The 25 best feel good movies to take you to your happy place

15. Miss Congeniality (2000)

What is it? America's Sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, doing what she does best: being lovable and adorable in that somewhat clumsy-but-determined way. Bullock plays Gracie Hart, a tough, emotionally-guarded FBI agent. After receiving word that a domestic terrorist will attack the Miss USA beauty pageant, Gracie goes undercover. Through the course of the movie, she learns how to walk, talk, and act like a stereotypical pageant contestant, opening herself up to friends and colleagues along the way.

Most feel good moment: When you realise Gracie’s opinion of the pageant contestants has changed and she no longer sees them as shallow women but as people "trying to make a difference." Of course, she immediately follows that up with a veiled threat so we know she's still the hard-nosed FBI Agent we met at the start. Sam Prell

14. School of Rock (2003)

What is it? Classic rock connoisseur Dewey Finn (Jack Black) seems to have hit rock bottom when he's kicked out of his own band. Desperate for cash, he poses as his roommate Ned Schneebly to take a job as a substitute at a prestigious private school, only to find that he's got some musically gifted students who he can mold into the perfect pre-teen rock band. Jack Black's frenetic goofiness pairs nicely with the charmingly precocious child actors, and School of Rock is sure to strike a chord with anyone who's ever dreamed of rock stardom while still dealing with reality.

Most feel good moment: The grand finale at the Battle of the Bands, where Dewey's prodigies get to showcase their guitar-shredding, keyboard-jamming talents (backed up by their fellow students performing all the production and roadie work). Lucas Sullivan

13. Bring It On (2000) 

What is it? A smart, teen-speak packed comedy about cheerleaders. Wait, no! Come back! Despite its subject matter, somehow Bring It On manages to be elevated by its almost Shakespearean levels of teen sass and some brilliant performances from Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Clare Kramer. Think cheerleading Clueless, throw in some serious ‘90s pop and expert dance routines and it’s the ultimate guilty pleasure.  

Most feel good moment: Well, let’s be honest, any ridiculously cheery smart cheerleading sequence is feel good whether you like it or not but when Dunst’s team The Toro’s place second to their rivals, it’s the best kind of feel good. Louise Blain

12. Sing Street (2016)

What is it? It’s a classic story - boy meets girl, boy creates band to impress girl - but Sing Street is far from predictable. Sure, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is going through a rough time at home and at school, and meeting Ann (Kelly Thornton) is the one bright spark in his otherwise disappointing final few years as a teenager, but the core message about finding something you’re passionate about and running with it is truly heartwarming. 

Most feel good moment: When Sing Street play to raucous applause at the school disco and stick it to mean old Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley). Lauren O’Callaghan

11. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

What is it? A mockumentary following three vampires in New Zealand as they live their daily lives. Simple. My god, it’s excruciatingly funny, with the same kind of oh-god-did-they-just-do-that kind of humour that comes when you see someone sink their teeth into a very spurty neck and struggle to keep the flush of blood in their mouth. There are also werewolves, who pride themselves on not swearing. And a human, Stu, who the vampires adore as he teaches them how to use eBay, take photos, and generally adapt to 21st-century life. They’re besotted with him. It’s incredibly endearing.   

Most feel good moment: When the vampires are dressing up to go on a night out and do an impromptu fashion parade. They can’t see their reflection, so they have to draw pictures of each other’s outfits instead. It doesn’t always go down well. Zoe Delahunty-Light

10. The Princess Bride (1987)

What is it? A smart, big-hearted parody of fantasy movies, featuring giants, swordsmen, wizards, dread pirates and a savage sense of humour. Much like Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap, it sends up the genre while still showing reverence for the subject matter. What starts off like a thigh-slapping joke coheres into a satisfying adventure, and you’ll be cheering along with Buttercup and Wesley by the time you reach the final confrontation. And it has Andre the frikkin’ Giant in it.

Most feel good moment: Generally all of it - especially Inigo Montaya finally getting his revenge - but if I had to pick one, it’d be Wesley revealing who he really is as he tumbles down a hill, shoved by the love of his life. All together now: “Aaaaaaaasss youuuuuuuu wiiishhhh!” Matt Elliott

9. Elf (2003)

What is it? Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell) finds out that he isn't actually an elf at all - he just happens to have been raised at the North Pole by Santa's elves. Upon realizing that a grown human man doesn't fit in with the other miniature elves, Buddy sets off to New York City to meet his real father (and redeem him from the naughty list). Elf is the greatest modern Christmas movie thanks to Ferrell's amazing performance as an innocent, earnest elf-out-of-workshop, and the sheer joy the film takes in celebrating the Christmas spirit. You can watch it any time of the year, and you'll feel like you've been whisked straight to December 25.

Most feel good moment: Watching a bunch of snowball-flinging bullies get their comeuppance when they mess with Buddy and his step-brother Michael. Buddy's longshot, from-downtown throw to nail a distant deserter is priceless. Lucas Sullivan

8. Pitch Perfect (2012)

What is it? Following rebel-at-heart Beca as she starts college, it tells the story of her growing love for a cappella, with some flourishing female friendship with the stoically traditional Barden Bellas singing group thrown in for good measure. Beca ruffles some feathers with her shocking suggestion that they should sing more modern songs, yet when their voices come together to pull off that perfect mashup it’s positively glorious. The songs, the one-liners, the teamwork: watching it will make those endorphins flood through your veins, and some singing will probably belt out of your mouth too. 

Most feel good moment: Undoubtedly when the Barden Bellas get on stage at the a cappella finals and smash their Don’t you (forget about me)/Price Tag mashup. It’s impossible not to sing along. Seriously. We’ve had someone test it. Zoe Delahunty-Light

7. Moana (2016)

What is it? The perfect modern update to the Disney princess movie where the lead dreams of exploring and seeing the world and… does. The basis in Polynesian culture and myth creates a beautiful, and colorful location and story. It’s full of great role models and fantastic songs with rarely a slack moment. That’s in part do to the main leads Auli'i Cravalho and The Rock who almost single handedly carry the entire movie with a brilliantly frustrating relationship. There’s also a star turn from Jemaine Clement as Tamatoa, a treasure-hoarding crab god and the best comedy chicken ever, voiced by Alan Tudyk.

Most feel good moment: The Rock’s song You’re Welcome is a pitch perfect blend of catchy hooks, key changes, lines and a fantastic performance from the man himself. Leon Hurley

6. Clueless (1995)

What is it? A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in Beverly Hills, where Cher (Alicia Silverstone) goes through a personal journey from shallow High School teen to slightly less shallow High School teen. Sure there are jokes, romances, and wonderful stories of comeuppance, but what really makes this movie is the warmth of its relationships and the sheer guilty pleasure we get from sharing the journey of its genuinely clueless cast.

Most feel good moment: Has to be the moment on the stairs, where Josh accidentally confesses his feelings for Cher. Don’t worry - they’re not blood relatives, so it’s not that creepy. Ok, maybe a little. Andy Hartup