiration on the Always Well Within Facebook Page.  Sign up for free blog posts by email.  And, if you have a moment, please share this article and make a difference in someone’s life.  Thank you!  May you be well, happy, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


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  1. OMG, what a wonderful list of movies! I have seen a bunch and a bunch are on my “to see” list! Thanks for putting these all together! Gonna save for future reference! Thanks, Sandra! 🙂

  2. what a great list Sandra. I would add one more title – Court Jester with Danny Kaye and Angela Lansbury. It’s an oldie and the first 15 or so minutes are terribly lame, but once it gets going I just shake with laughter. Every. Single. Time.

  3. francis quiambao

    thanks for the movies…I’m sure it will make me smile…take care..hope to hear more….I’m happy

  4. Love the Marigold hotel movies, Sandra. Otherwise, I am happy and sad by this list. LOL Sad cause I’ve not seen 80% of the other movies and happy because I’m going to go through your list and watch all of them. Thank you for this light-hearted move resource list. Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

    • I like the Marigold hotel movie too, Vishnu. It had a sweet depth to with everyone learning about themselves yet it was humorous with a nice ending. It also reminded me of my brief time in India and what a special and unique place it is.

      I hope making your way through the list will alleviate that sadness! I’ve just started moving through the list myself.

      Summer is good! It’s always a more relaxed time for me. I want to learn to carry that relaxation into the other seasons too.

  5. I haven’t seen most of these, but I LOVE Little Miss Sunshine. I never re-watch movies but have watched this twice and laughed harder the second time.

  6. The first two on the list are some of my family’s favorites. It certainly surprised me when my 11 year old son wanted to watch the 100 Foot Journey about six times (and my 5 and 9 year old daughters sat riveted to it each time). I’ve seen many of these but am always on the lookout for happy movies so I’m thankful to have some ideas in reserve when we’re online looking for a movie to watch.

    • Terrific, Paige. I’m glad there’s a few new ones on here for you. That’s interesting that your kids were so riveted to the 100 Foot Journey. It has good messages for kids to hear.

  7. Fantastic list, Sandra. I’m bookmarking this! Thank you. 🙂

  8. You’ve Got Mail
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Any Muppet movie
    The Holiday

    • Love these additions! I’ve never hear of The Holiday. I look forward to checking it out. Thanks, Kayla.

    • HI Sandra:

      What a great site and a great list. I completely second My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It’s a go to, and CHOCOLAT with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. (Need I say more?) I also LOVED a year in Tuscany. Thanks for the pick me up!



  9. This is going to sound weird, Sandra, and it DEFINITELY won’t be the right movie for everyone, but I’m going to say Magic Mike XXL (the second one that’s out now, NOT the first one) is my happy movie. And I was pretty much as surprised by that as anyone else.

    And yet… I walked out of it thinking “Wow, that was a genuinely lovely movie that’s made me feel good about myself, and the world” – and I love that they portrayed the guys (male strippers, for those who don’t know the movies) as doing what they do because they genuinely like making women smile and feel good about themselves.

    Again, really NOT for everyone, but I enjoyed it immensely, and will probably buy it on DVD if I ever see it on sale so I can rewatch as a comfort watch in the future.

    • Love this addition, Tanja. What a great surprise. We’re all different so it’s great to have different types of “happy” movies that will speak to our different tastes. This one sounds interesting to me!

  10. My husband and I just happened to watch “Hector and the Search for Happiness” last night, Sandra, and then I found your list! It was *wonderful*. So glad to have this list to turn to next movie night.

    • Thanks, now I have your personal recommendation too! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll be spending at least the summer on this list and maybe it will last into the fall!

  11. I feel the same way about movies. Most of the time, I need lightness in my entertainment, since it energizes me. I’d add How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Just Go With It, and Footloose. Also, for heartwarming (but also inspiring) The Terminal. LOVE the posture of Tom Hank’s character in that one!! 🙂

    • It’s good to know ourselves, isn’t it, Kendra! It makes such a difference in leading a happier life. Thanks for all these great recommendations. I haven’t seen a single one. Can’t wait!

  12. I recommend The Pursuit of Happyness by Will Smith.

  13. Such a great list, Sandra! There are a lot on here that I need to check out still. There’s nothing worse than expecting a feel-good movie and getting the exact opposite which has happened to me before. So it’s always good to have a sure-fire good one to head for.

  14. Great list, Sandra! My #1 is The Intouchables (Les Intouchables). It’s a French movie from 2011. I always recommend it to people and they love it. It’s one of those movies that has a huge impact on you – the story is incredibly moving (based on real life) and you both laugh and cry. 🙂

  15. Wow! This is a great list, with it, the hardest part of the job, which is searching for the great ones among so many, is done. Thanks.

  16. How fun, Sandra! “What About Bob?” used to be my profile picture on Facebook. “I’m sailing! I sail!”

  17. Uuuu…Great list!

    Here are our suggestions:

    1. Monsters, Inc (The little girl in the film, “Boo”, is so cute. She’ll make anyone smile. Although this is a kids movie, it’s not so cheesy that adults can’t enjoy it).

    2. Eat, Pray, Love (Although the book is better, the cinematography in the film is excellent. The movie will give you motivation and courage to conquer your inner demons).

    3. Bridget Jones Diary (Silly romantic comedies are always great if you need a positivity boost).

    • Thanks so much! I loved Monsters, Inc. I could easily watch it a few more times. I haven’t seen Eat, Pray, Love yet. I’ll add that to my list too. Yes, I agree romantic comedies can be fun too.

  18. Constance

    Waking Ned Devine.
    One of the funniest, happiest movies I know.

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