With more focus than ever on what fuels your body—from healthy sourced food for your diet to positive messages to your brain—choosing films that inspire means choosing what you watch intentionally.
Here are 10 “must-sees” for the cold winter nights and snow days ahead, that are sure to inspire and maintain a heart-opening, mind-expanding, soul-connecting feeling.
1. Eat Pray Love
When a married woman (played by Julia Roberts) realizes how unhappy she is, she decides it’s time to take her life in an entirely different direction. After a divorce, she starts on a journey to find herself that includes time in Italy eating fabulous food, reflection in India at a silent meditation retreat, and some sunshine in Bali where she learns to love herself again.
To snack on: Indian-spiced roasted chickpeas
2. The Kings of Summer
This Sundance Film Festival award winner follows three boys, two close friends, and one eclectic tagalong as they attempt to find freedom from their responsibilities and parents by going off in the woods and building a house. Through determination and friendship, they bond and grow.
To snack on: Summer fruit dipped in crème fraiche
3. The Pursuit of Happyness
This film is inspired by the life story of Christopher Gardner. As the movie begins, he has invested his life savings in a bone-density scanner and has lost not only all of his money, but also his wife and his apartment. He’s forced to live out on the streets with his son, yet Gardner continues to sell these scanners while taking an unpaid internship as a stockbroker. The movie follows him through six months of training and competition with his peers for the chance of the ultimate reward—a paid position.
To snack on: Popcorn with nutritional yeast
4. Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks plays the lovable Forrest Gump—a simple man who may not have school smarts but who does have a heart of gold. His mama teaches him how to live a good life and be kind. The film follows Forrest through serving in Vietnam, starting a business with a friend, playing Olympic-level ping-pong, and giving his heart to his childhood sweetheart. This tale shows you that love can triumph.
To snack on: Coconut shrimp
5. Life Is Beautiful
In the 1930s a Jewish man and his family raise their five-year-old son trying to protect his son from the truth of war. The father, Guido, makes up a game where they play for the prize of winning a tank. The son grows up in a prison but playing this game shows his heroic efforts to bring joy to his son’s life. The game inspires everyone in the camp to reach the goal of keeping Guido’s son safe and getting his family out.
To snack on: Hot dark chocolate and shortbread cookies
When a quiet country farmer wins a piglet at the fair, he thinks he has a delicious Christmas dinner. However, the piglet (aka Babe) is quick to escape this fate when he bonds with an adoptive mother, a border collie named Fly. With Fly’s help, Babe discovers his passion for herding sheep. Arthur begins to work with Babe for a county competition. The other farm animals, and even the farmer’s wife, struggle to accept a pig who doesn’t conform to the farm’s social hierarchy. A perfect family-friendly movie to share with all generations.
To snack on: Rice chips with cashew butter
7. Patch Adams
Robin Williams plays real-life hero Patch Adams, an almost-40-year-old former patient at a psychiatric hospital whose dream is to become a doctor because he enjoys helping people. This true story shows how difficult it is for doctors to lead with humor, compassion, and a human connection to their patients. This ultimately leads Patch to start his own hospital with a like-minded team.
To snack on: Milk and cookies
Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed in this true story of a brave young woman who hits the bottom of her downward spiral of partying, sex, and drugs after the death of her mother. To search for herself, or maybe to save herself, she decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail with no previous hiking experience. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is the backdrop for Strayed’s trials and dangers.
To snack on: Trail mix
9. Hidden Figures
The true story of African-American female mathematicians who were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history, tasked with calculating coordinates for the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Watching these ladies overcome with their brilliance, dignity, and desire to dream big cements them in U.S. history as true American heroes.
To snack on: Moonpies or starfruit
10. Hector and the Search for Happiness
Disillusioned by his tedious life, psychiatrist Hector confesses to his girlfriend that he feels like a fraud and heads out to hunt for the “recipe” for true happiness. Hector lets his imagination run wild and embarks on an international quest to find the right formula to bring him joy and vitality.
To snack on: Root vegetable chips with sea salt and malt vinegar
What are some movies that inspire you? Make your list as long as it needs to be! Inspiration for happy and healthy living is all around you.
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