Favorite Books and Movies on Healing
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Favorite Books And Movies On Healing

Film and literature (or any kind of art really) have always played a big role in shaping the way we experience not just the world around us, but our own lives too. And while healing is a complex, continuous and non-linear journey, after certain personal tragedies that I faced earlier this year, I couldn’t help but fall back on some of my most favorite books and movies on healing to help me push through.

~ Favorite Books And Movies On Healing ~

Favorite books and movies on healing

After having written a very short but personal post on the biggest blow I took this year so far, it only feels fair that I share a post about the stories that helped me get back on my feet. Most of these movies and novels were released years ago and are super popular, so chances are you have already seen them or read them. But experiencing them again after going through a specific flavor of grief really made me appreciate the brilliance of these stories even more. Here they are.

1, Bridge To Terabithia (Film)

Favorite Books And Movies On Healing

The first movie that comes to my mind is Bridge To Terabithia. As a child, I had loved this movie because of the heartbreakingly beautiful story and the amazing visuals. But now as an adult, and specifically as someone who has recently experienced loss, rewatching this movie was a stark reminder that life never stops for you–and no matter how difficult it may seem, you can move on and do more in honor of those who are no more.

2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower (Film + Book)

Favorite Books And Movies On Healing

There is SO MUCH I could say about The Perks of Being A Wallflower, both the movie and the book on which the movie is based on. Very rarely do I ever come across a story that truly captures what it is to grow up as a soft and sensitive child, and it is even rare for me to come across a story that captures all the different kinds of tragedies the people around us go through.

3. The Lovely Bones (Film)

Favorite Books And Movies On Healing

Grief is the central theme of the movie The Lovely Bones, and the gorgeous way that this movie captures how death and tragedy can impact the lives of those who are left behind to deal with the aftermath is hands down one of the best cinematic portrayals to ever exist. The entire message of the movie is this: through grief and pain, connections and love is formed, and we find the strength to move on.

I cannot help but think about this as I recall how some of my newfound friendships here in Canada grew stronger and deeper following the tragedy that happened to our class a few months ago. A few weeks before my friend passed away, he had taken us along with his old childhood friend on a hiking trip. That trip was the start of a new friendship for all of us, and in the wake of his sudden death, the rest of us eventually grew as close as family.

When I think of The Lovely Bones, I cannot help but think of how beautiful it is that even in times of loss and pain and grief, we can find ways to heal each other–together–and be all the better for it.

Note: I want to point out that when I mention The Lovely Bones on this list, I am only referring to the movie and not the book that it is based on. I would not encourage anyone to pick up the book on which the movie is based, considering the role that the author had played in sending an innocent man to jail for 16 years and her subsequent lack of accountability after he was finally exonerated.

4. Encanto (Film)

Favorite Books And Movies On Healing

Next on my list of favorite books and movies on healing is a masterpiece made by Disney, and it’s one that talks about healing from generational trauma. While it may not be the kind of healing movie people watch when they have lost someone, I found it comforting just the same, especially with it’s beautiful exploration of family and generational trauma.

5. A Series Of Unfortunate Events (Film)

I have never really read any of the books A Series of Unfortunate Events, however, the 2004 movie adaptation had always comforted me as a child. Something about seeing three other children navigating grief and loss and still being there for each other, and comforting each other with love and support, feels incredibly healing.

6. All My Rage (Book by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

One of my favorite young adult, coming-of-age stories, All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir is such a gut-wrenchingly beautiful story about two Muslim teenagers navigating the immigrant experience and trying to make their own space in a country where they are not only unwanted but constantly treated with suspicion and more than a little bit of aggression and racialized hate.

It’s a story about trying to survive when everything seems to be falling apart. It’s a story about making bad decisions when faced with a crisis. It’s a story about accepting responsibility and finding the courage to stand up for yourself and do better. And while I certainly cannot relate to the experiences of the characters in All My Rage, their story of resilience when the odds were stacked against them always gives me hope, which is why this is one of my favorite books on grief and healing.

7. The Little Prince (Book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

The Little Prince book cover

This is definitely a classic, but something about The Little Prince seems to reach in and touch my soul in a way no other book has ever done before. It’s difficult for me to think of this book as a children’s book, when the story itself is such a profound reflection of the pain and carelessness of adulthood. The Little Prince is one of my favorite books on grief and healing because it reminds me of all the things that had left me more than a little jaded growing up, and then showed me the way to be happy again despite having lost that innocence of my childhood.

8. I’ll Give You The Sun (Book by Jandy Nelson)

I'll Give You The Sun book cover by Jandy Nelson

Full of flawed, imperfect characters who constantly make the wrong decisions in fits of grief and anger, I’ll Give You The Sun is such a gorgeous story about a brother and a sister who lose their way in the wake of a tragedy in their family, before finally healing and finding their way back to each other again in forgiveness and love. I have read this book at least 3 times if not more, and every single time, I find something new and beautiful in this story.

With that, I wrap up my list of my favorite books and movies on grief and healing and finding hope when everything seems to be falling apart. If there’s any movie or book that brings you comfort, or helps you find peace, share the recommendations in the comments below! <3

Favorite Books And Movies On Healing



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