The 17 Best Lighthearted Shows And Movies On Netflix To Boost Your Mood

We all need a pick-me-up now and then.

by Carolyn Steber and Rebecca Patton
Originally Published: 
Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit, one of many lighthearted comedy shows on Netflix.
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix

Between Making a Murderer, Wild Wild Country, and Tiger King, Netflix has a knack for creating true crime shows captivating enough to pique the interest of the entire internet. But after a really long day (or week), the last thing you often want to do is sit through eight-plus hours of a dark story. So instead, you might find yourself scouring for lighthearted shows and movies on Netflix that will help you kick back, relax, and disconnect a bit from reality — rather than staying up all night thinking about it.

Sure, the feel-good shows and movies on Netflix may not be the ones that necessarily get the most attention, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, Netflix has a show literally called Feel Good — which is admittedly still somewhat dark, but will definitely make you laugh. And there are a number of other options that will help you to really veg out and shut your brain off, whether you're into comedies, cooking shows, or just want to spend some time looking at cute animals. Read on for the 17 best lighthearted movies and shows Netflix currently has to offer. All you have to do is grab some snacks.


Jane the Virgin

Part comedy, part telenovela, Jane the Virgin stars Gina Rodriguez as a young Catholic woman who discovers she was accidentally artificially inseminated — making her, as the title suggests, a pregnant virgin. —Carolyn Steber


The Great British Baking Show

UK treasure The Great British Baking Show is charming, funny, and filled with close-ups of the most delicious looking baked goods. Win, win, win. —Carolyn Steber


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Created by 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows 29-year-old Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) as she builds a new life in New York after being rescued from an underground bunker where she was held as part of a doomsday cult. It's a little bit wacky and over the top, but full of nonstop jokes. —Carolyn Steber


Kim’s Convenience

This cute Canadian import focuses on the Kims, a Korean Canadian family living in Toronto. While parents Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Umma (Jean Yoon) run a convenience store, daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) seeks to carve out her own path as photographer while son Jung (Simu Liu) aims to finally grow up after his bad boy past. —Sadie Gennis


Gilmore Girls

Nothing can chill you out quite like spending a few hours with the lovably eccentric characters in this mother-daughter dramedy — even if they do talk alarmingly fast. —Carolyn Steber


Lady Dynamite

Comedian Maria Bamford plays a fictional version of herself in this surrealist comedy series about a woman attempting to rebuild her life in Los Angeles after spending six months in treatment for her bipolar disorder. (Bamford also voices a dog in the show, if that tells you anything about the types of absurdist humor to expect.) — Carolyn Steber



This much beloved sketch series is full of eclectic characters and ever-changing skits for every kind of comedy fan. And while Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein star, the series is also famed for its expansive, star-studded guest cast. —Carolyn Steber


Hurricane Bianca

Hurricane Bianca stars the hilarious RuPaul's Drag Race vet Bianca Del Rio as a school teacher who re-embraces his drag persona and uses it to seek revenge after getting outed and fired from his job. —Carolyn Steber


Arrested Development

The original three seasons of this oddball family sitcom are some of the smartest comedy ever seen on TV. Unfortunately, the two seasons made after Netflix revived it never quite captured the magic of the show’s original run. But thanks to its impeccable wit, numerous running gags, and lovable cast, Arrested Development can still be guaranteed to cheer you up any day. —Sadie Gennis


New Girl

Watching Nick, Jess, Schmidt, and Winston mismanage their lives will make you feel a lot better about your own. Plus, there are a lot of sweet friendships and relationships to fall in love with on the show. — Carolyn Steber


Schitt's Creek

This warm-hearted Canadian comedy is a pure delight, tracing the fish out of water tale of a wealthy family who loses all their money, gets stuck in a small town, and slowly grow into better people. — Rebecca Patton


Always Be My Maybe

Randall Park and Ali Wong star in this Netflix rom-com, in which they play childhood friends Marcus and Sasha. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll squeal at the Keanu Reeves cameo. —Rebecca Patton


72 Cutest Animals

Over the course of 12 episodes, this show examines the lives of the 72 cutest animals in the world — as well as what, exactly, makes them so adorable. Need we say more? —Carolyn Steber


Nailed It!

This is the perfect TV show for anyone who's ever tried to recreate an elaborate baking recipe, only for it to end in utter disaster. Only on Nailed It!, failing is kind of the whole point. — Carolyn Steber



Based on Julie Murphy's eponymous YA novel, Dumplin' follows Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson (Danielle Macdonald), a plus-size teen whose mother (Jennifer Aniston) runs the local pageant. When Will decides to sign up for the competition as a form of protest, other girls follow suit. Come for the inspirational story, stay for the Dolly Parton soundtrack. — Rebecca Patton



Each episode of Netflix's 2018 doguseries (sorry, not sorry) features a different inspirational story about doggos. — Rebecca Patton


The Good Place

Michael Schur is known for creating kind-hearted shows, and The Good Place is no exception. Despite the fact that protagonist Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is a self-proclaimed "Arizona dirtbag," she's given the opportunity to improve after she wakes up in the afterlife. Cue some disastrous antics, several philosophy lessons, and a whole lot of love. — Rebecca Patton

This article was originally published on