If you’re struggling with bouts of anxiety amidst the steady stream of political news, you might want to divert your attention to some of the role models of the screen, both silver and small. Watching the characters in movies and television shows — and everything they overcome — can help you feel brave, especially at a time like this.
So I’ve put together a playlist of 8 movies and television shows that can inspire you to resist. You can watch these adventures, space operas, and yeah…a musical…when you need to be reminded that up is still up, and there is a right and a wrong.
1Raiders of the Lost Ark
If you’re feeling too scared to be yourself on any given day, just pretend you’re Indiana Jones. Or Marion Ravenwood. Or Sallah. Actually, lots of role models to choose from here. Just don’t be the duplicitous monkey.
2Every Star Wars movie EVER
Star Wars is all about pursuing justice even when you feel small. Amidala is a literal queen, and I mean, what hasn’t been said about the brave Princess Leia lately that needs to be said, right?
Watch and marvel at the fact that during her escape in A New Hope, she’s a better shot with a blaster than Han or Luke, she’s not afraid to be involved in politics, and she can still roll with the best of the diplomats.
3The Sound of Music
Let this movie remind you that your personal life must go on during times of uncertainty or fear. Relationships can still be built, families can bond, and you can learn to sew new clothes from your curtains if need be. Stay aware and keep investing in your life.
4Captain America: The First Avenger
“Stalwart and steady and true. Forceful and ready to defend the red, white and blue!” If you’re struggling with your pride for America at the moment, look no further than the inscription on the Statue of Liberty.
In which team members from different backgrounds, each with extraordinary and differing gifts and talents, (btw, Thor and Black Widow are totally immigrants) work together to save New York. It’s a beautiful thing.
Because Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. Stay strong. Do the right thing. We may not have her superpowers, but that won’t stop us from aspiring to her moral compass. As Buffy herself once said, “You have to be strong. Dawn. The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.”
Yes, she’s fictional. But Peggy Carter is a representation of the thousands of millions of women who served their country in times when they weren’t acknowledged as equals. Normally, progress goes forward. I mean, that’s why it’s called progress. But that’s not always the case. When the world starts to feel like it’s going backwards, remember — even when things have been upside down before — women still stepped up, raising their voices and taking action. You can draw strength from so many women from history. Sacagawea, Harriet Tubman, the suffragettes…the examples are endless. Let Agent Carter get you psyched to do some research!
Bear with me. Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. When you combine the genuine historical knowledge shared on the show with the levity of the concept (people get drunk and teach you stuff), what you get is helpful information told in an entertaining way.
On my worst days lately, I sit down and write a script about my life as though it were being recounted on an episode of Drunk History. Mostly because I need to laugh. But also, because at the end of our lives, we should all hope to be proud of our actions and our place in history as it unfolds. (I’m sure this goes without saying, but if you are of legal drinking age, please drink responsibly. The participants of this show are monitored very closely, as explained in this article via Complex.)
Stay strong. Watch content that makes you feel brave. Stay inspired, informed, and active! We can do this.