You’re stuck at home and not feeling great—it’s the perfect time to watch some feel-good movies and TV shows on Netflix.

By Lauren Phillips
March 11, 2020

Figuring out what to watch on Netflix is tough at the best of times, but when you’re not feeling well and sick at home, it’s especially challenging. There are the best shows on Netflix, of course, but sometimes “best shows” means deep, dark, cognitive dramas—not always exactly what you want to be watching when you’re flat on the couch fighting a fever.

The key to a great sick-day binge-watch is keeping it light—think the best romantic movies on Netflix, or a similarly light genre. When you’re sick, you may not have the attention span (or the energy) to commit to a mind-bending movie. Light-hearted, funny movies and TV shows will help keep your mood up, and if you doze off in the middle of an episode, it’s not the biggest deal. Compare that to a heavy drama, where missing a single episode can completely throw off your understanding of the show, and it’s clear that the light-hearted stuff is best for sick days.

Whether you’re faking a sick day (no judgement here) or you’re fighting a major cold, these are the best feel-good movies and TV shows to watch on your day of rest. They’ll keep you entertained and engaged without stressing you out, so you can focus on getting better—you’ll be back to your procedural dramas and suspenseful flicks (if that’s your thing) before you know it.

1
Always Be My Maybe

It’s a classic Netflix Original rom-com: This playful, upbeat movie follows childhood sweethearts as they reconnect in adulthood. Come for the excellent comedic value, stay for the Keanu Reeves cameo, and finish the movie with a smile on your face, despite your cold.

2
Cheer

If you’re seeking a little motivation to help you get through your bout of illness, look no further than this documentary series. It follows an acclaimed cheerleading squad from a small-town Texas college, and it’ll have you cheering, crying, and gasping along with the cheerleaders through all six episodes.

3
The Crown

For those who want something a little more sedate for their sick-day binge-watching, try The Crown, the biographical retelling of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. There’s enough drama and intrigue to keep you hooked, but no violence or serious shocks, so you can relax and peacefully watch episodes between naps and bowls of soup.

4
The Good Place

It’s hard to watch a show called The Good Place and not feel happy. Sure, this critically acclaimed series is all about what happens after death, but it’s also upbeat, playful, and thoughtful. With three seasons currently available on Netflix, it’ll keep you entertained throughout your confinement, even if you’re out of commission for a few days.

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5
Hairspray

Musicals are just-right for sick days: They require a certain suspension of disbelief over the spontaneous breaking-into-song, and when you’re a little woozy from being sick, that suspension is a lot easier. (Musical lovers don’t need to be told this, of course.) This remake of the ’80s film stars some big names—think John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Zac Efron—and is full of classic songs that’ll have you humming along, even if you can’t breathe through your nose.

6
The Incredibles 2

Any fan of the original Incredibles movie will be delighted to watch this recently released sequel. It’s full of warm-hearted superheroes, playful gags, and affectionate family dynamics, and the uplifting ending will leave you smiling. Is there a better way to spend a few hours of your sick day?

7
Miss Americana

Swifties have probably already watched this Taylor Swift documentary (a few times), but even those who aren’t huge fans will enjoy this peek into the singer-songwriter’s life. It’s funny, entertaining, and interesting—great if you want a mellow viewing option that will also teach you something.

8
New Girl

This might be the best-ever sick-day show: It’s funny, yes, and hugely entertaining, but not so gripping that sleeping through a few episodes will ruin your enjoyment of the show. It’s also pretty long—seven seasons—so you can keep yourself engaged even if you’re settling in for a long recovery at home.

9
Parks and Recreation

Another even-keeled, light-hearted comedy, Parks and Rec is a great choice for what to watch on Netflix while you’re home sick if you want something more heartfelt than goofy (though this beloved series is plenty goofy). It offers hours of TV to watch, and the genuine heart at the center of the show will help keep you as warm as your cozy sick-day blankets do.

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10
The Politician

It’s a little offbeat, but if you want something with low-level drama (and beautiful production value) this might be the sick-day show for you. Starring Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow (among other excellent actors), The Politician follows a high schooler running for class president, with surprisingly serious (and funny) consequences.

11
Schitt’s Creek

If you believe that laughter truly is the best medicine, try watching this popular series on your sick day. You’re all but guaranteed to laugh at every episode (even if you’ve seen them all before), and the antagonistic but affectionate dynamics in the family at the center of the show will leave you feeling warm all over (regardless of your temperature).

12
Set It Up

Another classic rom-com, this playful movie follows two low-level office workers who set up their respective bosses to create more free time for themselves. Predictably, funny antics ensue, but the predictability (and energetic humor) of the movie are just right when you’re a little low-energy.

13
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

If you want something action-packed but not overly loud or violent (or if the kids are home with you), try this animated superhero flick, which received rave reviews when it premiered and offers solid action without being too jarring for your sick day. It’s a standard origin story for a new generation’s Spider-Man, and it’ll leave you feeling ready to take on the world—once you’re feeling better, of course.

14
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

A truly sweet romantic movie, this high school love story will fill you with all the warm fuzzies. True romantics will want to watch it over and over again (necessary if you’re dozing off in the middle of it), and nostalgic types will love the throwback references.

15
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

The sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been long-awaited, and it’s a must-watch if you’ve already made the first movie part of your sick-day binge-watch schedule. Luckily for you (and the hours ahead of you), it’s just as sweet as the first one and ready to be watched on Netflix at your leisure.

16
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Zany, sweet, and completely hilarious, this four-season Netflix comedy is yet another solid choice for your sick day viewing. The episodes you watch will make you laugh and help boost your mood (it’s nearly impossible to have the sick-day blues with star Ellie Kemper on the screen), and if you fall asleep for more than a few, that’s okay, too.

17
Valentine’s Day

This vignette-style rom-com is mellow and low-key, perfect if you want something relaxing to watch while you recline on your bed. Sure, there’s tension and some mystery, but it’s not enough to disrupt your resting, and the overall vibe—it’s a movie about Valentine’s Day, the most loving day of the year—will warm your sneezy soul.

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