10 feel-good shows and movies that will instantly lift your mood

Charlie Day and Jenny Slate as Peter and Emma in “I Want You Back.” (Amazon)

The news can feel overwhelming. It’s hot out. We all need an escape. If you’re feeling down and out, we’ve put together a variety of shows, movies and specials to help bring some sunshine in — figuratively speaking.

‘Grand Crew’

This NBC sitcom from former “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” scribe Phil Augusta Jackson follows a dynamic friend group that regularly hangs out at a wine bar. It’s a simple enough premise but the laughs runneth over and the characters — including Nicole Byer’s Nicki and Echo Kellum’s Noah — feel like people we know in real life. (Streams on Hulu and Peacock)

‘Summer of Soul (. . . Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)'

Music is healing and Questlove’s recently Oscar-nominated documentary is a true balm. The feature dives into a Harlem music festival that happened the same year as Woodstock, with footage of performances by Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and other greats. (Streams on Hulu and Disney Plus)

The best music festival in 1969? Hint: It wasn’t Woodstock.

‘Marry Me’

Jennifer Lopez is Kat Valdez, a pop star as famous as herself, in this charming if imperfect rom-com that stars Owen Wilson as her unlikely love interest. (We can all dream of a concert meet-cute with a massive celebrity, no?) Colombian crooner Maluma, who plays Kat’s caddish fiance, Sarah Silverman and Michelle Buteau round out the cast. (Streams on Peacock)

‘I Want You Back’

For slightly more relatable rom-com fare, watch Jenny Slate and Charlie Day help each other through tough breakups (and try to win back their respective partners) in this movie helmed by “Big Time Adolescence” director Jason Orley. Manny Jacinto, Scott Eastwood and Gina Rodriguez also star. (Streams on Amazon Prime)

‘Abbott Elementary’

Quinta Brunson created this hit ABC mockumentary, which finds her molding young minds as second-grade teacher Janine Teague, opposite a cast that includes fellow educators played by fan favorites Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tyler James Williams. (Streams on Hulu)

Quinta Brunson is already a viral comedy star. ‘Abbott Elementary’ could make her a household name.

‘Somebody Somewhere’

Comedian and singer Bridget Everett plays a woman who returns to her Kansas hometown as she grieves the death of her sister in this HBO series, billed as “a coming of middle age story.” Washington Post TV critic Inkoo Kang called the “warm and moving drama” the first great show of 2022. (Streams on HBO Max)


A bumbling police detective (played by Will Arnett) solves crimes with celebrity guest stars — including Conan O’Brien, Sharon Stone and Marshawn Lynch — who have no script in this improvisational comedy. There’s simply no pre-written dialogue that could lead to a scene as funny as O’Brien telling a small child that a murder victim “had instantaneous, probably 90 percent blood loss and then she went into that black void known as death.” (Streams on Netflix)

‘Ali Wong: Don Wong’

Comedian Ali Wong, who has largely appeared to focus on her acting career since her 2018 comedy special “Hard Knock Wife,” returns to the stand-up stage and brashly takes on cultural double standards and the pitfalls of monogamy. (Streams on Netflix)


We don’t talk about Bruno or how many times we’ve already seen this animated children’s movie about a magical family, but we always feel better after watching it. (Streams on Disney Plus)

How ‘Encanto’ and its vibrant soundtrack became a viral phenomenon


You’ll be amused from the opening credits of James Gunn’s recently renewed series (an irreverent spinoff of “The Suicide Squad”), which stars John Cena as the titular antihero. Peacemaker is given more depth here than on the big screen; he also gets a group of friends that include Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) and a team of secret government operatives that join him in trying to save the world. Danielle Brooks, Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland also star. (Streams on HBO Max)