We live in a distracted world, so getting people’s attention is more and more challenging. Documentaries represent one of the best ways to remain aware and involved. Apart from the increased engagement with video content, documentaries compress what you need to know in a digestible amount of time.
For those who have a hard time staying current on what matters to our health, here are 16 documentaries (you can find online for free or on Netflix (US)) that will provide you benefit for years to come.
Finding Happiness and Balance In Life
Many of us are in constant search for balance. As Paulo Coelho so aptly illustrates in his bestseller The Alchemist, sometimes we don’t need to travel the corners of the earth to find happiness and balance in life. These documentaries will open your eyes to the benefits of simplicity, finding gratitude in the most basic of existences, and how to foster a happy disposition in life.
In Search Of Balance (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80164396)
In Search Of Balance explores our symbiotic connection with nature. The premise that we’re all connected is beautifully illustrated in this award-winning doc.
Inner Worlds (http://www.innerworldsmovie.com/)
Since the beginning of time people have been questioning the meaning of life. Inner Worlds breaks down the underlying truth behind all matter in the universe and takes us on a journey to better understand our place in this universe. It is easily the best documentary I have seen that explains the truth behind, and power of, being present.
Happy (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70243161)
Every human on earth strives to be happy. This award-winning documentary provides examples of those who live modestly, have undergone great tragedy, and who live in poverty, yet are all HAPPY. Prepared to be inspired.
The Fundamentals Of Caring (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80097349)
While not a documentary, The Fundamentals Of Caring is a feel good movie (starring Paul Rudd) that will give viewers hope that they too can find happiness in the most challenging of circumstances.
Minimalism (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80114460)
Two buddies take us on a journey to remove ‘stuff’ from their lives. Minimalism is a call to action for a generation that has become obsessed with material goods. From extreme examples of living on less, to a simple push to streamline our lives, Minimalism shows us an alternative way to spend our time and money.
Happy People (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70152487)
Sometimes perspective is all we need to appreciate being alive. Happy People provides examples of a near perfect juxtaposition to life in the Western World, and how they have found happiness.
GMOs, Toxins, And Their Impact On Us And The Environment
GMOs, along with the introduction of countless toxins into our environment, have become the go-to topics for progressives in the fight for control over our health and our food supply-chain. In this series of documentaries, you will not only better understand the impacts of GMOs on humans, but also the potentially disastrous ramifications of toxins on our environment.
Cowspiracy (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80033772)
While many of the statistics and comparisons need to be taken in context, Cowspiracy unveils the gross demands meat consumption places on our already-fragile environment.
The Human Experiment (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80037689)
Sean Penn narrates this deep-dive into our chemically-saturated world. While at times repetitious, The Human Experiment shines light on the magnitude of our chemical experiment, and some of the techniques big industry employs to suppress negative propaganda.
Food Inc. (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70108783)
Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan take us on a journey illustrating the deleterious effects of our modern-day food supply chain. Food Inc. exposes the dark underbelly of mass food manufacturing – such as Caged Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) – which can, at times, prove disturbing.
GMO OMG (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70272713)
There is no more controversial topic in the food world than Genetically Modified Organisms. While this documentary may have a strong bias against GMOs, it provides enough impetus to start asking questions.
The Modern Diet And The Obesity Epidemic
Most of us can agree that the Standard American Diet (i.e. SAD or the Western Diet) has failed us. Obesity has run rampant, children are being diagnosed with historically ‘adult’ diseases, and Western multinationals are drowning the public with self-serving propaganda. These 5 documentaries will help provide the necessary insight to fight back and make better food choices.
In Defense Of Food (PBS on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80097071)
In his follow-up to his #1 New York Times bestseller, Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivores Dliemna and In Defense Of Food) focuses on the pitfalls of the Western Diet. As the Western diet relies on nutrients instead of whole food (i.e. nutritionism – breaking down food into its constituents), Michael urges us to eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants. Even if you wish to continue eating meat, In Defense Of Food will help bring a perspective of balance to your dietary choices.
Forks Over Knives (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70185045)
In an effort to celebrate the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, Forks Over Knives dispels many of the myths behind a vegetarian diet.
Fed Up (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/70299287)
The title of this documentary says it all. Katie Couric narrates this hard-hitting documentary on the failures of our Western approach to food. Focusing on the spread of obesity, especially amongst our children, Fed Up uncovers the often-selfish motives of food multi-nationals.
Super Size Me (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/60034780):
In this cult classic by Morgan Spurlock, we are taken on one man’s journey in the world of fast food. Although this is an extreme example of the detrimental effects of fast food, it has exposed the downward spiral of fast foods. If only to share a different perspective and bring awareness to our disastrous Western Diet, Super Size Me delivers.
Sugar Coated (Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80100595)
Has sugar become the new tobacco? Sugar Coated makes the argument that sugar is the true villain in our fight against the wave of Western diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
We live in amazing times, where you can access thousands of documentaries for a few dollars a month. And while our lives may become more hectic and distracted, a well-chosen documentary can give us important perspective in less than two hours. If you get a chance to watch all of these docs, I guarantee that this new perspective will forever alter your wellness for years to come. Happy watching!