Seven movies recommended by psychologists to lift your spirits

Entertainment is one of the most important pillars when it comes to overcoming a traumatic experience.

The new reality that we have lived in since the appearance of COVID-19 has affected us all in one way or another. From anxiety related to the spread of the virus, the psychological effects of isolation, and the consequences of unemployment and economic difficulties to social exclusion. The emotions are more present in our lives than ever because this situation makes us feel them more intensely, and sometimes we find it hard to understand. When we are in a bad mood, entertainment is one of the most critical points. However, many people do not know what to do in those painful moments and end up consuming the first thing that appears on television without knowing that certain films could help them overcome that moment of weakness.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Norman Z. McLeod (1947) film adaptation, directed by and starring Ben Stiller, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013), tells the story of a shy employee in the photographic negatives department of Life magazine. Like most office jobs, his day-to-day is monotonous and boring, but he can continually move to imaginary places far from reality thanks to his extraordinary imagination. The Secret capable of brightening up your daily routine is Cheryl, played by Kristen Wiig, a woman who has recently started working at the magazine and who will change her life forever. The film was based on a story published in 1939 by The New Yorker that invites us to reflect on our lives and what we do with it, highlighting the need to change it if necessary.

In psychology, Walter Mitty syndrome is called the predisposition of certain people to spend the day daydreaming. Specifically, they are dreams in which they project themselves as heroes to escape from reality.

Good Morning, Vietnam

Directed by and starring Robin Williams, Adrian Cronauer, is a military man who works in Saigon radio during the Vietnam War. His atypical comments and criticism of the vice president make the troops idolize him. At first, everything is fun, but little by little, the bosses realize that their comments about the war are not “politically correct.” Based on the true story of American aviator and broadcaster Adrian Cronauer.

Robin Williams represents the archetype of a sad clown condemned to laugh while tragedy invades him inside. A technique widely used by human beings, laugh to cover the pain and resort to humor when we cannot channel our feelings.

Little Miss Sunshine

This comedy-drama was the team-directing debut of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) is set around a trip aboard a Volkswagen Combi to attend the beauty pageant that Olive, Abigail Breslin, you want to win with all your will. The little girl will join her whole family on a trip that shows the coexistence problems of a dysfunctional family.

This film conveys to us the need to get rid of the perfectionism of “barbie girls, “a very present evil in our time due to the incidence of social networks in the daily lives of young people. The film tries to make the viewer understand the importance of failure as a method for evolution and growth. It is a film about happiness, understanding it for what it is, a state that comes and goes and is achieved after overcoming many obstacles. In addition, the innocence of Olive, the protagonist, gives us great tenderness due to her young age, transmitting that feeling of crushing and breaking stereotypes.

The pursuit of happiness

This magnificent film, directed by Gabriele Muccino, was the first starring Will Smith with his son Jaden Smith. “The pursuit of happiness” tells the story of Chris Gardner, a man who lives on the street with his 5-year-old son. From then on, Chris has done everything he can to get a good job to get ahead and offer his son a good life, accepting an unpaid internship that promises future employment.

One of the lessons that this film leaves us is that we should not let someone else’s opinion influence us. The road to happiness is hard enough and full of setbacks and failures to allow ourselves to be convinced by the views of others. This film is undoubtedly an example of persistence, struggle, and motivation that drives us to achieve our dreams.

My neighbor Totoro

This great work from Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is an ode to childlike innocence and the majesty of nature. “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988) is a Japanese film full of inspirational images that will make you enjoy the creaky old house where young Satsuki and Mei move in for the summer with their father, from the magnificent music of Joe Hisaishi and the warm glow of forest spirits. The movie and its character “Totoro” have become cultural icons. The film was ranked 41from the list “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema” in the British magazine “Empire” in 2010, while “Totoro” was positioned at number 18 in the category of the best-animated character.


According to experts, this film is “everything you want in a movie to feel good.” The French romantic comedy directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, “Amélie” (2001), shows us a young Audrey Tautou incarnating a woman who secretly helps people who live unhappy lives and who cannot summon the courage to solve their problems until love forces them to.

Forrest Gump


Based on the homonymous novel by the writer Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Tom Hanks. It shows us the story of Forrest Gump, a man who, while sitting waiting at a bus stop, begins to tell his life to several strangers who sit next to him to wait for transport: from his childhood, the girl from whom he fell in love with and his experiences as a US soldier. In this endearing story, we go through some of the most relevant social events in recent United States history with the childlike gaze of an unforgettable character. The humor, Forrest’s innocence, and resilience make this film a jewel that, many years after its release, remains part of the collective memory of hundreds of people.

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