7 Motivational Netflix Movies and TV Shows to Inspire Your 2023 Health and Wellness Goals

Is taking control of your health one of your New Year’s resolutions? Resolutions aren’t exactly easy to keep, so don’t stress if you have to ease your way into your health and wellness goals for 2023. In fact, it’s best to start slowly and work steadily so you don’t get burned out and give up.

But what if you’re not sure where to start? For inspiration and motivation, check out one — or better yet, all — of these movies and TV shows on Netflix. This year, you can stream your way into a healthier way of living. 

‘Heal’

The more we learn about the mind-body connection, the clearer it becomes that there is a link between the human psyche and physical health. Heal is a documentary that shines light on that link, asking “How do thoughts and emotions control our health?”

 Heal, which was released in 2017, was directed by Kelly Noonan Gores. Gores and the rest of the crew lead a spiritual (and scientific) journey, conducting interviews with physicians, spiritual leaders, and the chronically ill. It’s full of personal accounts of people sharing how their thoughts and beliefs have had a huge impact on their healing. 

Heal stars familiar faces like Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Gregg Braden, and more. Watching this documentary will leave you feeling positive and hopeful. Heal is no longer on Netflix, but you can still catch it on Prime.

‘Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret’

Whether or not you’re considering trying a plant-based diet, there’s no denying that factory farming isn’t good for anyone — the animals, the people eating them, or the planet. Animal agriculture is actually a big threat to the future of all species… and it’s one of the environmental industry’s best-kept secrets. 

Cowspiracy is a 2014 documentary that sheds light on the animal agriculture industry, and it’s not a flattering light. Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film includes a lot of tough truths about the impact of the meat and dairy industries. While the goal of the project is not to make everyone go vegan, there are tips about cutting back on meat and a suggested path to worldwide sustainability for our growing population. Stream it on Netflix.

‘The Mind, Explained’

Have you ever wondered what’s happening in your mind while you’re dreaming, or how your brain reacts to anxiety? The Mind, Explained is a 2019 docu-series available on Netflix. This is a spin-off of the Netflix show Explained. 

Narrated by Emma Stone on Season 1 and Julianne Moore on Season 2, the series dives deep into what happens inside human brains when they dream, practice mindfulness, or use psychedelic drugs. The episodes are short, but you’ll learn a lot.

‘Ask the Doctor’

This 12-part docuseries polls three friendly doctors for advice regarding common subjects like sleep, diet, and allergies. Doctors Shalin Naik, Renee Lim, and Sandro Demaio take the time to bust medical myths and test treatments to give viewers some insight.

Ask the Doctor premiered in 2017, and although it only lasted two seasons, it’s still a popular series to stream on Netflix

‘Unrest’ 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a largely misunderstood disorder. This Sundance award-winning documentary debuted in 2014 and profiles Jennifer Brea, a 28-year-old Harvard doctoral candidate who gets a mysterious fever that leaves her bedridden. Jennifer, who is about to get married and frustrated by her symptoms, is told by doctors that her fatigue is all in her head. 

Jennifer and her new husband decide to film her struggles and connect with others around the world. Unrest gives us a deeply personal look into what it’s like to live with CFS. The film is no longer available on Netflix, but it’s still available for streaming

‘Cooked’ 

If you’d like to eat more mindfully or feel more connected to your food in order to sustain the health of your body or the planet, you may already be familiar with Michael Pollan. The author is determined to change the way people eat, but he offers a more balanced approach than many. One of his mottos is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 

Cooked has been streaming on Netflix since 2016, and it’s all about how cooking transforms our food. If one of your resolutions is to have more meals at home, check out this four-part documentary. 

‘Rotten’

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Rotten is a Netflix docu-series from 2018 that ventures deep into the heart of the food supply chain, revealing some pretty unpleasant truths. Even though this series is a few years old, things certainly haven’t gotten any better. If you’d like to start eating better this year, this series will motivate you.