Best movies to ease lockdown anxiety: Lord Of The Rings to Avengers

After Boris Johnson announced a third coronavirus lockdown in England, some are sure to be feeling a little down or anxious about the situation.

The current restrictions are set to remain in place until mid-February, with people being urged to stay at home, except for specific reasons including exercise and food shopping.

While the lockdown last year saw many turning to TV shows including Netflix phenomenon Tiger King, this time around might see people taking comfort in movies.

Chatting to Metro.co.uk, licensed psychotherapist and mental health expert Noel McDermott opened up about the best films to boost your mood.

‘Watching a much loved film can help boost people’s moods significantly,’ Noel explained. ‘The familiarity, the focus on things other than our own lives, the lightness allows us relief and connection for the viewer. It reminds us that things are and will be okay.

‘Rom-coms are a must at times like this and Disney Pixar films etc are always a safe bet. Comedy movies are also good as an antidote to the seriousness of all of this.’

Pyschotherapist Noel added: ‘Now could be the time to delve into all the fantasy adventure films genre such as The Lord of the Rings etc. Story and myth have been the staple of psychological soothing for years. In the modern form they come via our screens.

‘Films allow us to engage with villains and heroes which provide safe resolution of conflicts such as anxiety and depression. Movies with a storyline that involve overcoming challenging odds are an obvious choice for these times, which gives you rich pickings across the whole of Hollywood blockbusters from Battle Los Angeles to Terminator to Avengers.

‘Stories of overcoming adversity are good sources for helping move us out of the pain and fear of depression and anxiety. In many ways the less ‘real’ it is the more likely it is we will gain relief from our psychological distress. It’s why stories such as Troy persist.

Films to watch in lockdown three

From Noel’s advice, here are our top picks for films to boost your mental health and mood in lockdown:

Soul (Disney+): The newest release from Disney Pixar, Soul is a feel-good essential.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Prime Video): The first LOTR film turns 20 this year, but it’s absolutely timeless and pure escapism.

Battle Los Angeles (Netflix): The sci-fi blockbuster is all about overcoming adversity, which Noel says is exactly what we need right now.

The Terminator (Prime Video): Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic movie is sure to help you escape for a little while.

Avengers Assemble (Disney+): There’s plenty of MCU films to delve into, with Iron Man and co helming the Avengers Infinity saga.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (Netflix): Noel says rom-coms are an essential watch right now – and who are we to argue?!

Clueless (Netflix): It’s pretty easy for this 90s classic to put a smile on your face

Inception (Netflix): It can be helpful to focus your mind on something else for a while – and Christopher Nolan’s flick is sure to occupy your brain power

The Martian (Netflix): The Matt Damon movie shows an astronaut overcoming major adversity

Hairspray (Prime Video): It’s bright, colourful, and musical – what’s not to love?

‘The stories take us out of our reality but keep us in human feeling and experience and allow us to find resolution for distress.’

He continued: ‘I would encourage people to broaden their horizons…set yourself the challenge of watching genres outside your own box. So for example look for a list of the 10 most influential films of all time and plan to watch them.

‘Why not micro-blog about it and share your thoughts with your Facebook pals about the films? Teleparty is a fun way to have film nights with friends and family who cannot see each other in person.’

On the TV front, Noel previously revealed that Doctor Who is one of the best series to watch to improve your mental health in lockdown.

Meanwhile, film and TV sets are able to continue production amid the England lockdown, meaning blockbusters like The Batman and Mission: Impossible 7 shouldn’t have to shut down filming.

Plus, many films that have been delayed from 2020 are currently set for release this year, including Bond film No Time To Die, Marvel’s Black Widow, and A Quiet Place II – so fingers crossed we’ve got a great year of film releases ahead of us.

Need support for your mental health?

You can contact mental health charity Mind on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463.

Mind can also be reached by email at [email protected]

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