19 Movies for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can be debilitating or isolating, but there are movies out there that capture what it’s like. Even better, there are movies that can help.

We asked Pacifica users to list their favorite movies for dealing with anxiety and depression. Here are some of their favorites:

Movies for Anxiety and Depression

  1. Inside Out

    Inside Out - #1 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Inside Out was amazing. It made me laugh and cry and really invested me in the characters. It really showed me that my depression doesn’t have to be what I make it out to be. You learn through those experiences, and you use them to be happy in the future. Great film.”
    See original post

    “Inside Out has lifted me up a lot while going through the worst of my depression. The importance of having both joy AND sadness in your life really spoke to me.”
    See original post

  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Perks of Being a Wallflower - #2 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It has a great understanding of what being anxious and depressed is like and makes me feel less lonely.”
    See original post

    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower is amazing because it acknowledges hardships like depression, PTSD, and such but it also shows how wonderful life can be.”
    See original post

  3. Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 - #3 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I absolutely love watching Big Hero 6! I can’t get enough of it.”
    See original post

    “Big Hero 6 is just so cute it makes me happy.”
    See original post

  4. Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook - #4 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Silver Linings Playbook never fails to make me feel better about myself and my daily battle with mental illness.”
    See original post

    “Silver Linings Playbook is a great movie. It’s so hilarious, yet genuine and somewhat relatable. It always make me laugh and lifts my spirit.”
    See original post

  5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off - #6 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Ferris Bueller’s Day off’- great teen film. Makes me happy.”
    See original post

    “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off makes me so happy :)”
    See original post

  6. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

    It's Kind of a Funny Story - #6 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “It’s Kind of a Funny Story is so damn relatable, plus it’s adorably cute and always gives me hope.”
    See original post

    “It’s Kind of a Funny Story saved my life.”
    See original post

  7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - #7 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I personally like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It inspires me to go out and explore the world instead of just daydreaming about it! And the soundtrack is BEAUTIFUL?”
    See original post

  8. Good Will Hunting

    Good Will Hunting - #8 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “I personally love the movie Good Will Hunting (about a guy that is really smart but wasn’t given great circumstances in his life and gets to know a professor because he’s a math genius. Both him and the professor bond over their troubled past and the film ends in a very happy way despite all the sad moments. There are also lots of jokes).”
    See original post

    “Good will hunting is very inspirational.”
    See original post

  9. Finding Neverland

    Finding Neverland - #9 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “My therapist once recommended the movie Finding Neverland. After it was over, i cried, almost uncontrollably like when you held it in for so long. It was a great experience and a great movie.
    See original post

    “Finding Neverland was the movie that inspired me to keep a journal everyday and just write whatever pops into my head.”
    See original post

  10. Girl Interrupted

    Girl Interrupted - #10 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Girl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, etc. Excellent cast of actors that bring out the depth of their characters who can be flawed, but always-as in life-have some good in them. If you feel like you’re going insane, watch this.”
    See original post

    “Girl, interrupted’ such a beautiful film.”
    See original post

  11. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - #11 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a beautiful movie.?”
    See original post

    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Every single time I watch it.”
    See original post

  12. Dead Poets Society

    Dead Poet's Society - #12 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Dead poet’s society is a movie that always makes me feel just the right mixture of strong emotions and happiness.”
    See original post

    “Dead Poets Society is a classic. Salute to Robin Williams with this post for his role as Mr. Keating.”
    See original post

  13. Lilo & Stitch

    Lilo and Stitch - #13 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Lilo & Stitch – I have such a deep emotional connection to the story. Two unique individuals that don’t fit in find each other and form the strongest bond. I fall in love and cry every time I watch it as it gives me hope that my unique, quirky ways will make me find happiness.”
    See original post

    “Lilo & Stitch always makes me really happy and I love to watch it when I’m feeling down.”
    See original post

  14. Breakfast Club

    Breakfast Club - #14 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “The breakfast club is one of my favorites. It shows the coming together of five very different individuals in a Saturday detention and proving that you can find friends in unlikely places if you just give what your not used to a chance. ? i highly recommend it.”
    See original post

    “The Breakfast Club. Aside from the awesome soundtrack, the realness of each character and those few hours in detention reminded me I was not alone.”
    See original post

  15. Amélie

    Amélie - #15 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Amelie is one of my favorites! It’s especially uplifting for folks who are struggling with the single life, looking for love. It also shows the power of imagination.?”
    See original post

    “Amélie is a French film, but does have English subtitles. It is probably one of the cutest yet mature films I have seen! I highly recommend it if your looking for something different.”
    See original post

  16. Edward Scissorhands

    Edward Scissorhands - #16 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Edward Scissorhands is one of my favorite movies. There is so much depth to that movie. Edward’s character is one I really relate to- he’s an artist, misunderstood and has a deep desire to create but feels all he does is destroy. People are quick to turn on him because they don’t understand him. He longs for love but can’t touch any human like we can. It makes me cry but it’s so beautiful. The music is amazing too.”
    See original post

    “Edward Scissorhands! I love that movie and it always makes me feel happier.”
    See original post

  17. Frank

    Frank - #17 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Frank starring Michael Fassbender. Funny, relatable and uplifting.”
    See original post

    “A really good movie to watch is Frank, It’s on Netflix for whoever’s interested.”
    See original post

  18. Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump - #18 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Watching Forrest Gump. Such an inspirational movie.”
    See original post

    “I fall in love with Forrest Gump every time I watch it. It calms me down, cheers me up, and relaxes me.
    See original post

  19. Into The Wild

    Into The Wild - #19 Movie for Anxiety and Depression
    “Into the Wild is the BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN IN MY LIFE. (I couldn’t stop crying while I was watching, but it inspired me so much).”
    See original post

    “x Into the Wild x fantastic movie about a boy who leave a his rich parents to travel without money to Alaska. He meets the most kindest strangers and the adventure is so inspiring.”
    See original post

Pacifica 2.0 has Launched!

We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the response to Pacifica over the past 6 months. We launched the app because we know personally how difficult anxiety, stress and depression can be. Providing a convenient and effective way for folks to access relief on a day-to-day basis was incredibly important to us. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Meditations, we did just that – we built Pacifica to include tools that can be used daily for stress and anxiety relief. Whether you’re a college student overwhelmed by tests, or a young professional anxious about your career path, or a mom stressed out by the busy bustle of raising children – Pacifica can help you!

Over the past 6 months, we’ve gathered helpful feedback from the community (you!). Many have provided valuable suggestions for improvements. And we listened carefully. Taking that feedback and learning from you, we’re happy to announce Pacifica 2.0!

Pacifica 2.0

Without removing any of the tools that users love, we modified the app and streamlined a few key areas to make it even easier, helpful and enjoyable. Here’s what’s new:

  • After your first MOOD entry each day, we’ll suggest a corresponding activity to help. You can also set a reminder for later in the day.
  • You now have the ability to comment on COMMUNITY posts. We are excited to watch how the conversations unfold!
  • We revamped GOALS (formerly EXPERIMENTS) with hundreds of daily challenges for you to pick from.

Download Pacifica 2.0 today, available on both iOS and Android. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or feedback at chris@thinkpacifica.com. We hope you enjoy the update!

PS – Most of the tools in Pacifica are available every day such as MOOD, HEALTH and now GOALS. In Pacifica 2.0, access of some of the activities rotate each day as well, such as RELAX, THOUGHTS, and MEDITATIONS. If you want to ensure that all the tools are available whenever you need them, upgrade to premium. We made the cost $3.99/month because we want it to be easy for users to afford.

Chris’s Weekly Update – Mindfulness

Weekly Update - Mindfulness

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to talk about mindfulness. Heard of it? It’s been in the news a lot lately.

It’s been said that anxiety is worrying about the future and depression is dwelling on the past. Well, mindfulness teaches us to stay in the present moment. How does this help with anxiety? When you’re mindful, you learn to put space between your thoughts/feelings and observe them without judgement. In other words, instead of immediately reacting to a thought, you can respond more sensibly. Remember, just because you think something does not make it true.

We recently introduced three mindfulness meditations for our premium users within the RELAX activity: Senses, Observe and Breathe. These are designed to help you get familiar with mindfulness through very simple meditations.

Have you tried these yet? Next time you’re feeling anxious (or curious), give them a try and let me know what you think. Our monthly upgrade includes a 7-day free trial, so what are you waiting for? As always, you can reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com with feedback.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

What We’re Working On

This week, Dale and I are working on…text thoughts! You’ve all been asking for them, and we’ve been listening. I think you’re really going to dig this.

We also have a release pending approval that includes custom feelings for tracking your mood, the ability to reorder health items, and private chat within communities. Email me at chris@thinkpacifica.com if you want to test this before it goes live.

This Week’s Community Playlist

In our second week of Music Community song suggestions, Twenty One Pilots continues to dominate. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (keep them coming).

Pacifica Top Songs June 19

This Week’s Reads

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It’s Good For Your Mental And Physical Health
by Amanda L. Chan via The Huffington Post

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain
by Christina Congleton, Britta, K. Hölzel, & Sara W. Lazar via Harvard Business Review

Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress
by Julie Corliss via Harvard Health Publications

June 14 – Chris’s Weekly Pacifica Update

Weekly Update - June 14, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to answer some common questions I get about Pacifica. Check these out below. Remember, you can always reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com.

Meanwhile, Dale and I have been listening to your feedback/ideas within the Communities and are hard at work on the next release. Stay tuned…

If you haven’t downloaded the update, what are you waiting for? Get it now in the App Store or Google Play Store.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

Your Pacifica Questions

What do I get by upgrading?
A premium subscription gets you full access to Thoughts & Experiments each day. You also get additional mindfulness meditations in Relax as well as unlimited private groups.

Can I get a 7-day trial?
Yes, our monthly subscription comes with a free 7-day trial on both Android and iOS.

How do I remove Health habits?
To remove a Health habit, just swipe the row left to reveal a delete button. Health habits can always be re-added again later.

Can I customize my Health goals?
Yes, you can. From the main Health screen, just tap the gear in the upper-right corner. From here, you can set your own daily goals.

I forgot to enter my Health data yesterday. Can I still enter it?
Yes, you can. On the main Health screen, you’ll see a left arrow at the top. Tap this to move back a day (or however far back you need to go).

Can I add text note to a Mood entry?
Yes, you can. When completing a Mood entry, look for a note icon in the upper-right. Tap this to add a note describing any specifics you’d like.

Can I edit/delete Mood entries?
Yes, you can. From the Mood History view, just swipe a mood row to reveal delete and add note buttons.

Can I turn off the goal sound?
Yes, you can. Just tap the Account gear on the Home screen. Then tap NOTIFICATION SETTINGS > GOAL ALERT > Off.

You can also check our support site at help.thinkpacifica.com for common questions, discussions, and upcoming features.

This Week’s Community Playlist

We introduced the Music community this week and the response was overwhelming. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (we’ll be doing this each week so keep posting).

Pacifica Top Songs June 11

This Week’s Reads

9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety
by Kady Morrison at VOX

‘Coming Out’ as Anxious
by Scott Stossel at The New York Times

Mindfulness May Be As Good as Meds for Staving Off Depression
by Linda Searing at The Washington Post

June 7 – Chris’s Weekly Pacifica Update

Weekly Update - June 7, 2015

Hey everyone,

With over 215K users, we’ve introduced two new social features this week:
Private Groups & Public Communities (see them in action here)

So far, everyone has been so positive and supportive. Keep it up. In this first weekly email, I’ve selected some of this week’s top posts. Check them out below.

As a sneak peek, Dale and I are working on adding private chat to the Communities, so stay tuned… Remember too, you can reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com with questions or feedback. I’m all ears.

If you haven’t downloaded the update, what are you waiting for? Get it now in the App Store or Google Play Store and check out the community. We’re all in this together.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

Gratitude

Today I’m grateful for finding this app and seeing that other people struggle also. Not that I want anyone to struggle – sometimes I feel alone. Knowing other people are out there and getting through the mess is helpful.
Nennie

Today I am grateful for my body. Once ravaged by chemo, radiation and surgeries…now in the process of being rebuilt and strong. Also, for coffee and Fridays, naturally!
Kris

Your Stories

I panic whenever someone randomly stops texting me. Like “Oh my god, did I say something wrong!?” “He hates me.” “She hates me.” “What did I do?” And then I start freaking out and texting them so many times and then I realize what I’m doing but it’s too late I’ve texted them like a hundred times “hello” and I end up having a lot less people to talk to which only makes it worse because then that person has to deal with all my freaking out.
Amerida

I’m finding my anxiety to be much improved. I’ve been dealing with it for years. So far I’m really loving these thought tools on Pacifica. So glad I found this app and looking forward to using the communities in the future.
Joe

Quotes

You have two choices: to control your mind or to let your mind control you.
Sylviaplath

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
Eveeluvs

Experiments

To conquer my fear of driving, today I will sit in my parked car for just 15 minutes.
Joe

Laugh wholeheartedly three times.
Eveeluvs

Pacifica Talk & Tips

So happy with this update, want to hear and read stories. Remember you’re not alone.
Yaaz

I really enjoy the updates. Encouraging to see other posts and remember you’re not alone. The bar graph for health is perfect. If nothing else, I’m already remembering to drink more water and make more time for me.
Em

Anxiety

I wish I could comment on people’s post to tell them we will be alright. Anxiety isn’t going to kill us and it can only affect us as much as we let it. Surround yourselves with people who care and understand, it ma mean cutting some old ties but trust me that it is necessary. Support and encouragement is important.
MisterManChild

REPEAT AFTER ME: My current situation is not my final destination
Air

Work Stress

Building a startup has been a challenge to say the least. I’m also lucky enough to be getting married this summer, but it provides an added amount of stress that has been difficult to handle at times. What has kept me grounded is being able to acknowledge that negative thought is just that; it isn’t based in rational thought. Sometimes those thoughts take hold and it’s hard to pull away from but every time I do it helps me acknowledge just how lucky I really am.
Dale

I work as a supervisor at a local pet store. I love my job and the ability to help people learn new things about pet care. I am damn good at my job. But some days, the rotten rich people, the awful coworkers and stress of trying to keep our numbers up gets to me. It’s hard some days to bring myself to come here. I wish this wasn’t the case as I want to be here and help out rescues. I try my hardest on those days to remember why I am here.
Gray

Depression

I just want to say to anyone who has any sort of mental illness, you can do this mate! I believe in you. You are a beautiful human being and are valuable to the world. I love you and keep your head held high! You are worth it. Even though I may not know you. I care about you a whole lot. No matter your past. Just know that I care for you <3 Stay awesome guys!
Liora

I’m falling apart and I’m terrified.
Anonymous

Insomnia

It really stresses me out when I can’t sleep knowing I have work or school early the next day. I know me worrying about me not being able to sleep doesn’t help at all, but I don’t know what to do.
LifewthPanicDisorder

I’m afraid I’ll become dependent on sleeping pills but what can I do? I need to sleep at some point.
Misa

Health

Going for a bike ride helps me. I like to go really fast, the air whipping around me makes me feel free of everything. I’m lucky to live in the country side so for me it’s a regular tool!
Zoe

I drink tea – several cups a day. It has an amino acid called l-theanine, which helps promote relaxation and alertness. The process of waiting for the water to heat, using my favorite pots and cups, and watching the leaves unfurl is a meditative experience!
Tuocha

Fears

My deepest fear…ending up being alone in life with no friends, or any support, and failing to accomplish the goals I set for myself.
Beth

I’m afraid to fail someone who depends on me… And I’m a massive pushover so I agree to loads of stuff and I can never do it all and then I’m afraid that they will be angry or disappointed… Any advice?
Faraway

My deepest fear is life going by too fast.
Fishy

Weekly Reads

15 Things Anyone Who Loves A Woman With Anxiety Should Know
by Emma Gray at Huffington Post

I Was An Anxious Kid And Now I’m A Let It Go Mom
by Samantha Rodman at The Washington Post

4 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Wellness
by Dr. Matt Goldenberg at Huffington Post

10 Things You Should Know If Your Partner Has Anxiety
by Adelaide Maria at Thought Catalog

How to Handle Someone Else’s Anxiety or Panic Attacks
by George Tinari via Medium

Our Age of Anxiety

We rise each morning full of hopes and dreams.
We bravely set out into the world.
We get on planes, trains, and highways striving to make our dent in this modern world.

We are living in an age of anxiety.
Millions are suffering, most in silence.
We fight it. We run from it.
The stigma keeps us in the dark.
But what if there was a better way?

What if we could come together and share our stories?
What if we could learn to relax and take in each moment?
What if we could grow just a little each day?
What could we do if we weren’t afraid anymore?

Breathe in. Breathe out.
We can create our own calm.
One day a time, one moment a time.

5 More Stress & Anxiety Quotes to Help You

I’m back with a second set of anxiety quotes. These words have helped me deal with anxious situations many times, so I hope you find them helpful too.

Anxiety Quote 1: Most things we worry about never happen.
“Most things we worry about never happen.”

Anxiety Quote 2: What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

Anxiety Quote 3: The past has no power over the present moment.
“The past has no power over the present moment.”

Anxiety Quote 4: Feel the fear...and do it anyway.
“Feel the fear…and do it anyway”

Anxiety Quote 5: Don't worry, be happy.
“Don’t worry, be happy.”

Get Pacifica today on iOS or Android.

4 Lessons on Anxiety: The Only Way Out is Through

21-only-way-out-is-through
It sounds counter-intuitive, but as someone who has dealt with anxiety, I’ve found this statement to be true. It’s natural to avoid anxiety or to deny its existence all together, but recovery comes in accepting it. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation, and wellness, I’ve been able to address my anxiety head-on this past year. While I’m not sure it can ever be completely “cured”, a holistic approach can certainly help manage and reduce it. Here’s my advice:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn the physiological causes and effects of anxiety. Your symptoms/feelings stem from your fears, your thoughts, and your body’s own fight-or-flight response (an antiquated alarm system left over from our cavemen ancestors). Though the adrenaline rush is uncomfortable, these feelings aren’t harmful and can’t actually last very long. So, though your heart may be racing, that’s okay. You’re safe and in no real danger. Think about this: If you’ve had an anxiety attack, you’ve likely already experienced the worst your body can feel. Don’t be bluffed by physical feelings.
  2. Relax & take care of yourself: Learn to recognize when you’re feeling anxious and take the necessary steps to relax and take care of yourself (this includes identifying common triggers like alcohol, sleep, and caffeine). To reduce anxiety in the moment, try deep belly breathing or mindfulness meditation. Both of these help calm the adrenal response. To relieve more long-term tension, try progressive muscle relaxation or vigorous exercise. The main idea is to acquire tools to calm yourself whenever anxiety strikes, so you can more easily cope. Think about this:Your body is a machine like any other. If you take care of it, it’ll take care of you.
  3. Question your thoughts: Learn to judge your thoughts critically instead of accepting them as facts. Your thoughts, more than anything, affect how you feel and ultimately your perspective of the world. People with anxiety often have an intensely negative view. They overestimate the likelihood of something bad happening, exaggerate the consequences, and underestimate their ability to cope. So check your thoughts. What evidence do you have? What are the odds of this happening? What would a friend say to you? Think about this: Just because you think something does not make it true. You’re not a fortune teller, a mind-reader or the center of the universe. Try to see things in a more balanced way and you’ll feel better.
  4. Behave courageously: Learn to face your anxiety despite the fear. This is obviously the hardest part, but it’s also the way out. Anxiety has a way of chipping away at self-esteem. It’ll make you think you can’t do THIS or you can’t do THAT. It’s easy to get stuck in this cycle of fear. But you can face your fears a little each day, and eventually, work toward your bigger goals. It doesn’t matter how small the initial steps are. Instead of dread, try being curious in these new scenarios and use your coping skills. It’s not about being free of anxiety in these early moments, but enduring despite the anxious feelings. This is how real change happens. Think about this: By taking small steps each day, you can rebuild your confidence. You’re a lot stronger than you think you are. Don’t let anxiety dictate your life.

Get Pacifica today on iOS or Android.

5 Stress & Anxiety Quotes to Help You

As someone with anxiety, I’ve always found certain anxiety quotes helpful. It almost seems too simple, but there’s a lot of power behind these words.

Anxiety Quote 1: The only way out is through.
“The only way out is through.”

Anxiety Quote 2: One day at a time. One moment at a time.
“One day at a time. One moment at a time.”

Anxiety Quote 3: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Anxiety Quote 4: Don't believe every thing you think.
“Don’t believe every thing you think.”

Anxiety Quote 5: You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Get Pacifica today on iOS or Android.