8 Excellent Movies about Depression

The world has been exceptionally brilliant in making movies about depression in the last few decades. The movies have portrayed mental illness incredibly and left a huge impact on people to understand what it is like to suffer from mental health disorders.

Movies vastly influence people’s lives across the world; no matter what language it has been made in, they leave a great impact on certain things in life. This is why movies are called art they are extremely relatable, portray human emotions at best, and helps break certain stigma and taboo in society.

Understanding Depression

Discussing or talking about mental health was considered until a few years ago. People suffering from certain mental disorders like borderline personality disorder, anxiety, or depression were labelled crazy.

Fortunately, in today’s world, people have started to understand depression and other mental illnesses. Credit goes to the Hollywood movies about depression and other illnesses that have brilliantly portrayed those people’s sufferings and issues. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders that approximately 250 million across the globe suffer from.

Depression is unlike sadness or grief. It is a vast and deep emotion that resides in one’s mind and makes their life difficult. This mental illness is curable, and if not treated on time, it might create certain health complications that might be hard for people to deal with. If a person’s mental health is not stable or in a good state, it will eventually affect his/her physical health, causing pain or inflicting certain diseases.

8 Movies about Depression

Hollywood has vastly influenced the world by breaking stereotypes and stigmas around certain topics, especially mental health. Depression was taboo a few decades ago, but now it has been the major theme of many movies.

Therapists often suggest their patients watch movies about depression as a therapy to cure their illness and to understand in a far better way what they are going through via the story presented in the movies. The movies help people relate with characters dealing with depression and identify their own problems through particular scenes.

Sometimes, it gets too overwhelming to be in one’s head, feel the feeling, and have constant unwanted and negative thoughts. Movies are a great distraction from the perpetual pain caused by depressive thoughts and negative emotions.

It frees one’s mind from the residing negative emotions, time, and place and takes them to a new place with different characters portraying those emotions they often go through.

Movies about depression portray the challenges and sufferings beautifully with depression, and how they fight their demons and overcome mental illness. It gives hope to people to fight their own demons, empathize with the characters, and attain victory in the battle with depression.

Certain movies about depression help people understand that not always a person is happy. There is a dark side to everyone. It is important to understand that one should not let those dark sides take over one’s life completely. Movies brilliantly present hope and a positive approach to life for people dealing with depression and other mental illnesses.

There is a multitude of incredible Hollywood movies with the major theme of depression. Here is the list of 10 brilliant movies about depression starring amazing actors, relatable plotlines, and incredible portrayals of the suffering and challenges of depression.

1. Silver Linings Playbook

Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the adaptation of the book ‘The Silver Linings Playbook‘ by Matthew Quicker is one of the best movies about depression.

The plot of the movie revolves around the life of Pat, who is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and suffers from a manic depressive disorder. He was recently released from a psychiatric hospital and started to live with his parents when he met this woman Tiffany who was grief-stricken and was dealing with her own mental illness because she lost her loving husband.

Lawrence won an Oscar for this role which was beautifully written and portrayed on screen.

Silver Linings Playbook - Official Trailer (HD)

The characters share their grief and develop a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. The movie presents the suffering of depression at its best and incredibly states that their mental health disorder does not define a person; they are beyond that. The message of finding love, and having a positive and hopeful approach in life shown in the movie makes it special.

2. Little Miss Sunshine

A funny movie about a dysfunctional family with an important layer of imparting the message of understanding mental health is what Little Miss Sunshine is about.

Depression has several types, and some of them are shown in this movie as all of the characters suffer from depression and mental health disorders except for the youngest member, Olive.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

When it comes to movies about depression, the plot is often dark or serious, with characters having PTSD or anxiety disorder. But this movie is unique because it is a light-hearted comedy movie that subtly portrays the impact of depression in people’s lives and how it affects the family.

Little Miss Sunshine is a beautiful and heartwarming movie to watch to understand the importance of family, the challenges of depression, and finding a ray of positivity in difficult times.

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower

One of the brilliant movies about depression is The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, an adaptation of the book of the same title by Stephen Chbosky. Starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller in a coming-of-age film might come off as another high school story, but it is much more than that.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Official Trailer #1 (2012) - Emma Watson Movie HD

The movie revolves around Charlie, who is anxious to start high school and is deeply affected by the suicide of his best friend. He often feels overwhelmed with his emotions and doesn’t really understand why it happens, which is quite common for people suffering from anxiety or depression.

It is one of the important young adult movies about depression that brilliantly portrays how people often do not understand their constant overwhelming emotions.

4. Girl, Interrupted

It stars Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder in one of the brilliant movies about depression based on a memoir and true story. The movie’s setting is a psychiatric hospital with several patients dealing with certain mental health disorders like depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, and others.

Girl, Interrupted (1999) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

The movie has uniquely portrayed the various mental illnesses to make people understand how it is important to be aware of them and cure them as soon as possible. Girl, Interrupted also showed the importance and development of friendship between the patients during recovery.

5. World’s Greatest Dad

It is often seen that people sympathize with them when people die by suicide but not at the time of their depressive episodes. People suffering from depression do not always receive compassion from people, as portrayed in the film starring Robin Williams, who lived with depression in real life.

This is one of the most underrated movies about depression that brilliantly shows what it is like to suffer from depression and its personality.

World's Greatest Dad (2009) Official Trailer #1 - Robin Williams Movie HD

The plot of World’s Greatest Dad revolves around a single dad who is a high school teacher and author and suffers from depression and his son is obsessed with pornography. It is about their damaged relationship and shows the serious challenges of depression. The movie is very important and very underrated.

6. Prozac Nation

The 2001 movie is based on a memoir of the same title by Christina Ricci, who is also the leading actor in the movie.

Prozac Nation revolves around a brilliant student dealing with atypical depression during her academic years at Harvard University. She tremendously suffers from this mental health1 disorder because of her upbringing and extremely overwhelming mother.

Prozac Nation (2003) Trailer

One of the underrated movies about depression, Prozac Nation, was not appreciated by critics. Still, it was liked by the audience for representing that anyone can suffer from depression 2despite the class.

7. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Sometimes depression or anxiety just resides in a person’s mind without any severe cause of PTSD 3or anxiety disorder. It’s Kind Of A Funny Story is one of the most beautiful and important movies about depression that revolves around a teenager Craig who tries to attempt suicide and later gets admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he finds a mentor and love interest that helps him in treating depression.

It's Kind of a Funny Story Official Trailer #1 - (2010) HD

This is a light-hearted movie portraying teenagers’ wide range of emotions and thoughts suffering from depression without any past trauma, abuse, or anxiety disorder.

8. Wanda’s Vision

Wanda Vision is not a movie but a TV show about the life of a superhero couple who goes through a spectrum of emotions together. This is not a typical MCU movie but much more than that. Wanda Vision has beautifully portrayed the grief of loss, depression, and anxiety, making it one of the brilliant shows/movies about depression.

WandaVision | Official Trailer | Disney+

Key Takeaways

Movies vastly influence our lives, and it is also a great distraction from lingering depression and negative emotions. Art has significantly held great importance in human lives, and it helps us relate and understand ourselves better than before when it comes to understanding emotions.


1. Name some movies which I can watch when I am depressed.

Ans. Some of the movies which I can watch when I am depressed are as follows:

  • “About Time” (2013)
  • “A Knight’s Tale” (2001)
  • “Annie” (1982)
  • “As Good As It Gets” (1997)
  • “Get On Up” (2014)
  • “Good Burger” (1997)
  • “Greater” (2016)
  • “Hugo” (2011)

2. What is an inspirational movie to watch when I am depressed?

Ans. ‘Pursuit Of Happyness’ is an inspirational movie to watch when one is depressed.

3. Why do I cry while watching a sad film?

Ans. Crying while watching a sad film is a sign that you are a highly empathetic, socially aware and connected person.

  1. Moreno, Carmen, et al. “How mental health care should change as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The lancet psychiatry 7.9 (2020): 813-824. ↩︎
  2. Thapar, Anita, et al. “Depression in young people.” The Lancet 400.10352 (2022): 617-631. ↩︎
  3. Martin, Alicia, et al. “Treatment guidelines for PTSD: a systematic review.” Journal of Clinical Medicine 10.18 (2021): 4175. ↩︎

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