When life gets tough...Watch a Movie

Wait what!?

Yup. While watching a movie isn't going to solve your life or help you deal with depression, it can be helpful. It can be a way to experience situations or emotions with some distance. It can be a way to feel less alone or less weird when you see characters that are similar to you. It can also be helpful to empathize with a character who is similar to you. It can give you a new perspective that may help you expand your current narrative or challenge thoughts and stories that cause you extra pain.

Since the holiday season can be difficult in general, but specifically be a trigger for emotions or grief, I have compiled a non-exhaustive-but-still-decent list of movies (and their Amazon.com synopsis) that may help you in processing grief and sadness.

Griefwalker: "feature length documentary, sets its lens on theologian Stephen Jenkinson in an unforgettable exploration of death phobia as a culture."

Gleason: "At the age of 34, Steve Gleason, former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave him two to five years to live. So that is what Steve chose to do: live. This film incorporates personal video journals from Gleason for his then-unborn son to footage of his adventures undertaken as part of his mission to live his life to the fullest."

Inside out: "When 11-year-old Riley moves to a new city, her Emotions team up to help her through the transition. Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness work together, but when Joy and Sadness get lost, they must journey through unfamiliar places to get back home." This movie isn't necessarily about grief, but its adorable and opens space for acknowledging all emotions.

Reign Over Me: "A heartwarming story of two men who rediscover their friendship at a pivotal moment in their lives." Bonus: it stars Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle!

Shadowlands: "C.S. Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) remains untouched by any great passion until he meets the feisty Joy Gresham (Debra Winger)."

Up: "Carl and Russell set off for the adventure of their lives!" Unimpressive summary from Amazon.com. This movie will make you laugh and cry and leave you feeling sentimental and hopeful. I like cartoons!

Collateral Beauty: "A man reaches out to the universe after a tragedy. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty."

Enjoy the show!