While it seems counterintuitive, seeking out depressing entertainment is nothing new; in fact, it goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. They even had a term for it: catharsis, a way to purge one's own sadness and negativity through fictional tragedy. They believed it let viewers experience true relief and restored a sense of personal balance, and as anyone who's felt much better after a serious cry can tell you, there's definitely something to the concept. If you need a firm restorative for yourself, here are the 12 most tear-jerking Netflix Original movies, ready to be queued up at a moment's notice for an intense session of therapeutic sorrow.
The classic tear-jerkers are all here: love doomed by irreparably different points of views over time that can't be reconciled with emotion (Us And Them), love doomed by inevitable early death (Irreplacable You), short documentaries on coping with hospice care and decisions(Kodachrome's attempt at reconciliation before the loss), and the bittersweet romances borne of personal tragedy that can never shake their roots (To The Bone, Tallulah, and 6 Balloons). There's also the trauma of survival in First They Killed My Father and Strong Island, two very different views on true stories that left the living coping with the horrors of their past as best they can. Read on for more options.