Streaming

16 Feel-Good Movies On Netflix To Watch When You're Home Sick

From Legally Blonde to Wine Country, these films are like soup for the soul.

COLLEEN HAYES/NETFLIX 2019
Updated: 
Originally Published: 

As if this last year of cabin fever wasn't bad enough, here you are: home sick. There are plenty of maladies that’ll take you out of commission for a day or two, from flus and colds to regular old allergies, and none of them are enjoyable. Luckily, 16 feel-good movies to watch when you’re ill will help nurse you back to health.

Even if you've been washing your hands every five minutes, slamming Vitamin C supplements, and regularly slathering your space in antibacterial gel, one crowded commute or wrong cough in your direction and you'll find yourself laid out for a few days. If the worst has come to pass and you’re feeling (or are already home) sick, at least you have one small consolation — now you'll have some time to catch up on your streaming queue.

When you’re under the weather, there are only two ways to go with movie viewing: leaning into the feverish delirium, or distracting yourself with some feel-good vibes. In either case, you're probably not feeling up for anything too heavy or complicated. Among the films recommended below are surreal romps (Wine Country), hilarious comedy specials (Not Normal and Annihilation), and even some nostalgic throwbacks that’ll take you back to your youth (Legally Blonde and The Mirror Has Two Faces). At the very least, these films won't make you feel worse.

1

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde is a mainstay on “best of” lists, and for good reason. This early-aughts movie won’t just lift your spirits — it’ll inspire you to be your best self (once you’re healthy, of course). For those who need a refresher: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is a smart, high-spirited blonde who loves all things pink, and yet she’s consistently belittled by more “serious” folks, including her ex-boyfriend Warner. When she is accepted into Harvard Law School, her goal is to prove her worth to Warner and win him back. She ends up proving her worth to herself instead, in one of the most satisfying endings in film history.

Click here to watch.

2

Eat Pray Love

What happens when you have everything and it still isn’t enough? You take a year off to travel the world and “find yourself,” as Elizabeth Gilbert does Eat Pray Love. Based on the wildly-popular memoir of the same name, the movie stars Julia Roberts as Gilbert, who jets off to far-flung locales, hoping the change of scenery and culture will give her clarity. Famed TV tycoon Ryan Murphy directed the film, and also adapted the story for the screen (alongside Jennifer Salt).

Click here to watch.

3

The Mirror Has Two Faces

The Mirror Has Two Faces is classic Barbra Streisand — she did direct it, after all. The 1996 film stars Streisand as Rose, a Columbia University literature professor who has come to terms with her singledom. That is, until fellow professor Gregory (Jeff Bridges) comes along with a practical proposal: a platonic marriage. Like many Streisand projects, the movie’s meaning is greater than its synopsis. It’s dramatic enough to keep you treading, yet is ultimately a feel-good film for those dreary days in bed — and it might just also help you realize your self-worth.

Click here to watch.

4

Love, Guaranteed

She’s All That’s Rachael Leigh Cook returns to the screen with Love, Guaranteed. She stars as an attorney, Susan, who experiences a dry spell in her career and takes on an unorthodox case: going undercover to expose an online dating website. When she falls for her client Nick (Daymon Wayans Jr.), she risks nullifying her hopes of proving that the dating site doesn’t actually work. Like all feel-good movies, this one has a happy ending, of course. You’re guaranteed to love Love, Guaranteed.

Click here to watch.

5

Dumplin’

Jennifer Aniston in Netflix's movie 'Dumplin'.'

When Jennifer Aniston stars in a film, you know it’ll be a hoot. Based on Julie Murphy’s novel of the same name, Dumplin’ breaks down fatphobia in the pageant world and beyond. It centers on Will, a young woman who is tired of people treating her like a second-class citizen because of her weight — especially by her mother Rosie (Aniston), who plans their town’s annual beauty pageant. In an act of rebellion, and to everyone’s surprise, Will signs up for the pageant. This Netflix Original will not only give you all the feels, but also shed light on how fatphobic society really is.

Click here to watch.

6

Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know how savage Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio can be. Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate is no different. A sequel to the 2016 film Hurricane Bianca, the second installment picks up when Deborah Ward (Rachel Dratch) is released from prison and seeks revenge on the eponymous drag queen. Starring other Drag Race alumni including Katya, Alaska, Alyssa Edwards, and more, this film will have you splitting at your seams with laughter.

Click here to watch.

7

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Netflix

A movie marathon is just what the doctor ordered. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the hit film that would inspire a trilogy, follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a timid high school junior who writes private letters to all her crushes and hides them away. When the letters are mysteriously sent to all the boys she’s loved, she must navigate the overwhelming (and embarrassing) results. The following two films — P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever — are also streaming on Netflix.

Click here to watch.

8

Cat People

Netflix

No, not the divisive New Yorker short story. Cat People is a docuseries — and though it isn’t a movie, Season 1 is binge-worthy (and short) enough to watch in one sitting. Like Dogs, Netflix’s complementary series about canine friends, Cat People explores relationships between cats and people around the world. Hopefully your furry companions keep you company while you watch.

Click here to watch.

9

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

Wanda Sykes knows how to make people laugh, which is exactly what you need when you’re home sick. In her hour-long Netflix comedy special ​​Wanda Sykes: Not Normal, the iconic comedian talks about the former President Trump, opioids, racial inequality and the fact nothing about our country is anything close to normal — from her sane point of view, of course.

Click here to watch.

10

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation

Patton Oswalt's first special doesn't shy away from personal tragedy, but thanks to his genius, you’ll end up laughing instead of crying. The first 30 minutes are light-hearted fun, but it’s his nuanced perspective on the untimely death of his wife that really lands. Patton Oswalt: Annihilation will produce a multitude of emotions. (Bonus: his verbal style makes this totally okay to “watch” with your eyes closed, which ideal for under-the-weather viewers.)

Click here to watch.

11

Moxie

Netflix

If Booksmart, Flower, and Promising Young Woman had a three-way love child, the result would be Moxie. Amy Poehler’s second directorial feature follows Vivian, a 16-year-old student who is fed up with the problematic ways her high school handles social issues. So she bands together with like-minded classmates to create the zine “Moxie!,” which calls out the school’s negligence and sexism on campus. It’s both funny and irreverent, but also boasts a deeper meaning beneath the surface.

Click here to watch.

12

The Wrong Missy

David Spade and Lauren Lapkus star in The Wrong Missy, an irreverent comedy about what happens when you accidentally text the wrong person. Tim (Spade) intends to invite a potential date named Melissa to a trip to Hawaii, but he ends up texting another Melissa — aka “Missy” (Lapkus) — a woman whom Tim had a very strange date with months before. Inevitably, hijinks ensue on what was supposed to be a relaxing trip for Tim. This is a film that will make you glad you’re sick in bed instead of experiencing Tim’s turmoil.

Click here to watch.

13

Bad Trip

Dimitry Elyashkevich/Netflix

Hidden camera comedy Bad Trip stars Eric André and Lil Rel Howery as two longtime friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City, all in the name of love. With the notable exception of that scene at the zoo (it’s really something…), Bad Trip will have you cackling (and coughing) at the same time. The film also stars Tiffany Haddish and Michaela Conlin.

Click here to watch.

14

Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho

Everyone’s favorite doctor-turned-comedian brings his comedy skills to stand-up in Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho. The hour-long stand-up focuses on Jeong’s career in comedy, from The Hangover film series to Knocked Up to Crazy Rich Asians, not to mention his many nude scenes in said movies. If you’re a fan of his acting, this comedy special will have you in stitches (that Jeong probably sutured himself).

Click here to watch.

15

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Remember the golden era for Will Farrell comedies — that period in the mid-aughts when the actor repeatedly won audiences over with his movies? Among the biggest successes from that time is Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, a story about the fictional rise and fall (and rise) of NASCAR racer Ricky Bobby (Farrell). Like other Farrell films, a lot of the laughs are derived from raunchy, immature humor. Nonetheless, you’ll still be laughing.

Click here to watch.

16

Wine Country

Wine Country is Amy Poehler’s directorial debut, and it will make you wonder why she hasn’t been directing features her entire life. The film is about a group of middle-aged women at various places in their lives who reunite for a 50th birthday trip to Napa Valley. Apparently, the film was inspired by a very real vacation the friends-slash-cast took, which includes Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, and more.

Click here to watch.