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34 Feel-Good Movies That’ll Make You Smile

Oprah Daily Logo By Michelle Darrisaw, McKenzie Jean-Philippe of Oprah Daily | Slide 1 of 35: When life hands you lemons, it's often your remote or streaming service that'll help you make lemonade. Hear us out: Pressing play on feel-good movies (and TV shows) like Legally Blonde, Girls Trip, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mamma Mia! can lift your spirits when you're feeling sad—and perhaps make you more positive. At the very least, you'll definitely find yourself humming to the songs from Eurovision Song Contest.But what is a feel-good movie, exactly? A 2021 study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics found similarities across movies that 450 participants classified as uplifting, like Love Actually and Pretty Woman.According to the study, "feel-good" movies feature humor and an element of lightness, and don't have upsetting plot twists. They also have similar lead characters: "Outsiders in search of true love, who have to prove themselves and fight against adverse circumstances, and who eventually find their role in the community," Keyvan Sarkhosh, study leader and first author, said per a press release.For the full feel-good experience, cozy up with a soft throw blanket and sweatpants. Not only are these favorites entertaining, but they'll brighten not-so-sunny days the second the opening credits roll. When the movie's done, prolong the good vibes with a book about happiness, or a heartwarming TV show.

When life hands you lemons, it's often your remote or streaming service that'll help you make lemonade. Hear us out: Pressing play on feel-good movies (and TV shows) like Legally Blonde, Girls Trip, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mamma Mia! can lift your spirits when you're feeling sad—and perhaps make you more positive. At the very least, you'll definitely find yourself humming to the songs from Eurovision Song Contest.

But what is a feel-good movie, exactly? A 2021 study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics found similarities across movies that 450 participants classified as uplifting, like Love Actually and Pretty Woman.According to the study, "feel-good" movies feature humor and an element of lightness, and don't have upsetting plot twists. They also have similar lead characters: "Outsiders in search of true love, who have to prove themselves and fight against adverse circumstances, and who eventually find their role in the community," Keyvan Sarkhosh, study leader and first author, said per a press release.

For the full feel-good experience, cozy up with a soft throw blanket and sweatpants. Not only are these favorites entertaining, but they'll brighten not-so-sunny days the second the opening credits roll. When the movie's done, prolong the good vibes with a book about happiness, or a heartwarming TV show.

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