5 Great Movies to Feed Your Soul During a Time of Crisis and Uncertainty

For most of us, working from home is not a new thing. So I know you’re not just sitting around binge-watching Netflix.

If anything you’re busier than ever. You’re working hard on your business and maybe even taking on the role of teacher and educational facilitator, if you have kids at doing online school.

The disruptions to our lives are difficult to describe and might even bring you to tears at the end of the day. But I hope than in the middle of all this insanity you take some time for yourself—time to take care of your body, your mind and your soul.

And one of the ways you can take care of yourself is to watch movies that lift you up and feed you emotionally.

I know movies are a very personal thing. But today I want to share five of my favorite movies of all time. They couldn’t be more appropriate for the times we’re living in.

They are underdog stories of struggle, fear, uncertainty, perseverance, redemption and forgiveness. They remind us that there is hope. That you’re not alone in this struggle, because everyone on the planet is going through it too. And that others before us have dealt with similar (and often more severe) challenges.

What I often need most in times of struggle is a bit of perspective. Over the years, these five stories have given me a heavy dose of that.

You will laugh, you will cry—and above all, you’ll see our current challenges in a new light.


The film is loosely based on the life and racing career of Seabiscuit, an undersized and overlooked thoroughbred race horse, whose unexpected successes made him a hugely popular media sensation in the United States during the Great Depression.

Themes in this movie that resonated with me:

  • Overcoming adversity
  • Acceptance
  • Forgiveness (of yourself and others)
  • Second chances
  • Grace
  • Redemption
  • The heart and will to prevail

Cinderella Man

This movie is based on the true story boxer James Braddock (Russell Crowe) and their struggles during the great depression. When they fall on hard times Braddock must do everything that he can, despite tremendous odds, keep his family together and off of the streets.

Themes in this movie that resonated with me:

  • Perseverance
  • Purpose
  • Empathy
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Hope
  • Resilience

Cinderella Man was released during the Great Recession of 2008, a time where I struggled personally in ways I’d never struggled before. The story and message had a huge impact on my outlook and mindset and helped me get out of the funk I was experiencing at the time.

The Legend of Bagger Vance

While serving as a captain in the U.S. Army during World War I, Rannulph Junuh, played by Matt Damon, is traumatized when his entire company is killed in battle. Even though he earns the Medal of Honor, he disappears after the war, returning to his home in Georgia years later as a broken-down alcoholic.

Based on the book of the same title by Stephen Pressfield, this beautiful film tells the story of how Junuh finds himself and how he finally deals with the demons that have haunted him for years.

Any description I give you here won’t do it justice. There’s a deep spiritual component to this movie that strikes right at the heart of my soul every time I watch it. It’s a classic use of Joseph Campbell’s reluctant hero theme: a man faced with a duty and his reluctance to fulfill it.

This is a story about:

  • Redemption
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Overcoming insurmountable obstacles and fear
  • Self-realization
  • Looking inward and to a higher power for strength and resolve
  • Trust and faith in a higher power

The Shawshank Redemption

Another classic that bombed in the box office but is part of most top-10 movie lists. The Shawshank Redemption is the story of Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence.

This is a powerful story about freedom, injustice, suffering, hope, spirituality, persistence, patience, loyalty and personal transformation.

What struck me most when I watched it 1994 was the value of freedom and how much I take these freedoms for granted. We might think we have it bad right now with this lockdown, but to see Andy Dufresne and what he went through, that’s a powerful bit of perspective.

The Pursuit of Happiness

No, I didn’t misspell happiness. There’s a reason it’s spelled that way (you have to watch the movie!).

As a father, this one’s a tough film to watch. It’s a powerful story, but emotionally one of the “heaviest” ones on this list. It’s the story of single father Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, and his young son, played by Smith’s actual son, Jaden. The two are evicted from their apartment and suddenly find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money.

The two of them are forced to live in homeless shelters and endure many hardships. But Chris refuses to give up hope as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son. He works his heart out trying to prove himself to his employer, which has no idea about Chris’ personal struggles.

Again, this is a heavy yet uplifting story. The thematic elements are powerful and very relevant for what we’re facing today, including:

  • The will to win and persevere
  • Getting back up when life beats you down
  • Rising to the challenge
  • Racism and inequality
  • Dreaming big
  • Hard work
  • Focus
  • Determination
  • Love
  • Hope

Look… these are uncertain times. Our world has been turned upside down in a hurry. It happened so fast, most of us have yet to process what’s happening.

However, one of the most important things you must protect right now and over the next few months is your mindset.

I’m all for entertainment that will get our minds off the crisis. It’s a welcome break. But make sure that some of what you’re consuming is not only entertaining you. Make sure it’s also reinforcing your beliefs, strengthening your mindset, and giving you the perspective you need to stay strong and sharp in the weeks and months ahead.


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