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Love yourself: Top 5 self-love movies of all time

In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up with all the negativity that swirls around us. Some deal with negativity and hate by reading their favourite books, some find excuses to step out and get some fresh air, others find solace in traveling but then there’s a group of us (like me) who would rather dunk our spoons in a tub of ice-cream and comfort ourselves with a good movie.

Movies, to me, are a great way to past time yet learn valuable lessons about love and life. Yes, they require a great amount of time to finish however, that is why I truly appreciate it when I come across one that proves worthy of my time.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 self-care movies that inspired and motivated me to become a better person during my darkest days:

Not in any order of importance

1. A Beautiful Mind

Based on math genius John Nash’s applaudable life story, the movie depicts how a schizophrenic young gentleman with a great mathematical mind chose to remain positive and fight his own battles. A young Nash (played by Russel Crowe) from Princeton found out that he had schizophrenia but instead of shutting himself out from the world, he embraced it and took his abilities to greater heights.

With much persistence and determination, the late genius Nash decides to turn a deaf ear to negative comments and goes on to eventually win a Nobel Economics Prize award, followed by an Abel Prize; making him the first human to acclaim both prestigious awards.

Even after eighteen years, this four-time Oscar winning film proves to contain an important life lesson that all of us should adhere to: Choose your battles wisely.

Learning to filter out negative comments and working towards a clear goal despite the adversities was what I personally learned from this incredibly inspiring movie.

2. Peaceful Warrior

Ahh, this one. I never paid much attention to this movie at first but when quotes from this movie started popping on my social media news-feeds, I knew I had to lend my time to this one. Never regretted it. Dan (played by Scott Mechlowicz) had it all- athletic talent, handsome looks, deep voice, pretty women and great friends. Despite those, he felt a constant disappointment with himself. A sense of gloominess always danced around him and he found himself deeply troubled (much like my younger self haha).

But one day, he meets an old wise man (Nick Nolte) who opens his eyes to the limitless possibilities that surround him. Then, the journey of Dan’s self-discovery begins. A classic inspirational movie that teaches us to love ourselves and write our own stories.

The quotes from this movie speaks for itself: “Death isn’t sad. The sad thing is: most people don’t live at all” and “Everyone tells you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers. They want you to believe theirs.”.

3. The Pursuit of Happyness

Yes, of course this movie would be in my top 5. As cliche as it sounds, did you actually think I’d write a self-care movie review and not include this powerful and amazing movie, beautifully chronicled by Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith.

Note of caution: If watching this movie, stand by your tissues coz you about to flood your couch and end up with soggy popcorn.

An ordinary salesman tries to find the meaning of life after facing several adversities such as divorce, homelessness and a huge responsibility: his son. Struggling with poverty while being left stranded by his wife, the story follows a man who gravitated from rags to riches with sheer determination and courage.

Needless to say, a movie full of great quotes and inspirational values relatable to all walks of life.

Definitely a true testament to the quote: “If you work hard and long enough, the sky is your limit”.

4. If I Stay

A family of four musicians live in Portland, with the daughter of the family Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) being an ardent Beethoven fan. She embraces the cello like her own and awaits an acceptance letter from Julliard, a well-known school in New York.

The happy-go-lucky content family shatters one day when a car accident claims all their lives, leaving Mia to be the only survivor. As she slips into a coma, Mia has to fight for her life while going through a spiritual out-of-body experience: meaning she exists and starts living in a world outside of her physical body state.

Orphaned, she’s not given a choice to either live or not to live. If she lives, a great musical career and wonderful grandparents will be there to embrace her. But she dies, she gets to be with her parents and her younger brother in the arms of God.

After watching this movie, I discussed in length with my partner: “What makes life worth living?” Is it our relationships forged? The materialistic things in life? The pursuit of goals and dreams? What is it that makes life beautiful and worth living? This is a very relatable movie for those who have lost a loved one and are healing from the loss.

A film with a message that reminds us to not dwell on our grievances and hardships but rather to look for the small beauties in life with contentment and joy.

5. Slumdog Millionaire

Yes, I saved the best for the last. Where do I start with this amazing film? It had one too many values that every human should abide by: Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Love, Perseverance and most importantly, the art of being humble.

This 2008 British drama film narrates the story of a young poor Indian orphan who’s a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and has been accused of cheating after answering each question correctly. As he attempts to answer each question, he recalls of his life story from young till date of how he knew the exact answer to each question. Many questioned his intellect by saying: “How can a poor slum orphan like him know the exact answers to all the questions?”

Despite facing harsh criticism, bribery, negativity and oppression, Jamal (beautifully acted by Dev Patel) went on to become the winner of the show, pocketing a million dollars at that young age. The 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Picture reminds us to always have faith and trust in ourselves despite what others think or say. Jamal’s fight for survival during his slum days has taught him to never give up and be thankful for our blessings.

Experience is the best teacher. Some things cannot be learned by the books but only through real life experiences.

There you have it- my top 5 movies that teach us to always take care of ourselves, love ourselves and be contented with what we have. Life can be hard sometimes, therefore taking a few precious moments of your day to sink into a heart-wrenching and valuable movie wouldn’t hurt. After all, a great film with inspirational tales, underdog heroism and moving stories of overcoming hardships is what strikes through our hearts and inspires our souls.

PS: Standby tissues for 1,3 and 4.

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