It’s that time of year again, when the gyms are flooded with resolutions, the green juice flows freely and the savings accounts start slowly growing. Lots of people are making New Year’s Resolutions, and some of us are just happy to flip the calendar page and leave 2019 in the dust.
So for this month’s streaming roundup, we are going to list Motivational Shows. All are shows for you to watch while you vision board, or set your goals, or run on the treadmill. (Or just watch television, I am not judging.)
What to watch on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ for January 2020
MIRACLE (Netflix, dramatic film) – this is one of my all-time favorite movies. Based on the story of the US Mens Hockey Team at the 1980 Olympics, it follows the ragtag team from a bunch of college kids and an untested coach all the way to the gold medal match.
I’ve never played hockey in my life, but I get a deep need to try every time I watch this movie. I’d say that’s pretty motivational.
YES MAN (Netflix, comedic film) – This is more of a funny movie than truly motivational, but any movie can have a moral if you look hard enough. Jim Carrey plays a dude with a truly bad attitude, who is pretty negative about everything. He goes to one of those Tony Robbins knock-off airport hotel seminars, and ends up turning into a “yes man” and saying “yes” to everything.
It’s a good time, and definitely a good choice for a treadmill movie.
GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED (Disney+, documentary series) – basically No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel show) but with Gordon Ramsay. He travels all over the world and tries all these different types of cuisines, and actually cooks them with chefs who are experienced or native to the area.
I have massive goals in the food area and these types of shows really light my fire. May not be a good choice if you’re on a Whole30.
COACH CARTER (Netflix, dramatic film) – Another motivational sports movie. I grew up in a very sports-oriented family, so I really love movies like this, Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans.
Coach returns to his old high school to coach the basketball team. Through tough love, he turns the team around. Samuel L Jackson is the coach though, so it’s super fun to imagine how many f-bombs he would drop if this was an R-rated film.
SHRILL (Hulu, drama series) – I am reluctant to recommend this one (I’ll explain why , but all my friends RAVE about this show and love it. They say it’s pretty inspirational and a lot of people agree with that sentiment, like the Guardian, AV Club and the Vulture. It’s touted to touch a lot of people’s hearts in ways that shows with tall willowy blonde stars do not, by showing a plus-sized woman in the starring role.
There is a scene about abortion that hit a little too close to home for me, and turned me right off in episode 2. I couldn’t get past that, just so you’re warned.
I included it here because when I crowd-sourced what shows/movies my friends saw as “motivational”, 90% of them responded with this show.
MARVEL’S HERO PROJECT (Disney+, documentary series) – I would watch this series again, if I didn’t think it was going to cry. These kids are awesome, and doing awesome amazing things for their communities. Like real life mini superheroes. *sob*
Jordan Reeves is my personal favorite in this crew. With a limb difference, she’s been inspired to create and design things like the Glitter Arm (seen in action below) to shoot glitter into a crowd. (She’s even given a TED talk or two.) Definitely motivational.
BRENE BROWN – THE CALL TO COURAGE (Netflix, documentary film) – y’all, I bawled most of the way through this so I’m probably going to need to watch it again. But I learned so much about communication and fear watching this, I’d probably need to watch it again.
Not even speaking in semantics when I say that Brené Brown has changed my life. Watch this show.
JANE (Disney+, documentary film) – Jane Goodall has always been a pretty inspirational figure. Her work with chimpanzees in what is now Tanzania has continued for 60 years, and this film stars at the very beginning of her career.
Has a ton of never-before-seen footage and is truly fascinating. Needs some attention, so maybe not a good choice for the treadmill.
THE IMAGINEERING STORY (Disney+, documentary series) – I wanted to be an Imagineer and build park attractions for Disney after watching this show. It’s a great peek into how the parks were built, from concept to execution. Even covers the recent Star Wars additions to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and some upcoming projects.
This series is great if you like learning everything about Disney, or you want to be an Imagineer or you just like peeking behind the curtain.
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (Netflix, dramatic film) – Will Smith as a single dad, doing what it takes to raise his young son and lift his little family up out of their circumstances. San Francisco is hard enough, and this dude starts from the bottom and works hard to build a better life for him and his kiddo.
You’ll cry. Just to warn you.
THE MIND, EXPLAINED (Netflix, documentary series) – I like to learn more about how things work so I know how to fix them when they break, or understand more about why they malfunction in the first place.
Brains are no exception. With five episodes based on memory, dreams, anxiety, mindfulness, and psychedelics (and narrated by Emma Stone), maybe you’ll get an insight that will help understand your brain.
MASTER CHEF (Hulu, reality series) – I just really like food television, and watching home cooks go from spaghetti and meatballs to these beautiful artistic plates is pretty inspirational.
Plus a lot of the contestants have fascinating back stories, so there’s a little bit of drama if that’s your bag. This is a definite treadmill run kind of show.