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15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch on Hulu Right Now

These fun and inspiring movies will brighten your mood—and they're streaming right now on Hulu.

You may be finding yourself turning to movies and TV for comfort a little more than usual these days—and chances are, you want to watch something that's going to lift your spirits. Well, if you're a Hulu subscriber looking to watch a feel-good film, we have just the recommendations for you. These 15 movies streaming on Hulu are uplifting, inspiring, and escapist—the kind of entertainment we all need right now. And for more recommendations, check out these 15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch on Netflix Right Now.


Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson in Wonder

In this 2017 adaptation of the inspirational novel of the same name, fifth grader Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) enters middle school after being taught at home up until then. While that's a tough time for any kid, Auggie has a facial deformity, making it even more difficult for him to fit in. His arrival exposes the prejudice of many of his peers (passed down by their small-minded parents). But with the support of his mom and dad (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson), teachers, and friends, Auggie overcomes it all and claims his place.

Waiting to Exhale

Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon, and Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale
Twentieth Century Fox

It's not all girls nights and good times for the four women at the center of Waiting to Exhale, but their sisterhood stays strong throughout their various relationship woes (and encourages them to not settle for anything less than the treatment they deserve). This 1995 movie will make you think of the friends who are always, always there for you, even when the rest of your life seems to be falling apart. And it also has a killer soundtrack, featuring a couple songs by star Whitney Houston.

Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon made their names in Hollywood by co-writing this Oscar-winning script about a math genius custodian from South Boston (Damon) whose loyalty to his upbringing and his friends clashes with the possibilities opened up by his talent. Robin Williams won a Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Will's court-mandated therapist who helps him decide what he really wants out of life in this 1997 drama. And if you're thinking how much "you like them apples" right now, check out 30 Movie Quotes Every '90s Kid Knows by Heart.


Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50

Seth Rogen plays a fictionalized version of himself in this 2011 film, written by his friend Will Reiser about his own cancer diagnosis. Both in their late 20s, Kyle (Rogen) and Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) aren't at all prepared to deal with Adam's illness or the change it brings to their otherwise carefree lives. With an equal chance of Adam beating or not beating his cancer (hence the title), their friendship is tested. But since 50/50 is on this list of uplifting movies, you can probably guess how it all turns out.

Free Willy

Jason James Richter in Free Willy
Warner Bros.

How long has it been since you've seen Free Willy? The 1993 environmentally minded family drama about a foster child (Jason James Richter) and his orca friend will take you way back. And its focus on inter-species friendship and the movement to free captive animals will still warm your heart. And for more viewing options for the whole family, check out 16 Classic Family Movies to Stream With Your Kids.

The Miracle Season

Scene from The Miracle Season
ID Entertainment

The Miracle Season starts with a tragedy: The star player of a girls high school volleyball team (Danika Yarosh) is killed in an accident. But this 2018 inspirational movie, based on a true story, shows how her teammates, led by their coach (Helen Hunt), honor her memory by embracing each other and working hard. Their "miracle season" is a tribute to the player and friend they lost.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Lee Montgomery and Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Image Entertainment

Years before she became Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker played Janey Glenn, a fun-loving teen whose dream is to appear on a popular dance show in this 1985 romp. With encouragement from her new, quirky best friend Lynne (Helen Hunt again!), Janey and her partner Jeff (Lee Montgomery) strut their stuff and beat the frontrunners. And if you're a child of the 1980s, then you'll appreciate these 30 Movie Quotes Every '80s Kid Knows by Heart.

Instant Family

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne in Instant Family

Based loosely on the family of director and co-writer Sean Anders, 2018's Instant Family tells the story of Pete and Ellie (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) who become foster parents to three children, ages 6, 10, and 15. The movie realistically portrays some of the challenges foster kids deal with, but it also shows Pete and Ellie actively learning how to confront those challenges and support their children. If you're a foster and/or adoptive parents especially, it's a must-see.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Cate Blanchett in Where'd You Go Bernadette

Cate Blanchett stars as the mysterious Bernadette Fox in this 2012 film adaptation of Maria Semple's book club favorite. Fed up with her suburban life, Bernadette disappears, leaving her husband (Billy Crudup) and daughter (Emma Nelson) to track her down. In the process, they learn just how creatively stifled Bernadette—once an architect on a meteoric rise—really was. Where'd You Go, Bernadette will remind you that all of us contain multitudes and that needing more than family doesn't mean that you love your family any less.

The Full Monty

Ending scene of The Full Monty
Twentieth Century Fox

Six working class friends lose their jobs and decide to launch their own male strip show to make some much-needed money in this 1997 British comedy. And while The Full Monty is a comedy for sure, with plenty of laughs earned by the entertainers' amateur moves, it also shows them overcoming and coping with some serious stuff, including homophobia and mental illness, with their community and families rallying around them.

Bridget Jones's Baby

Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger, and Patrick Dempsey in Bridget Jones's Baby

The British singleton (Renée Zellweger) returns in the third movie in the trilogy—single once more after divorcing workaholic Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). But when she becomes pregnant not long after a brief reconnection with her ex and a one-night stand with a handsome American (Patrick Dempsey), Bridget has to manage the expectations and the feelings of two very eager potential fathers-to-be. Somehow, the love triangle manages to be heartwarming, even as the men bicker over Bridge right up until she makes her choice. And there's one more welcome surprise that happens over the credits in this 2016 romantic comedy, but we wouldn't dare spoil it.


Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in Spider-Man
Sony Pictures Television

The first of the big-screen Spideys, this 2002 movie kicked off Tobey Maguire's run as Peter Parker, who's turned into a superhero by a radioactive spider bite. In a time where we are all bound together by crisis, this introduction to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and his responsibility to his community is pretty darn inspiring.

Fighting With My Family

Jack Lowden and Florence Pugh in Fighting with My Family

Fighting With My Family is based on the real family of professional wrestler Paige—working class Brits who run their own wrestling school. Florence Pugh plays Saraya "Paige" Knight, who leaves her family behind when she's accepted into a cutthroat WWE training program designed to mold new cast members. She's a fish out of a water, an exception to the women who've come to the sport from their former careers as swimsuit models. But through hard work (and the advice of one Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, as himself), she becomes a star in this feel-good 2019 biographical sports dramedy.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono in Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Uplifting and incredibly soothing, this 2011 documentary about a Japanese sushi master features lots of lovingly crafted shots of delicious-looking food. The devotion that Jiro Ono shows to his craft trickles down to his two adult sons, who are still learning from their world-renowned father. You may want to have a sushi delivery menu handy for when you finish this one.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Sam Neill and Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Orchard

In this 2016 adventure-comedy by Taika Waititi, Hec (Sam Neill) and Bella (Rima Te Wiata), an older couple living just on the edge of the New Zealand bush, take in a troubled foster kid named Ricky (Julian Dennison). But when Bella dies suddenly, Ricky takes off into the wilderness, fearing he'll be taken back by child services. He's followed by the gruff Hec, with whom he hasn't developed much of a relationship. The two bond on the run and the hilarious chemistry of the unlikely best friends will keep you laughing throughout the nearly two-hour runtime.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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