12 motivational movies to inspire you
Ever feel like you need a kick up the butt to get going? It's called being stuck in a rut, and let's face it, it happens to the most motivated of us! Whether you're stuck in a dead-end job, unhappy in your relationship or simply want to make some changes to your lifestyle in order to be happier and healthier, it can be difficult to take the first step. That's where motivational self-help books and movies can come in handy.
With the cold, dark weather drawing in, even the team at Expertrain HQ are in need of a bit of motivation – after all, by the time we've worked all day and been to the gym, we're feeling like all we want to do is sleep! So if you're looking to be inspired, in any aspect of your life, why not search for one of these movies in your Netflix queue and settle down with a (healthy) snack – we recommend popcorn for a nutritious treat!
#1. Yes Man (2008)
First it was a best-selling book by Danny Wallace, then it was a 2008 film starring Jim Carrey and the loveable Zooey Deschanel. It's hard to resist the feel-good factor in this film which is based around a simple premise. A man who's stuck in a rut takes a challenge to say 'yes' to every opportunity that comes his way. It might be a simple premise but it has some pretty amusing results as his romantic and professional life is turned upside down. Saying 'yes' to more opportunities is a pretty positive way to embrace life; just think about how your life could be different if you had agreed to do things you said no to! Read the book or watch the movie; or do both – we guarantee you'll feel inspired to do something similar yourself!
#2. Super Size Me (2004)
Has it really been 10 years since Morgan Spurlock convinced us it was possible to (almost) die from living off nothing but McDonalds for a month? Yeah, it might be a pretty crazy idea for a documentary, but it's definitely more fun that most food documentaries! After an hour of watching him chow down on burgers and nuggets, you'll feel inspired to kick-start that healthy eating regime and will be reaching for a healthy salad or stir-fry in no time.
#3. Run Lola Run (1998)
What's inspiring about this film? How about watching Lola race against time to save her boyfriend. It just goes to show that with the right mental attitude, anyone can run fast and have the stamina they need. If that doesn't get you up off the sofa, the cool techno soundtrack will get you energised – add it to your iPod and use it to motivate you on your next morning run.
#4. A League of Their Own (1992)
Starring a young Tom Hanks and Gina David, A League of Their Own looks at the history of baseball, when women were called up to be pinch hitters during WWII. It just goes to show that anything men can do, women can do just as well! Take the advice literally, girls, and start lifting weights today; strengthening and toning will leave you with great definition, and can help prevent shoulder and neck injuries too.
#5. Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
The film that catapulted Keira Knightley onto the A-list is still one of our favourite football films, and it's definitely not just one for the girls, even if it is girl-power packed. The main character in the film is a girl from a conservative, Indian family who won't let her play football. Perhaps you've been in a similar situation where someone else stood in the way of your goals, or are going through something like this at the moment? If you really want to do something (and it isn't hurting anyone else), you should do it – whether that's playing in a football team or taking up bouldering!
#6. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Sometimes you just want a film that will lift your mood and make you feel hopeful – step up this Russell Crowe film, which also stars Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly. It tells the true story of John Nash, who was a Nobel Laureate in Economics and is based on the book by Sylvia Nasar. Ok, so it might be about a genius paranoid schizophrenic, but it's a heart-warming film, and one for all the geeks out there; we love it!
#7. Billy Elliott (2000)
One of our favourite films has to be Billy Elliott, with Jamie Bell and the fantastic Julie Walters. It tells the story of a young boy whose father wants him to take up boxing. The only problem is that ballet dancing is where his heart lies, so he goes behind his father's back to follow his dreams. A reminder that anything is achievable and that if we're motivated enough, we can meet our goals!
#8. Girlfight (2000)
Forget Rocky, Girlfight, starring Michelle Rodriguez, showcases what a difference fitness can make to your life, and it's the perfect inspiration to get up off the sofa and go for a workout – it doesn't have to be boxing! Boxing is about overall fitness as well as throwing the punches themselves, so get prepared with our Couch Core Workout, which you could do whilst watching the movie!
#9. Dead Poets Society (1989)
We'll be honest, this movie has always held a special place in our hearts, and with the recent passing of Robin Williams, it seemed like the perfect time to rediscover it. There's no one reason why it should make our list of inspirational movies, but there's a theme running through the film that anything is achievable if you put your mind to it. Robin Williams plays a teacher at an upper-crust boys school whose sole aim is to motivate and inspire his pupils, so it's hard to watch the film without feeling inspired yourself. Now channel that inspiration into something positive and go for a run or tick some items off your to-do list!
#10. The Green Mile (1999)
This is definitely one film we don't recommend you watch if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps. On any other day though, it's a must-see and one which carries a powerful message – appearance isn't everything. You might judge someone by their appearance and think you know them, but this film, set on Death Row, proves there is good in everyone.
#11. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith as a single father who takes custody of his son and struggles to make a living is truly inspiring – not to mention his son (played by his real life little boy Jaden) is cute as a button! The message from this film is simple; put your mind to it and you can achieve anything, whether that's starting your own business or completing a fitness challenge.
#12. Premium Rush (2012)
If you haven't seen this one, you should! Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bike messenger who must dodge traffic in NYC to deliver his package and keep away from a corrupt police officer. If you need some inspiration to get on your bike and pedal your way to happiness, this is it. It's fast-paced, exciting and seriously motivating. So get out there and on your bike or take a spinning class if you just can't face the winter weather.