emotional wellbeing

Written By: DiveThru Team

Reviewed By: Lindsay Fleming LPC


15 Heart-Wrenching Movies to Cry to When You're in Your Feels

PUBLISHED Jun 2nd, 2021 & UPDATED ON Nov 17th, 2022

We’ve gotta say, there’s nothing quite like crying hard to sad movies when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Picture it: you’re lying on the couch in your comfiest sweatpants, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket like a cozy burrito. You have no plans because you don’t wanna interact with other humans (totes get it — they suck). You’re surfing through Netflix to find the perfect movie to watch. Only, you don’t know WHAT you feel like watching. All you know is that you wanna watch movies that will make you ugly cry so hard that you let out alllll those depresso feelings you’ve been holding inside. It’s time to unleash the TEARS.

Look no further, friend! We’ve got a list of some of the best movies to cry to when you have ALL the feels.

1. Up

There is such a thing as an animated movie to cry to. Don’t believe us? Up is about a grumpy old widower named Carl who decides to fulfill his late wife’s dream of travelling to South America. This one does NOT go easy on you! He ties balloons to his house to start his journey but realizes that Russell, a boy Scout, has crashed his trip. Even though there’s a happy ending (thanks, Disney!), the opening of this movie alone will have you sobbing uncontrollably. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by the first 10 minutes of Up. *raises hand*

2. The Last Song

You’ve got our girl Miley Cyrus starring in this romance so what more could you ask for, really? Miley plays Ronnie, an angsty teen who’s tough on the outside but has a heart of gold. When Ronnie and her little bro spend the summer with their dad, it takes some time for Ronnie to open up. But when she meets Will and they fall in love, her summer becomes pretty unforgettable. The Last Song is super sweet but the ending will have you grasping for tissues! (Anddd you’ll get a bonus cry just thinking about Miley’s and Liam’s big split — why can’t they just love each other?!) 

3. My Sister’s Keeper

Ohh, you want tears? My Sister’s Keeper will give you buckets of ‘em! It’s one of THE ultimate movies to cry to. Anna is a young girl who was genetically engineered as an embryo to be a bone marrow transplant for her big sister with leukemia. Anna seeks the help of a lawyer to become medically emancipated from her parents and have full rights over her own body. This story is 13/10 heart-wrenching, so you’re gonna have a permanent ugly cry face throughout the whole movie. A little warning though, if you’re currently processing grief then you might want to skip this one (it’s pretty intense).

4. The Fault In Our Stars

“Okay?” “Okay.”

You’ll be everything BUT okay when you watch this absolute tearjerker. In The Fault In Our Stars, Hazel and Augustus are a pair of teenagers battling cancer who first meet at a support group. They have an instant connection and you’ll be whisked away in their love story! Keep a box of tissues nearby, though. There’s a high risk of hysterical crying in this teen romance.

5. Marley & Me

For all of you dog lovers out there (or any animal lover, really) Marley & Me is coming to tug on your heartstrings and make you ugly cry with zero shame. You’ll meet Marley, an energetic and naughty doggo who steals the heart of his new family and brings them closer together. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of uplifting moments that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Buuut, not every movie can have a happy ending. IFYKYK.

5. My Girl

If you saw this movie as a kid, there’s a 100% chance it wrecked you emotionally. Warning: My Girl is JUST as devastating to rewatch years later! Out of all the movies to cry to out there, this is one that feels so real because you really connect to the characters. Vada, a young girl who’s morbid as heck and feels confused about death, has sooo many highs and lows in this movie. There’s one scene that will defs stick with you, so prepare yourself for the waterworks!

6. The Farewell

The Farewell follows a Chinese family who tries to quickly throw together a wedding before their grandmother’s death. Sooo, if you’re super close to your grandma/gam-gam/granny/nana, expect those tears to fall like rain. It’s gonna bring up that heckin’ sad reality that none of us ever wanna face that grandparents don’t live forever. Trust us when we say, you’ll defs wanna give your grandparents a call after this one!

8. Me Before You

After losing her job, Louisa winds up working as a companion for Will in Me Before You. Will is paralyzed from the neck down after an accident, and Lou’s sunshine-and-rainbows demeanour starts to have a positive effect on Will’s cynical outlook on life. There are some tender moments that will melt your heart, but fair warning: some moments are absolutely heartbreaking! Okay, who’s chopping onions?!

9. Good Will Hunting

Leave it to the absolute legend Robin Williams to simultaneously bring a smile to your face AND make you sob uncontrollably. In Good Will Hunting, he plays Dr. Sean Maquire, a psychologist who supports math genius, Will Hunting, through an emotional crisis while helping him realize his potential. There won’t be a dry eye in your living room when you hear these tender words from our guy Robin, “It’s not your fault.” OOF, that line gets us every time!

10. The Notebook

Probably THE romance movie of all romance movies to cry to, but The Notebook still has sooo much more to offer than ooey-gooey feelings. This movie will set your heartbreak radar off the charts! Allie and Noah fall in love one summer before they’re torn apart by their totally opposite lives. The story is told by Duke, an elderly man who reads to dementia patient Ms. Hamilton from an old notebook (hmm, what could THAT mean?!). The ending is the definition of bittersweet, so you’ll be crying happy/sad tears before the credits roll!

11. The Pursuit of Happyness

Some of the best tearjerkers out there are alllll about family. In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a father who has fallen on incredibly hard times. His wife has just left him with full custody of their son (played by Will Smith’s real-life son, Jaden!), and he’s working as an unpaid intern at a brokerage firm. It’s based on a true story and, luckily, there IS a happy ending here. But, that doesn’t mean the bumps along the way are any easier! *reaches for the tissues*

12. About Time

This movie right here is an emotional rollercoaster. In About Time, Tim has the ability to travel to moments in the past. So epic, right?! He decides to use this gift to improve his love life and win the heart of a girl named Mary. But as his life goes on, Tim realizes that he can’t undo everyyy bad thing that happens without losing other parts of his life that he loves. There are some on-point but ultra-sad life lessons in this movie, so you’re guaranteed to ugly cry!

13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Joel and Clementine go through a nasty breakup, and Joel later learns that Clementine had her memories of their relationship completely erased in a procedure. Joel then decides to undergo the same procedure, hoping that erasing the memories will take away his heartbreak. He re-lives the memories of their relationship as it’s erased, starting with their very last fight. You will be in your damn FEELS with this one!

14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about Charlie, an introvert and kind of a loner. He’s nervous to start high school and has been struggling to fit in since losing his best friend to suicide. Once he joins a carefree group of seniors who truly care for him, Charlie starts to learn more about himself and finally faces his past trauma. This coming-of-age movie will give you sooo many nostalgic feels about growing up and start those waterworks pronto, we promise!

15. Inside Out

We’ll finish the list off with another animated movie that’s fo sho gonna keep those tears flowin’, and that’s Inside Out. Inside young Riley’s mind, she’s got five core emotions that control how she feels and acts: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. When her emotions become wayyy out of control, Riley starts to distance herself and can’t seem to cope with her new life. This story is not only touching, but it gives you a ton of insight into your own feelings! And we LOVE talking about our feelings here at DiveThru, so we give this pick 5 gold stars!


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