Healing films and TV shows are something we need at the moment, especially in light of everything that’s happening in our communities and personal lives. These are narratives that don’t necessarily have to be ‘feel-good’ but those that remind us to fully embrace our emotions — the good and the bad — in order to carry on. One good example of this is the recently concluded K-drama Hometown Cha Cha Cha, where warmth and comfort — without being toxically positive — are the core of the story.
In need of a similar show to watch? Check out these other healing films and TV shows you can stream on Netflix.
Movie: Your Lie In April
Your Lie In April is adapted from a manga of the same name. It’s about piano prodigy Kousei Arima (Kento Yamazaki) who stopped playing after a tragic incident during his younger years. Now a teenager, he meets Kaori Miyazono (Suzu Hirose), a girl who has a crush on his best friend Ryota Watari (Taishi Nakagawa). Kaori is a violinist who has an unconventional way of playing the violin which captivates Kousei. Kaori convinces Kousei to play the piano again to accompany her during her violin competitions. Kousei falls in love with her in the process but is hesitant to tell her the truth because he knows she’s in love with his best friend. Little did he know, Kaori also has a secret she can’t tell him.
Healing points: Your Lie In April may seem like a typical coming-of-age romance story at first, but it’s actually a story about friendship, forgiveness, and passion. It takes us through the journey of Kousei acknowledging the cause of his trauma and finding his way back into music through the help of everyone around him. You’ll definitely need a piece of tissue (or two) while watching this, but we assure you that every tear shed is worth it.
TV Show: Touch Your Heart
2019 gave us Lee Dong-Wook and Yoo In-Na’s reunion project after 2016’s Goblin with Touch Your Heart. Yoo In-Na takes on the role of Oh Yun-Seo, a popular actress known for her beauty and charm but not her acting skills. Beloved by all, her career suddenly spirals when she gets caught in a scandal involving a conglomerate heir. In an attempt to make her comeback after two years, she tries to persuade a famous TV screenwriter and a producer to cast her in their latest legal drama. They agree, but only if she gets actual working experience in a law firm. There she meets Kwon Jung-Rok (Lee Dong-Wook), a stern ace attorney who doesn’t like her superficiality.
Healing points: Touch Your Heart is a fun rom-com that will make you laugh at the right moments. However, it also conveys strong themes of compassion and sincerity, reminding us that everyone around us is also struggling with their own battles whether they are openly talking about them or not. Oh Yun-Seo’s journey to self-healing is also beautiful to watch, though we’ll leave the hows and whys to when you actually see it.
Movie: Hello World
Hello World explores what goes on after high school student Naomi Katagaki (voiced by actor Takumi Kitamura) encounters a man from the future called Sensei (voiced by actor Tori Matsuzaka). Sensei claims to be Naomi’s adult self from the future and tells Naomi he should befriend Ruri Ichigyo (voiced by actress Minami Hamabe), an aloof girl who also goes to his school. Sensei reveals that Ruri will get hit by lightning in a nearing festival, which will lead to a long-time coma. Sensei needs Naomi’s help to save her from the incident.
Healing points: Hello World is an animated film that covers themes geared towards adults. It discusses hopelessness, grief, and desperation, especially when it comes to protecting our loved ones. But it’s not all sad. It also offers the importance of moving on and letting go when necessary, as well as reminding us that self-forgiveness is an essential part of life.
TV Show: Our Sister’s Soulmate
Our Sister’s Soulmate, aired in December 2020 in Japan, was set real-time when the world was preparing for the holidays almost a year into the pandemic. At the story’s core is Momoko Adachi (Kasumi Arimura), a young woman left to raise her three younger brothers by herself after their parents passed away when she was in high school. She works at a department store that’s slowly recovering from the chaos of domestic supply hoarding (among other challenges) due to the pandemic. With the holidays approaching, the employees' start worrying about how to decorate the store for the season without being indifferent to the world’s situation. In the planning process, Momoko meets Manato Yoshioka (Kento Hayashi), a backend worker for the department store who was assigned to help them. The more Momoko and Manato get to know each other, the more they help each other to heal from their own hidden traumas.
Healing points: Instead of adding to the pandemic fatigue, Our Sister’s Soulmate depicts our current reality without focusing too much on the negatives. Instead, it reminds us that despite our current struggles, we should strengthen our relationships with our families and friends to help ease at least some of our worries. It also tells us that it’s okay to be vulnerable and to seek help when needed.
Movie: Taare Zameen Par
Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary) is treated as a troubled child because he can’t keep up with his studies. Because of this, his parents put him in a boarding school. However, most of the teachers in the new school also found it hard to manage him — except one: Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan), a substitute art teacher. After meeting Ishaan, Ram makes an extra effort to understand why Ishaan was struggling. One day, Ram finally discovers why Ishaan was having trouble with his studies. Using this discovery, Ram tries to convince the rest of the teachers, as well as Ishaan’s parents, that Ishaan is not troubled, but rather, a child of exceptional talent.
Healing points: With many factors leaving us unmotivated and restless recently, this movie reminds us that holding on to things that make us feel passionate and alive (no matter how big or small) is something we should never lose sight of. It also encourages us to see the best in people and be supportive instead of dismissive when our loved ones need it the most, especially if it involves something that benefits their holistic health.
Films and TV shows may not be completely enough to alleviate every single overwhelming feeling we’re having at the moment but they might help serve as a healthy momentary escape, reminding us that we should never lose hope that things will take a turn for the better.
(Cover photo from: netflix.com)
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