You’ve probably been there at some point in your life…
Feeling defeated, blue, maybe a little pessimistic. Maybe you’re wondering what to do if:
- Your boyfriend just cheated on you
- A colleague at work was mean to you
- You didn’t get the promotion you were working towards
- You had a huge fight with your best friend
- You didn’t get into the school you wanted
- Your relationship with your mother is challenging
- You don’t know what to do with your life
- You have been single forever
- You get extremely negative about small problems
When things go wrong, it’s easy to despair, and one of the best things to do is turn towards the fictional for a pick-me-up. What better way to do that than with a good movie?
A great movie can feel like a friend. It’s there when you need it and offers a form of escapism.
Some movies just make you instantly feel better, especially movies with a strong female lead (as Netflix likes to call them). Want to feel more confident and instantly happier?
Here are the 11 best movies to watch to boost your self-confidence.
1. Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)
This movie is perhaps one of the best ones you can watch when you need to recover from a breakup. Watching Carrie survive getting left by Big at the altar and Miranda bounce back after being cheated on by her husband will feel empowering.
This movie is a reminder that women are stronger than they appear. You will feel like you can deal with anything! Another great reminder is that we always need a friend. When life is falling apart, what’s better than calling your best friends and watching this movie together?
Watch when: On a long-haul flight or with your gay best friend. Or whenever!
Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Do you think your boss is a monster? Try watching The Devil Wears Prada and think again. In this classic rom-com, Anne Hathaway is Andy, an ordinary girl with a job at a fancy magazine. Her boss is none other than Miranda Priestley (played by Meryl Streep) – a character inspired by the infamous leadership style of Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour.
One of the best things about this movie is of course Andy’s big makeover, which also gives her confidence a boost, proving that a new wardrobe and a new hairstyle can do wonders for a woman.
Beyond the impressive makeover, however, is when Andy starts to act like a boss and focus on her goals and needs. This is when the movie really takes a turn and teaches women a valuable lesson.
Watch when: You aren’t appreciating your job – or when you are considering getting bangs.
Where to watch: Disney+, YouTube, Amazon Prime
3. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
If Netflix keeps suggesting this movie to watch, don’t ignore it, even if you’ve seen it already. It’s a classic and is full of so much charm and humor. The main character gets left by her husband for another woman, and on top of that, she also loses the house of her dreams.
Instead of wallowing in despair, she gathers the courage to move to Tuscany. She buys a villa that needs a lot of fixing up and meets a hot Italian man. This movie will renew your faith in romance, second chances, and the value of taking big risks.
Plus, the scenic shots are also to die for!
Watch when: You want to make a big change in your life or go on a spontaneous trip to get away from it all.
Where to watch: Disney+, Apple TV
4. A League of Their Own (1992)
A sports chick flick might not be every woman’s cup of tea, but don’t judge a movie by its trailer. This movie is all about its strong and confident female lead and boasts a confident cast throughout.
The characters abandon their comfort zones in order to play baseball during the war. It’s a feel-good story and a reminder that anything is possible. Truly.
Watch when: You need to be reminded of the power of women and teamwork.
Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime
5. Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blonde is a must-watch for every young woman. Yes, it’s a little silly and cheesy and has a lot of scenes that feel unrealistic, but we don’t watch movies for their realistic depiction of life, we watch them in order to escape and feel inspired.
Legally Blonde is a classic chick flick, but it’s also more than that. It’s ultimately a movie about personal transformation and self-confidence. What starts as a story about a beautiful woman who would do anything to win a man back turns into a story of defying all odds and changing people and society’s perceptions.
Watching Elle Woods (played beautifully by Reese Witherspoon) take Harvard (and a law practice internship) by storm is a joy to behold.
As Elle famously says: “You must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”
Watch when: When you’ve got your best friends over – with wine and popcorn.
Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime
6. Little Women (2019)
The 2019 version of Little Women (based on the famous novel by Louisa May Alcott) successfully championed female empowerment in a much more modern way than similar period dramas.
What the movie did beautifully was showcase different lifestyles and different choices of women, without chastising them for choosing one life or another. Thus, the movie serves as a great reminder that as long as you are satisfied with your choices in life, that’s all that matters.
The movie also depicts women as perfectly happy in a relationship or being independent. So, if you haven’t found the love of your life just yet, watch this movie and fill yourself with confidence.
Watch when: Anytime! And re-watch as many times as you want.
Where to watch: Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV
7. Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird is a beautiful depiction of adolescence with all its charm, awkwardness, and challenges. It’s a coming-of-age story directed by Greta Gerwig that follows a year of the life of Lady Bird, a quirky and wannabe-rebel Catholic school girl.
The story is simple but that’s the beauty of it – it’s about the tiny moments in life. This movie is particularly helpful if you are feeling down about your relationship with your mum – it will bring a fresh perspective.
Watch when: You want to be reminded of the small, beautiful moments of adolescence.
Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime
8. Erin Brockovich (2000)
The true story of Erin Brockovich is a lesson in resilience, grit, and female strength. Single mother Erin Brockovich refuses to be objectified and underappreciated because of her style and leads a whistle-blower battle against a large corporation.
This movie is a great reminder that women are more than what meets the eye and that you can wear whatever the hell you want. You are still a bossy lady!
Watch when: You want to be reminded how badass women are!
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
9. Hidden Figures (2016)
While the men at NASA were racing against Russia to put a man in space, three brainy African American women were doing all the math to actually get the job done. Hidden Figures is the true story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who, despite facing racial segregation and discrimination in the workplace, ended up as actual American heroes.
This movie is a must-watch for anyone, not just for black women.
Watch when: You’ve been mansplained to at work or underappreciated by male colleagues.
Where to watch: Disney+, Amazon Prime
10. La La Land (2016)
This Oscar-winning movie is easily the best Hollywood musical of the past decade. Featuring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the story follows a pianist and an actress who are both working their hardest to make it in LA.
It’s a movie about the power of following one’s dreams, but also about the power of love and sacrifice. The catchy soundtrack, the beautiful sets, and the down-to-earth storyline make this a great feel-good movie. It’s also a fantastic choice for a date night.
Watch when: You want to relax with a feel-good story and enjoy an amazing soundtrack.
Where to watch: StarzPlay, Amazon Prime
11. On the Basis of Sex (2018)
Perhaps incredibly underrated, this American biographical drama follows the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her early cases, and her family life. The movie is a brilliant depiction of an ambitious and clever young woman who has to navigate discrimination and prejudice in the workplace.
Ruth (played by Felicity Jones) goes through many struggles as a result of her husband being diagnosed with cancer, and yet her tenacity and resilience shine throughout the entirety of the movie.
Watch when: You want to feel inspired about your career and life decisions.
Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime
Want more ideas for movies to watch to boost your self-confidence? Here are a few honorable mentions:
Eat Pray Love
Pride and Prejudice