People just love to tell you to cheer up when you’re feeling sad, don’t they?
“It’ll be ok!” they say, as you’re crying into your bowl of cereal because your period cramps make it feel like you’re being gutted alive. Or “you’ll make new friends, don’t sweat it!” when your parents move you to a new school, tear you away from your BFFs and fail to understand the sheer terror of eating lunch alone.
But whether you’re feeling weepy because of hormones or friends or the fact your crush isn’t smiling back, we have a ready-made solution for you: put on a good film.
Really. Finding a film that’ll let you cry your eyes out and then help you to see the good in the world again, will sort you right out. We’re never going to tell you to magically cheer up (because we know life doesn’t work like that), but instead we recommend wallowing in the weepiness for a while. Just long enough to kick you back into gear and help you maybe, just maybe, realise things aren’t actually that bad.
So we’ve collected together seven of our favourite films to watch when you’re down, angsty or feel like you just don’t fit in with everyone else. They’ll help you weep, wallow, and then see just a little, teeny-tiny bit of hope in the middle of all that bad stuff.
Fetch the popcorn! And the tissues.
1. Inside Out
This brilliantly funny movie is all about a girl who is struggling with all of the rubbish life throws at you sometimes. Sound familiar? She has to deal with her parents, moving school and how hard it feels to miss old mates.
It’s not going to pretend that life is a magical fairytale like a lot of old school Disney movies – there’s no prince charming here, sorry. But what it will do is give you a brand new way to look at stuff… like maybe sadness is just normal and not always a bad thing? Yep, it’s a deep one. But there’s also lots of colour and silliness too; it’s a Pixar movie, after all.
2. Mean Girls
Mean Girls is a true high school classic. In centuries to come it’ll be considered one of the most iconic movies of our generation, probably.
It’s so good because everyone can relate to it. The main character finds herself in a new school where she doesn’t fit in with the cool girls. In fact, she finds it hard to fit in with most groups.
She goes on a journey to find out who her friends really are, which involves dressing up, lots of gossip and plenty of LOL-worthy moments. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t fit in no matter how much you do, then this one is for you.
3. The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is one of those Disney classics that you can watch about 10,000 times without getting bored – especially if you like a good singalong. Which is another failsafe way to cure that down-in-the-dumps feeling by the way. We’ve heard.
If you’ve never seen it before (wow what? Get it now, now, now) you’re in for a real treat. Well, a sad treat in many ways. As it’s about a mermaid who falls in love with a human. Sounds sweet, right? Wrong. Because one has legs and the other has a tail. Isn’t life just so unfair sometimes?
Ideal medicine for your bad mood, you can cry, you’ll probably get angry, but then you learn a lot. Pay attention to the singing lobster, guys. That’s a good rule for life generally.
Ever wonder what a HUGE city run entirely by animals would love like? Well, enter Zootopia. It’s a film all about the way animals get on with each other and the main character is a fearless bunny. She’s got big dreams. Big ambitions. Big hopes. But she’s a teeny tiny bunny in a place where polar bears and tigers rule, so she has to adapt and use her bunny strength and bunny powers.
Zootopia has highs and lows, but the main take-home message is to do what you can with what you have, and stay strong. Which is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time, right? You fearless bunny, you.
If you think your problems are bad, then take a look at Bella’s. She’s a bit of a misfit who falls in love with a boy – been there – but he’s a vampire and could very easily just eat her at any moment. Ouch.
True, Twilight isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But it is a love story that’s also full of fantasy and feels like a modern take on a quirky fairy tale. It’s also full of eye candy and some of the big fight scenes will make all of your problems and emotions melt away. Promise.
6. My Girl
This one should come with a warning. It’s only if you want a good cry. A really good cry. It should not be viewed by those not looking for a good cry. Are we clear on this?
Okay, now that’s out of the way we’re onto the beauty of My Girl. It’s an older movie, but it’s a classic because it’s all about love and heartbreak and growing up, and now confusing and complicated all of those things can be. Which is just as true now as it was in 1991.
In case you were living in an underground bunker for all of 2014 and don’t already know… Frozen is the story of two sisters, Elsa and Anna. They love each other a lot, but one has an icy secret that means she feels really out of place all the live-long day. Fair enough, we can’t all do the amazing things Elsa can, but that feeling is oh-so familiar.
For an animated musical it can get seriously emotional at times, but there’s also a talking snowman. And a very useful reminder that when life gets you down, you should, you know, let it go…
Image: Inside Out / Disney