Getting Cosy

The Cosy Pop Culture We'll Revisit Time & Time Again

Bustle UK editors & writers share the TV shows, films, books, albums, & podcasts that define cosy for them.

By Bustle UK

If you’re planning a cosy night in or a morning wrapped up in bed, there are a few key elements you need to think about to create the perfect atmosphere. A warm mug of something in a must, as is mood lighting and perhaps a oaky scented candle or two. But the most important thing, of course, is how you choose to entertain yourself. What you watch, read, or listen to will make all the difference in helping you feel relaxed and rested.

When you think of cosy content, your mind may immediately travel to a period drama of some sort (our favourite is Pride and Prejudice) or a classic rom com like When Harry Met Sally thanks to its perfect autumnal scenes and chunky knitwear. Maybe you think of Gilmore Girls, set in the snuggest fictional town in television, Stars Hollow. Or perhaps you turn to the king of cosy content himself, Richard Curtis, and whack on About Time, Notting Hill, or Four Weddings & A Funeral for the 37th time.

But cosy means something different to every person – and sometimes you feel instantly comforted by a TV show or an album without really even knowing why. Maybe it transports you to happy times or hits just the right notes to leave you feeling chilled. Whatever it is, it offers comfort that’s bone deep. With this in mind, we asked Bustle UK’s writer and editors to have a think of what books, shows, movies, and albums come to mind when they think of cosy. And they did not disappoint. Below are some of the sweetest (and most surprising) answers we got.

The Repair Shop

BBC/Ricochet Ltd

For me, cosy viewing doesn’t come much cosier than The Repair Shop, a BBC One show that sees old, sentimental items have new life breathed into them by a team of woodworkers, ceramics experts, and other fix-it people. Fronted by the oh-so-lovely Jay Blades, The Repair Shop has all the ingredients for a cosy watch: beautiful aesthetics (the whole thing is filmed in an old barn), low-stakes drama (will they make the old grandfather clock chime again?!), and a few weepy moments (yes, you will find yourself crying about a toy soldier figurine whether you like it or not). – Rowena Henley

Watch here

Just A Minute

Sticking on Radio 4 is a surefire way to make me feel cosy and calm, but Just A Minute – the game show where contestants have to talk about a subject for 60 seconds without repetition, deviation, or hesitation – has to be my favourite segment of theirs. I find myself getting wrapped up in the easy, jovial banter between host Sue Perkins and her panelists (think Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Shaparak Khorsandi, and other familiar voices) and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. – Rowena Henley

Listen here

Handsome Devil

Icon Film

What do I love more than Andrew Scott? Andrew Scott as a guitar-playing English teacher is what. I stumbled across Handsome Devil, a queer indie Irish film, one day while mindlessly flicking through Netflix. It’s a delightfully cheesy coming-of-age story set in an all-boys boarding school. I think it may be loosely based on Lord Of The Flies – but don’t let that put you off. The vibes are slightly dark and chaotic but this sweet story of friendship and identity is perfect for blanket-wrapped viewing. – Asyia Iftikhar

Watch here

Anne With An E

I first watched Netflix’s adaptation of the classic tale Anne of Green Gables one autumn a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. Anne With An E charms you with its innocent wit and, before you know it, you’re three seasons deep into this fiery heroine’s story. Plunged into the gorgeous scenery – the woodlands, expansive cliffs, and fields as far as the eye can see – it’s the perfect show for a day on the sofa. Be prepared to fall in love with pretty much every character. I think I went through the full spectrum of emotions while watching this cosy classic. – Asyia Iftikhar

Watch here

Circe

My three favourite things in the world might be Greek mythology, badass women, and dramatic tales of love. So naturally Circe by Madeline Miller is my go-to cosy read. In fairness, it is a slightly hard-hitting novel – with emotional punches that had me misty-eyed – but it’s thoroughly worth the journey to become immersed in the fantastical life of the protagonist Circe. Plus it was also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, which speaks for itself. On a rainy day, losing myself in Circe’s world with a cup of hot chocolate is a lovely way to pass the time. – Asyia Iftikhar

Virgin River

I have had a cosy viewing revelation of late, in the form of wholesome American family dramas set in beautifully scenic U.S. outbacks, where everyone knows everyone in town (and their business) and the main characters are tragic but have seriously strong family values. I can’t get enough. Netflix has many to choose from (Sweet Magnolias, Chesapeake Shores are worthy of a mention) but my current favourite is the relatively new Virgin River. It sees a grieving LA nurse seek refuge in the remote town Virgin River where she starts a new life. Soon she falls in love with the handsome yet quietly tortured veteran in town. Of course. The series is gentle escapism and between all the gorgeous woody landscapes you can almost pick up the faint smell of pine… – L’Oréal Blackett

Watch here

The Receipts Podcast

'The Receipts Podcast'

As a lover of pop-culture podcasts, nothing is more comforting than The Receipts Podcast. Hosted by friends Tolly, Milena, and Audrey, the Spotify original is 90 minutes of laugh-out-loud, relatable content, tackling topics such as relationships, friendships, and solving viewers dilemmas too. The Receipts ladies are bold, feisty and always stay true to themselves, exuding cool older sister vibes. With hundreds of episodes to indulge in, I can always turn to The Receipts Podcast for some unfiltered honesty. – Kira Richards

Listen here

Folklore

Time magazine stated that Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album folklore is “a muted, autumnal palette of sounds and feelings”, and I honestly couldn’t agree more. With cosy song titles such as “Cardigan” and equally cosy album artwork, the gorgeous, subtle harmonies evoke escapism, nostalgia, and empathy. Everything you could dream of for a peaceful autumn soundtrack. – Orla Pentelow

Listen here

Doctor Who

BBC Studios/James Pardon

Doctor Who is my favourite show ever. Although it might not seem like the first thing to come to mind when you think of cosy, it has always been my go-to when I need to feel better, or a cathartic cry, or just to feel at home again. I first watched Doctor Who when I was right and at the risk of sounding too nerdy, I have been obsessed with it ever since. There are so many great episodes, great relationships, a diverse cast in both race and sexuality, and heartwarming lessons to learn – plus there are fun facts about history and science that you can use in your next pub quiz. When it’s cold or rainy out, I love to curl up with a blanket and a hot chocolate and watch my favourite episodes again and again. – Michele Theil

Watch here

Hercule Poirot

An Agatha Christie novel is really my go-to when I want to bed down with a good read, especially when I’m avoiding the hundreds of unread books lining my shelves. Of course, her Hercule Poirot series defines crime-solving and mystery, with its amazing plots and easy-to-digest stories. It’s a great way to fill a few hours and get back into some cosy reading. – Michele Theil

Browse here

Grey’s Anatomy

ABC

There’s something about a golden sunset hitting the Seattle skyline that screams autumn to me. Sure, it helps that new seasons of the long-running Grey’s Anatomy tend to air around that time, too, but the brainchild of TV multi-hyphenate Shonda Rhimes (is there anything that woman can’t do?) is like a reassuring hug from an old friend. There might be a lot of drama for the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously Seattle Grace), but their friendships and the underlying warm family feeling, plus ferry boats and deep conversations in the cold with coffee cups, still makes it my go-to, even after 18 seasons. – Orla Pentelow

Watch here

Practical Magic

There is nothing more cosy and autumnal than wrapping up under a blanket and putting on Practical Magic. This is *the* movie to watch come October, and if you’re not a fan then I can no longer relate to you. I love the storyline, of course, but it’s all about the gorgeous home that Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock’s characters live in as modern witches. For anyone that still believes a woman’s ultimate dream is to fall in love and live happily ever after, I have to disagree: all we really want is to own the house from Practical Magic, end of. And don’t even get me started on the clothes… I am in LOVE. – Rebecca Fearn

Rent here

Collapsed In Sunbeams by Arlo Parks

The British singer-songwriter and poet’s beats literally held me together during lockdown. “Cola” subdued, “Sangria” put a smile on my face, and “Eugene” brought back bittersweet memories. When Collapsed In Sunbeams dropped, its 12 tracks joined the playlist that traced my days and nights. Now as it did then, Parks’ airy voice and soulful lyrics never fail to soothe, so familiar now that they feel like a hug. “Both universal and hyper-specific,” as she sings in “Caroline,” the music is intimate and peak cosy. Described as “moving” by gal-dem, and “like a warm breeze in the depths of a miserable winter” by the Guardian, I truly believe it is impossible to listen to Parks and not feel safe, snug, and sheltered. – Sam Rogers

Girls From Impenema

There’s nothing I love more than a soapy period drama. And thanks to Netflix’s algorithm my horizons have been broadened beyond Downton. One of my faves for both style and substance is Girls From Ipanema. Yes the 50s costumes are gorgeous, yes the Bossa Nova dance scenes are fabulous, and yes the sexual tension is piping, but what makes it an absolute winner is its depth. The characters are flawed and develop beautifully, Malu’s spoiled rich girl act gets short shrift, and, although softened, the series doesn’t shy away from exploring Rio’s divisions. – Aimée Grant Cumberbatch

Roger & Hammerstein's Cinderella

Walt Disney

When I was a kid, we only had the main four TV channels. So when me and my sister went to stay with my grandparents (who had Sky) it was a telly dream come true. From Totally Spies and Kim Possible on Nickelodeon to absolute bangers on MTV Bass — safe to say our minds were blown. But one of the best bits was Disney movie time and the absolute highlight of them all was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella 1997. Forget the boring cartoon version, this was a tour de force of fantasy casting. It had Brandy(!!) in the titular role harmonising with Whitney(!!), her fairy godmother, and it had Whoopi Goldberg(!!) at her comedic best as the queen. And for a little mixed race girl from a small Hertfordshire village, it really was magical. – Aimée Grant Cumberbatch