21 Nostalgic Movies To Watch If You're Anxious

Warner Bros. Pictures

I know a spoonful of sugar is supposed to help the medicine go down, but a good movie has the ability of being both the sugar and the medicine. When you're feeling blue, having a bad day, or you're stressed and overwhelmed, a well-chosen film can lift your spirits and turn your frown upside down. Don't believe me? The below 21 nostalgic movies to watch when you're feeling anxious are guaranteed to make your anxiety melt away.

Nostalgic movies, here meant by any film that makes you feel nostalgic, be it nostalgic for a decade past or for the feeling you got watching the movie when you first saw it. For example, Saturday Night Fever will make you nostalgic for the disco age, but Legally Blonde will make you nostalgic for when you and your girlfriends would stay up all night giggling and watching Elle Woods defeat sexism in her own life. Nostalgic movies are the perfect antidote to your anxiety because they'll take you far away from your problems while also bringing you joy. Seriously, when's the last time you watched an '80s teen classic and didn't feel happy? So, next time you're in a bad move, just pop in one of these 21 nostalgic movies to watch when you're anxious and let yourself relax.


'Footloose' (1984)

Footloose is a ridiculous film. It's also pure '80s fun with lots of dancing and Kevin Bacon.

Stream Footloose here.


'Winning London' (2001)

Remember the feeling of cuddling up on a Saturday afternoon to watch the most recent Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie?


'Ghostbusters' (1984)

When there's something very wrong in your neighborhood, call on Ghostbusters to distract you from it.

Stream Ghostbusters here.


'Clueless' (1995)

Clueless is '90s perfection. That is all.

Stream Clueless here.


'Back To The Future' (1985)

Back to the Future is peak nostalgia. But with better music and Michael J. Fox.

Stream Back to the Future here.


'Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade' (1989)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the best Indiana Jones movies, don't @ me.

Stream Indiana Jones here.


'When Harry Met Sally...' (1989)

Perfect for when you're close to giving up on love and need a healthy dose of romantic hope.

Stream When Harry Met Sally here.


'The Princess Bride' (1987)

The Princess Bride will make you nostalgic for a time you never knew existed. Oh, to be Princess Buttercup's BFF...

Stream The Princess Bride here.


'Shrek' (2001)

Any child of the '90s knows that Shrek is a classic animated comedy and will never not be anything but perfect.

Stream Shrek here.


'October Sky' (1999)

Young, innocent Jake Gyllenhaal is the cure for all that ails you.

Stream October Sky here.


'Alien' (1979)

Alien will get your blood pumping, perfect for those times you want to work through your anxious energy without actually dealing with whatever it is making you so anxious.

Stream Alien here.


'You've Got Mail' (1998)

Two words: Tom. Hanks.

Stream You've Got Mail here.


'Hocus Pocus' (1993)

Nothing will make you feel more like a kid on Halloween than watching Hocus Pocus. (Except for maybe a large bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.)

Stream Hocus Pocus here.


'Grease' (1978)

Why is watching John Travolta thrust in a tight, leather outfit a cure for anxiety? And does it even matter?

Stream Grease here.


'Working Girl' (1988)

A movie so '80s, it will make millennials feel like they were there.

Stream Working Girl here.


'Rush Hour' (1998)

Rush Hour might be a little dated, but if it doesn't help you laugh your worries away, I don't know what will.

Stream Rush Hour here.


'Sister Act' (1992)

Whoopi Goldberg goes undercover as a nun to give you two hours of pure love and entertainment.

Stream Sister Act here.


'Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl' (2003)

Remember when Johnny Depp was funny and Orlando Bloom was your biggest Hollywood crush?


'Miss Congeniality' (2000)

Miss Congeniality is probably the most happy, feminist, fun, delightful, insert-positive-emotion-here, nostalgic movie you will ever see.

Stream Miss Congeniality here.


'Say Anything...' (1989)

Say Anything... is one of the more depressing or emotional movies on this list, but it also has peak John Cusack, so...

Stream Say Anything here.


'Aladdin' (1992)

Finally, if all else fails, nothing will take you away from your anxiety faster than a Disney animated classic like Aladdin.

Stream Aladdin here.