When life gets tough, few escapes are as reliable as a good TV show. When you find one that feels like a warm blanket, you can return to it over and over again. And if you're ready to add more great shows to your comfort viewing playlist, you're in luck: Whether you're in the mood for a sweet family sitcom, a goofy cartoon, or a hilarious workplace comedy, there are so many heartwarming TV shows to choose from.
From family comedies like One Day at a Time and Kim's Convenienceto relaxing reality shows like Nailed It! and Queer Eye to animated delights like Bob's Burgers and Steven Universe, these shows are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Read on for the best feel-good shows streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, and Disney+ below.
Who needs therapy when you can listen to Oscar Isaac tell you about noodles? This docuseries, a collaboration with the Calm app, is designed to realign your chakra, lower your blood pressure, and chill you the F out through gorgeous imagery and narration by celebs like Nicole Kidman and Keanu Reeves. Each episode covers a different topic -- Lucy Liu tells you about coral reefs, Priyanka Chopra Jones discusses chocolate -- and, provided the viewer is ready to pay attention, dim the lights, and settle in, the effects are potent. [Watch on HBO Max]
This groundbreaking sitcom ran for eight seasons on UPN and the CW and depicted friendship among Black women with a level of warmth and complexity rarely seen before or since. It stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Jill Marie Jones, Persia White, and Golden Brooks as four successful friends going through the ups and downs of life together. It was created by prolific producer Mara Brock Akil, and is ripe for rediscovery, as it's hit Netflix in honor of the 20th anniversary of its premiere (and Brock Akil's new Netflix deal). [Watch on Netflix]
Ann M. Martin's cherished books about a gaggle of girls who set up their own baby-sitting business are updated for modern audiences with Netflix's new adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club. I know what you're thinking: "For real, TV Guide? The Baby-Sitters Club?" Yeah! The show is a delight for all ages, faithfully adapting the books while also adding in episodes dealing with important current-day topics, such as transgender visibility and racism. It's light and refreshing family-friendly TV, perfect for an easy binge with the family when everyone's looking for a positive attitude adjustment. [Watch on Netflix]
The show that gave us international treasure Will Smith holds up as one of the best sitcoms of the '90s. As the show's iconic theme song tells us, the premise is a classic fish-out-of-water scenario, with Smith's character (also named Will Smith) being sent away from his West Philadelphia neighborhood to live with his rich, conservative aunt, uncle, and cousins in Bel-Air. Fresh Prince is still funny -- the physical comedy! The way James Avery delivers his every line! -- and, most importantly, it has such a good heart. It's the kind of show that reminds us that it's possible to find family anywhere, and of the ways people are capable of changing each other's perspectives. -Allison Picurro [Watch on HBO Max]
As is the case with many shows that were under-appreciated during their time, Community's dedicated and passionate fandom has only grown in the years since the series finale aired back in 2015. Though it started out as a pretty standard comedy about six people who become friends while attending a quirky community college, it quickly revealed itself as something special, a joyously weird show that reveled in its own weirdness. The rapid-fire jokes, the nonstop pop culture references, the high-concept episodes, the guest stars, the core cast's commitment to all the absurdity -- all those elements make up for the show's rockier moments, and it's enough to make Community the kind of watch that will leave you wanting to quote every line with your friends. -Allison Picurro [Watch on Netflix, Hulu]
Mike Schur's critically acclaimed comedy starts by following a group of strangers navigating their afterlife in "The Good Place," but the NBC standout turns into so much more. Known for unpredictable twists that repeatedly change the series' entire trajectory, The Good Place expertly balances whipsmart humor with emotionally resonant, serialized stories and thoughtful mediations on existential questions, such as what it means to be a good person. But what makes The Good Place such a necessary watch is its message: that everyone is capable of self-betterment, and that by building community centered around doing good, you really can change people's lives, and maybe even the world, for the better. [Watch on Netflix]
It's pretty baffling that Superstore isn't as talked about as some of the other comedies on this list, because what do they have that this NBC comedy doesn't? If anything, the other shows should be jockeying to claw out of Superstore's shadow because it has one thing they'll never have: Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi). The soft-spoken big box store employee consistently delivers some of the funniest lines on TV -- but Sandra isn't the only one on the series who doesn't get her mainstream due. The entire series is operating on all cylinders at all times; it has a fantastic ensemble cast, a fresh and off-kilter sense of humor, a willingness to get weird, and a lot of important things to say. You'd be pressed to find a show doing a more incisive take on workers' rights than Superstore, and its exploration of what it's like to be an undocumented immigrant sheds vital light on this important issue. [Watch on Hulu]
When you first see the title of this Disney+ series you either think the show is completely unhinged or must have a great sense of humor. Fortunately for all of us, it's the latter. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is an incredibly clever, self-aware, and heartfelt series about a group of teens putting on a school production of High School Musical. Whether you were a fan of the original Disney Channel film or not, this sweet mockumentary series will win you over and prove that even such an obvious nostalgia play as this really can be the start of something new. [Watch on Disney+]
This endearing reboot of the Norman Lear sitcom follows war veteran and single mother Penelope (Justina Machado) and her Cuban-American family, including her suave son Alex (Marcel Ruiz), activist daughter Elena (Isabella Gomez), and her theatrical mother Lydia (Rita Moreno). One Day at a Timehas earned a passionate fanbase for the way it covers important issues -- like PTSD, coming out, and immigration -- with a sense of hope and perseverance. It's the type of comedy that will make you laugh as much as it makes you cry, but always leaves you feeling good. [Watch Seasons 1-3 on Netflix, Season 4 on CBS and Paramount+]
Co-created by father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, Schitt's Creek kicks off as the Rose family -- businessman father Johnny (Eugene Levy), actress mother Moira (Catherine O'Hara), aesthetic-obsessed son David (Dan Levy), and socialite daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) -- lose everything, including their fortune and their more fortunate friends. As a result, the family is forced to relocate to Schitt's Creek, a small town populated by an array of eccentric and lovable locals. Only after they have been stripped of everything else do the Roses begin to find value in something they had never truly appreciated before: love -- of themselves, of each other, and of opening up to new possibilities. This kind-hearted sitcom is devastatingly sharp, breathtakingly optimistic, and impossibly tender. It also features O'Hara doling out some of the most delightful diction in line deliveries ever put on screen, which should be reason to watch alone. [Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime via IMDb TV (free with ads)]
It's very easy for reality competition shows to feel mean-spirited or stress you out while watching, as you pray your favorite contestant doesn't get cut. Nailed It!avoids both of those potential pitfalls with its unique premise. You see, this isn't a baking show in which experts push themselves to reach new heights. It's not even a show in which amateurs come to improve. Instead, Nailed It! gathers together a few home bakers each episode who then attempt to create impossibly advanced treats -- not because they think they'll do a good job, but because they're just down to have fun while trying. Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer and chocolatier Jacques Torres, Nailed It! treats every contestant with respect and kindness, and its refreshing attitude about embracing mistakes is a lovely addition to the TV landscape. [Watch on Netflix]
This Canadian series is far more subversive than its familiar sitcom trappings would lead you to believe. Following a family of Korean-Canadians who run a convenience store, Kim's Convenience is both a clever take on immigrant family life and a laugh-out-loud screwball comedy. Watching the stubborn Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) slowly reconnect with his reformed bad boy (and devastatingly handsome) son Jung (Simu Liu) or daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) try to assert her independence without upsetting the doting Umma (Jean Yung) will raise your spirit, warm your heart, and have you laughing out loud. [Watch on Netflix]
This long-running Fox comedy is perfect if you're looking for a nice long binge. The animated series follows the Belchers, a working class family who run a burger shop in a seaside community filled with A+ weirdos. The show's quirky comedy blends with smart takes on class divides and heartfelt stories that showcase just how much the Belchers always love and support one another. And even 11 seasons in, Bob's Burgers continues to be belly-achingly funny thanks to its willingness to take risks and commit to even the weirdest bits with gusto. [Watch on Hulu]
Is any show more calming than The Great British Bake Off? Also known as The Great British Baking Show, this serene baking competition gathers together a group of contestants in an idyllic pastoral setting where they're faced with a series of baking challenges each episode. Although a contestant is eliminated each week, The Great British Bake Off doesn't mine the show's competition for interpersonal drama or attempt to exploit anyone's more competitive nature. Rather, the show seems designed to help everyone do their best, allowing them to live at home with their families in between competition rounds and stay relatively grounded throughout filming. It's a lovely and charming series, and the only real con to streaming it is you'll likely find yourself with an insatiable craving for treats (free of soggy bottoms, of course). [Watch on Netflix]
For anyone who may be frustrated with the current state of society, you may want to escape into the world of Pawnee, Indiana. Once you make it through the Mike Schur comedy's bumpy first season, Parks and Recreation becomes a heart-healing escape that leaves you with a feeling that not only is positive change possible, but that anyone can be the vehicle for that change if they so choose. Sure, no one will ever have the boundless optimism, superhuman energy, and staggering competence as Pawnee Parks Department employee Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), but maybe you have the biggest heart like Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), the keen intelligence of Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), or even just the luck of falling upward like Jerry Gergich (Jim O'Heir). Always funny and always kind, watching Parks and Recreation is like a balm for your soul when you need it the most. [Watch on Peacock]
If you thought Steven Universe was just for kids, you have been missing out on one of the purest shows on TV. The coming-of-age series focuses on a young boy who protects the world with the Crystal Gems, his family of magical, humanoid aliens. Half-gem himself, Steven straddles the human and alien worlds and themes of self-love, acceptance, and family give the series a lot of its heart. On top of Steven Universe's uplifting messages, there's so much else to praise about this jubilant series; the astounding animation is a visual feast, begging you to get lost in Steven's world, and the show's well-plotted world-building provides an overarching narrative that will quickly hook you in. Steven Universe is as enjoyable a watch for adults as it is for kids, so don't write off this lovably goofy series simply because it aired on Cartoon Network. [Watch on Hulu]
It's wild that one of the most kind and joyful shows on TV is about a group of NYPD detectives, but that's just one of many ways Brooklyn Nine-Nine subverts expectations. What started as a typical workplace comedy, complete with a no-nonsense boss (Andre Braugher) and manchild employee (Andy Samberg), quickly evolved into a riotously funny ensemble series that breaks sitcom form by not only allowing its characters to grow, but actively encouraging it. Between its heartfelt character development, memorable one-liners, and the annual heists, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will have you giggling with glee and grateful that there are seven seasons and counting of this feel-good show. (An eighth and final season is on the way.) [Watch on Hulu]
In only two years, Netflix released five seasons of Queer Eye and ordered a sixth. This intense output is reflective of just how much fans have latched onto this reboot -- and to the new iteration of the Fab 5: Jonathan, Tan, Antoni, Bobby, and Karamo. Together, these men have not only helped improve the lives of the "heroes" they meet each episode, but their messages of self-love have also had a positive effect on viewers. So if you're looking for a little self-care, let Queer Eye's Fab 5 work their magic. [Watch on Netflix]
Set in Northern Ireland in the '90s, the hilarious Derry Girls follows four local teenage girls and their English friend James who attend a (mostly) all-girls Catholic school. With Ireland's political unrest acting as the series' backdrop, Derry Girls puts a humorous spin on what it was actually like to grow up during the Troubles. The show's core group of friends are more often concerned about everyday struggles, such as winning the favor of the hot local priest, than the army checkpoints or violence throughout the region. But that doesn't mean Derry Girls makes light of the issues, nor that it can't deliver an emotional gut-punch when you least expect it. [Watch on Netflix]
If you don't find what you're looking for here, check out our comprehensive guide to what to watch, which features more recommendations for streaming than you probably realized were even available from the comfort of your own couch.