TV Shows To Watch During Tough Times

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.

We asked you, the BuzzFeed Community, which TV shows got you through times that may have been particularly rough. Here are 22 shows that people relied on for a nice break from reality until things got better.


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine


“I started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine when I was going through a really lonely time. Watching it made me laugh and smile. The show helped remind me how important friendships are.” —emmanz

Watch it on Hulu.


Jane the Virgin


Jane the Virgin really does a great job of not only distracting me from all my problems, but also bringing me a sense of comfort.” —saarahh311

Watch it on Netflix.


30 Rock


30 Rock! It got me through a rough year. It’s great because you really have to pay attention to pick up on a lot of the jokes (which makes it a good distraction from real life), plus it’s hilarious. Even though life now is pretty great, I️ still watch it when I️ have bad days.” —emilyadochio10

Watch it on Hulu.


This is Us


This is Us. I don’t think I’m alone when I say This is Us is one of, if not the most, relatable shows on television. Having a man like Randall who dealt with the same struggles I went through got me through some rough times.” —andragnewman

Watch it on Hulu.


Parks and Recreation

Nbc / Getty Images

Parks and Recreation helped me through a time I was going through a divorce, lost my job, and struggled being a single mother. I understand why Amy Poehler said playing Leslie Knope was good for her soul.” —whitneyt43c2218ea

Watch it on Netflix.


The Good Place


The Good Place! I was going through a rough time a few months ago, when I was feeling so bad about myself and I got the feeling that nobody could stand me. This show helped me appreciate myself and value my real friendships.” —a402635290

Watch it on Hulu and Netflix.


Schitt’s Creek

Not a Real Company Productions

Schitt’s Creek! I was going through so much last year and was falling into depression. I couldn’t get through days without breaking down in tears. With Schitts Creek, I knew I could laugh and feel happy for 22 minutes every night before going to bed. I binged through the seasons quickly and now watch an episode whenever I need a little pick me up after a rough day.” —mee111

Watch it on Hulu and Netflix.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Warner Bros.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has gotten me through multiple periods of my life where I felt like I had nothing else. Its depictions of mental health awareness, female friendships, and bisexuality are unbeatable. Plus, all of the songs are incredible. I recommend it to anyone who’s in a funk or really just anyone.” —rebekahs43b57efc4

Watch it on Netflix.


Impractical Jokers

NorthSouth Productions

“It may sound stupid but, Impractical Jokers. At a time when nothing was going right, I was having panic attacks and I had zero support. This show was the only thing that made me laugh and forget about all my problems even if it was just for one minute.” —izzie14

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

20th Century Fox Television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had always loved it and then I binge-watched the series when my marriage ended after I was cheated on. It allowed me to totally escape into another world, be inspired by a strong lead female character, and to vent my feelings at the sad parts. The hotness of Angel and Spike didn’t hurt either!” —helend4a7ddfcf3

Watch it on Hulu.


Gilmore Girls

Warner Bros.

Gilmore Girls! I lost my mom in 2018, only a few short weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer. I had never seen a single episode, so experiencing the bond that Lorelai and Rory shared for the first time made me remember all the good times I had with my mom. I sped through the whole series in no time and still go back from time to time if I’m ever missing her. This show brought me so much happiness and positive memories during one of my darkest times.” —amdrebes7

Watch it on Netflix.


How I Met Your Mother

20th Century Fox Television

How I Met Your Mother. When I was 28, I went through a divorce and felt like I would never find happiness again. I felt lost, old, and completely directionless. HIMYM starts off with everyone in their late twenties and none of them have life ‘figured out.’ It sounds silly, but that helped me realize that I’m going to be just fine. If Ted Mosby can navigate life at 28 in search for ‘the one,’ I can do it too.” —ashh49e475734

Watch it on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.


Boy Meets World


Boy Meets World! These past few weeks we’ve had to deal with the coronavirus lockdown as well as my dad being diagnosed with mouth cancer (he just got out of the hospital after his operation and is looking well!) but it’s been so tough. Rewatching Boy Meets World has brought me so much joy and escapism during this period of time. I get so much comfort out of that show!” —myprovincialife

Watch it on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.


Doctor Who

BBC Studios

“When I was suicidally depressed in college, there were days where literally the only thing stopping me was that I’d never see a new Doctor Who episode. It got me through some awful times, and, as a bonus, helped me connect with my sister. I introduced her to the show and we watched the new episodes together for years.” —thetasigma

Watch it on Youtube TV.


One Tree Hill

Warner Bros.

One Tree Hill. I was in my early twenties when I started watching this. I was struggling with anxiety, depression, and trying to adult for the first time. The way the story lines intertwined, the characters, and all the music just spoke to my soul. It also helped me realize that even people who seem to ‘have it all’ were probably struggling like I was, but they were just better at hiding it.” —kaylaannb

Watch it on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.



Warner Bros.

Mom. I started watching it after a really bad night. I fell in love with the characters, story line, and lessons; it felt like a therapy session by proxy. It acknowledges that people can be terrible, but they can change for the better if they want to and if given the chance. And it’s okay if you mess up, as long as you’re ready to accept that you did and start cleaning it up. Love this show!!” —haleymc

Watch it on Hulu.


The X-Files

20th Century Fox Television

“When my anxiety and depression were at their height after a personal loss, I started watching The X-Files, mostly because it was something to do in the evenings besides think about how shitty I felt. Seeing those two characters who had experienced so much loss and trauma but kept fighting for what they believed in really comforted me and helped me feel like there was a way to still have purpose and joy after rough experiences. It’s still one of my favorite shows, and I watch it whenever I need a pick-me-up!” —peace-joy-understanding

Watch it on Youtube TV.


My Mad Fat Diary

Drama Republic

My Mad Fat Diary. Growing up I had a bad eating disorder and self harmed. Watching that show was life changing. Seeing someone else go through the same struggles and it being realistic was incredible. Seeing the ups and downs the character went through made me feel less alone. Seeing that she was still loved despite her struggles made me know that I’m beautiful the way I am. I will forever be thankful for the show.” —bamitsbeth79

Watch it on Hulu.


The Great British Bake Off

Love Productions

British Bake Off is so lighthearted and wholesome. I had only been with my boyfriend for a couple months when he got really depressed. It was nice to watch a show where everybody helped each other out and encourage one another. Now we are married and have been together for four years.” —merrishaniquab

Watch it on Netflix.


Star Trek: The Next Generation

Paramount Domestic Television

“As a teenager growing up in an abusive home, Star Trek: The Next Generation got me through really dark times. When I was barely holding on, the hours I spent with my best friends Geordi and Data kept me going until I found my better life. I lost myself in that show to the point that the world around me disappeared. I am alive because of Star Trek.” —grisstle

Watch it on Netflix and Hulu.



ABC Studios

“I dealt with suicidal depression in my twenties, and I’d argue that the show that kept me alive was Scrubs. It made me laugh, but also reminded me why life is worth living.” —saraho41e36cc6f

Watch it on Hulu.


And The Real Housewives of Atlanta

True Entertainment

“Surprisingly, watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta was a great form of escapism when I was going through depression.” —jamiec46cf21396

Watch it on Hulu.

There you have it! Is there a TV show that has gotten you through a tough time? Leave us a comment below if there’s a show you think we missed!

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