Lighthearted TV shows are often written off as frothy or frivolous, but they have more power than people realize. Picture it: It’s been a tough week at work, and you’re exhausted. Finally, it’s time to relax. You settle into your couch and start browsing for something to watch. Do you pick a three-hour war drama that won a bunch of awards? A heartbreaking but informative documentary? A stressful, gory horror movie? No, you want a feel-good show because nothing turns a mood around like watching nice people in comfortable settings.
Life is hard—don’t make it any more complicated for yourself by scrolling endlessly through the streaming services. We went ahead and put together 21 lighthearted TV shows that will leave you feeling energized and a little more hopeful about the world. Some are comfort classics you’ve seen before, others might be new to you. What they all share in common: Everyone in these shows is (mostly) well-intentioned. Just a bunch of good-hearted people doing their best. Kind of like you, no?
It doesn’t get much more wholesome than Ted Lasso, a show about a faltering soccer team that rallies around a “Believe” sign posted above Coach Ted’s office door. Each character is flawed, sure, but the show goes to painstaking detail to prove everyone’s just trying their best. As Ted Lasso himself would say, “You say impossible, but all I hear is ‘I’m possible.’” Stream it now.
Parks and Recreation
While this beloved sitcom is undeniably hilarious, it’s the love and respect between all the employees of the Pawnee Parks & Rec department that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. If you need a quick cheering up, just watch the episode where the crew tries to navigate walking across a slippery ice skating rink as Gloria Estefan’s “Get on Your Feet” plays in the background. You have no choice but to laugh. Stream it now.