21 Happy Feel-Good 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.
21 Happy Feel-Good Netflix Shows to Watch When You're Sad or Down

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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—eating your worries away, retail therapy with online shopping, slipping away into video games—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, they'll make you laugh, and they're good at chasing away the dreariest moods.

21. Disenchantment (2018)

Trailer for 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.

20. Down to Earth With Zac Efron (2020)

Trailer for Down to Earth With Zac Efron

Zac Efron is surprisingly well-adjusted for someone who blew up into fame as a child actor. This is apparent in Down to Earth With Zac Efron, where he travels the world and shares his experiences.

Whatever your thoughts on his skills as an actor, you won't be able to deny that this show is a smooth and often uplifting watch, full of thoughts and questions stemming from Efron's own perspective on life, all set to a lighthearted tone.

Some have criticized the show for questionable advice rooted in pseudoscience, but you don't have to approve of everything he says to enjoy the series when you're feeling down.

19. Tuca & Bertie (2019)

Trailer for Tuca & Bertie

We've raved about Tuca & Bertie in previous articles, and we 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.

18. Everything Sucks! (2018)

Trailer for 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.

17. Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman (2017)

Trailer for 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.

16. Magic for Humans (2018)

Trailer for Magic for Humans

Magic for Humans is an easy, easy watch. This simple series features Justin Willman—a comedian and magician—doing all kinds of street magic with random people.

As with any magic-related TV show, you'll need to suspend your disbelief and trust that the producers are being truthful when they say that the magic tricks are real and not edited or faked.

If you're able to do that, you'll find that Magic for Humans has a chill and lighthearted approach that's perfectly balanced with humor and positive vibes that'll get you smiling.

15. The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals (2021)

Trailer for The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals

Travel TV series have always been popular, but even more so in the last few years. The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals is an easy watch for when you want to escape your current reality and vicariously visit international spots—maybe for a future trip of your own.

Three hosts go around the world and check out all kinds of awesome vacation rentals for all kinds of budgets, as well as provide tips and tricks to make the most of your stays.

This is a solid entry in escapism television that'll lift your spirits as you enjoy the beautiful views and the banter between hosts.

14. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015)

Trailer for 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.

13. Love on the Spectrum U.S. (2022)

Trailer for Love on the Spectrum U.S.

Love on the Spectrum U.S. is a reality documentary series that follows several people—across all ages and ethnicities—who have been diagnosed with varying degrees of autism spectrum disorder, as they learn to date and endeavor to find love.

The show is better described as "heartfelt" than "feel-good," but there are plenty of moments along the way that'll make you smile and laugh, all while shedding light on the realities of being autistic and the challenges that come when trying to find a life partner.

Originally based on an Australian series, if you end up loving this series, you should also check out Love on the Spectrum (also available to stream on Netflix).

12. Santa Clarita Diet (2017)

Trailer for 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.

11. Terrace House (2015)

Trailer for 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.

10. The Chef Show (2019)

Trailer for 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.

9. New World (2021)

Trailer for New World

New World is a South Korean reality competition series that takes place on its own island that represents a simulated utopia called "New World," complete with its own currency, shops, NPCs, quests, special items, and even an AI helper interface.

Starring six Korean celebrities (Lee Seung-gi, Eun Ji-won, Kim Hee-chul, Jo Bo-ah, Park Na-rae, and Kai), New World pits the players against each other via survival tasks, mystery puzzles, and unpredictable events across six days to determine a winner.

Despite its competitive premise, New World is extremely lighthearted as the celebrity guests laugh and banter their way from start to finish. If you want to escape and laugh, this is a great show for that.

8. Kim's Convenience (2016)

Trailer for 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.

7. The Good Place (2016)

Trailer for 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.

6. Our Great National Parks (2022)

Trailer for Our Great National Parks

Do you find immense joy in nature documentaries that exhibit the most beautiful and glorious places on Earth? And do you find Former President Barrack Obama's voice soothing to listen to? If so, you'll love watching Netflix's Our Great National Parks.

The show's name is a bit misleading in how it might seem to be focused on National Parks in the US, but it actually explores various national parks from around the world. Barrack Obama narrates the mini-series, which isn't entirely educational but certainly an easy watch.

If you loved other nature documentaries like Planet Earth and Blue Planet, you'll find this show right up your alley.

5. Community (2009)

Trailer for 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.

4. Schitt's Creek (2015)

Trailer for 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.

3. Old Enough! (2022)

Old Enough! is a Japanese game show of types, which centers on young children (just a few years old) who are tasked with running adult errands, like buying groceries, juicing fruit, or delivering packages.

Taken at face value, Old Enough! is cute and fun as we watch the youngsters struggle to identify food items or get sidetracked by distractions or simply grow bored and do something else.

That said, Old Enough! did catch some flak for its controversial premise, particularly from Western audiences who viewed the show as dangerous. But producers reassure us that children are kept safe via safety crews, route inspections, and help from neighborhoods.

2. Murderville (2022)

Trailer for Murderville

Murderville might just be the funniest Netflix Original series ever made. Half game show and half improvisational comedy, Murderville will have you engaged on multiple fronts and laughing all the while.

Starring Will Arnett as incompetent detective Terry Seattle, every episode features a murder mystery case as well as a celebrity guest who isn't given a script and has no idea what's going to happen.

This means the celebrity guests have to improvise their way through their episodes, based on nothing more than prompts from Arnett. By the end, they need to use clues gathered from the episode to pick the correct suspect for their murder case.

Each episode has enough clues that you can correctly discern the murderer as you watch, but the best thing about Murderville is how often the celebrity guests crack and break character!

1. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (2012)

Trailer for 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!