13 Happy Netflix Shows to Watch When You’re Sad or Down

When you aren’t in a good mood, these are the best Netflix TV shows to watch for an emotional pick-me-up that’ll get you smiling again.

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Having a bad day? Whether it’s due to unfortunate news, gloomy weather, or just general sickness and malaise, it can be hard to kick yourself out of a negative funk.

There are several things you can try—like eating your worries away, retail therapy with online shopping, etc.—but most options are unhealthy and lead to more troubles.

Watching happy Netflix shows? Now that’s an option that’s not only super effective, but comes with very few side effects!

Even though Netflix seems to prefer producing gritty, serious, dark, and dramatic series, you’ll find that there are plenty of positive and uplifting Netflix shows to watch, too.

When it seems like nothing can cheer you up, try watching one of these happy Netflix shows. They’re bright, full of laughter, and pretty good at chasing away even the dreariest mood.

13. Disenchantment

With one glance at Disenchantment, you can immediately tell that it was developed by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. It has his characteristic style and design to its characters, and a lot of the same humor—in a totally new setting.

This hilarious animated series is set in a medieval fantasy period and centers on Bean, a rambunctious princess. Bean teams up with a demon and naive elf as she tries to escape her arranged marriage, and the series just gets crazier from there.

12. Tuca & Bertie

I’ve raved about Tuca & Bertie in previous articles, and I still can’t get enough of this Netflix series. Sadly, it was canceled after just one season—which seems to be happening more and more often with Netflix series these days—but it’s still worth several watches.

Tuca & Bertie follows two best friends who are complete opposites. While Bertie’s a quiet and business-oriented songbird, Tuca is a free-spirited and confident toucan. Voice by Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish, respectively, Tuca and Bertie live their lives one day at a time.

11. Everything Sucks!

Everything Sucks! is a comedy-drama parody series that revisits 1990s teen culture through the eyes of hindsight and nostalgia. The series is set in Boring, Oregon and centers on a group of students at Boring High School who are members of the A/V club and drama club.

This lighthearted coming-of-age Netflix series will have you reliving your awkward teenage years—in much the same way that That ’70s Show did for the last generation—and bring rose-tinted smiles and cringe-induced grimaces to your face in equal measure.

10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

On days when you can’t get out of your slump, turn on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It follows Kimmy Schmidt, a 29-year-old woman who was kidnapped by a doomsday cult and locked away in an underground bunker for 15 years.

After she’s rescued (in the first episode), Kimmy refuses to be seen as a victim as she adjusts to life as a nanny in New York City. She oozes positivity as she attempts to reacquaint herself with society, and makes some unusual friends along the way.

This is one of the best Netflix sitcoms to watch when you need a heaping dose of positivity, and it’s sure to life your spirits as you watch Kimmy navigate hardships with a beaming smile.

9. Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman might just be one of the most absurd and quirkiest shows on Netflix—and that’s what makes it stand out as a hidden gem worth checking out.

The series centers on a seemingly average businessman named Ametani Kantarou. He’s highly regarded among his coworkers, but he secretly ditches work to eat delicious desserts.

Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman features real restaurants around Tokyo, and you’ll encounter several ridiculously silly—and sometimes even surreal—scenes that won’t fail to make you smile.

8. Santa Clarita Diet

Joel and Sheila Hammond are real estate agents in the sunny suburbs of California. One day, Sheila wakes up and discovers that she can’t stomach real food anymore—all she wants is to eat human flesh. This leads to all kinds of complications that disrupt their idyllic life.

Santa Clarita Diet is a bright and campy sitcom series filled with quirky characters that are larger-than-life. There’s an over-arching storyline as they try to figure out what’s wrong with Sheila, but individual episodes are self-contained and downright hilarious.

Despite the over-the-top grossness when it comes to undead special effects, blood splatters, and gratuitous vomit, Santa Clarita Diet is one of the happiest shows on Netflix that you can’t help but love.

7. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is about as on-the-nose as any TV show title can be. Host Jerry Seinfeld meets up with other comedians (and high-profile public figures), in one of his many vintage classic cars, to grab a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze.

It’s basically a talk show, but far more casual than any talk show you’ve ever seen. Much like Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is really a show about nothing—they talk about the most random things, but they have a blast doing it. It’s really quite uplifting!

6. The Chef Show

If you haven’t seen the movie Chef on Netflix, go watch it now. It’s one of the best feel-good movies to come out in the past decade, and one that you’ll want to revisiti whenever you’re feeling down.

The Chef Show is a bit of a spin-off from the movie, where Jon Favreau and Roy Choi—the chef who taught him the cooking skills needed for the Chef movie—eat food and experiment with recipes while hosting prominent guests like Bill Burr, Tom Holland, Seth Rogen, and more.

It’s an informal and down-to-earth series that feels more like hanging out with friends than any other food show or cooking show. Need a pick-me-up? The Chef Show is a must-watch.

5. Terrace House

Three men and three women come together under one roof to live together. No games, no prizes, no deeper premise. They still study for school, still go to work, still go on dates. We get to watch them live life together, and somehow it’s totally fascinating.

Terrace House rose to fame in 2015 when Netflix began co-producing the series and distributing it worldwide. Unlike most reality TV shows, Terrace House distinguishes itself with its intimate relationships, low-key drama, and rotating cast of housemates.

Most moments in Terrace House are quiet, and even the smallest glance or gesture can speak volumes. Those moments of interaction are precious, heartwarming, and beautiful. It’s the perfect show to get lost in when you’re feeling down.

4. Kim’s Convenience

Kim’s Convenience is a wonderful TV sitcom that examines the Asian immigrant experience and the generational divide that exists between first-generation and second-generation Korean-Canadians.

Based on a play, Kim’s Convenience centers on the Kim family and their convenience store in Toronto. The family has their own share of conflicts, hardships, and obstacles, but underneath it all is a positive vibe that keeps the series feeling warm and hopeful.

If you’re tired of the usual sitcom shenanigans and want to try something fresh and friendly, Kim’s Convenience is the one.

3. The Good Place

Eleanor Shellstrop has died and gone to The Good Place, a utopian paradise that’s run by the afterlife architect Michael. But she’s hiding a secret: she wasn’t a good person and was sent here by mistake. With the help of her neighbor, she tries to become a better person.

As you might expect from a show named The Good Place, this series is full of bright imagery and happy set pieces. The characters are wacky and whimsical, which brings a lot of lighthearted fun to each episode.

But it’s the star performances by Kristen Bell and Ted Danson—and really the entire magnificent cast—that kicks this series up to god-tier reputation (pun not intended). If you need to smile, go watch this.

2. Community

Community centers on a group of students at Greendale Community College as they form a study group and try to get through their semesters so they can move on with their lives.

Not only does Community feature some of the sharpest writing and densely-layered jokes of any sitcom—rivaling other great shows like Arrested Development—it uniquely explores the format with all kinds of experimental episodes that are a joy to watch.

1. Schitt’s Creek

When the wealthy Rose family goes bankrupt, they’re forced to move into the rural town that they once purchased as a joke: Schitt’s Creek. After settling down in the town’s shabby motel, it’s hard for them to get adjusted to their new lifestyle.

Schitt’s Creek takes a few episodes to grow on you, but once it does, you’ll find that it’s one of the best shows to put on when you’re in a bad mood. The characters are terrible at first, but they grow over the course of the show—and you’ll love them for it.

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