Documentaries That Will Improve Your Life

Watching films can often prompt a flurry of emotions for the viewer; laughter, sadness, anger, curiosity or gratitude, to name just a few. One of the mediums that has the most significant effect on the viewer is the documentary, a genre which, thanks partly to streaming giants like Netflix, has risen up to become one of the most popular film genres in the UK in recent years.

Documentaries exist primarily to inform, but they can also inspire. While many docs serve to draw attention to burning injustices across the world that you may not have been aware of, others help to inspire the viewer to change their life for the better, and give tips on self-improvement. Here are some documentaries that you must watch if you’re looking to improve your life.

Food Inc.

A must-watch for those looking to live and consume more ethically, as well as take better care of their health. Food Inc. shows how the gargantuan global food industry keeps the supermarket shelves stocked with toxic processed foods, often sourced in an exploitative manner, despite many of the foods appearing healthy and ethical. This film about the illusion of choice shows the steps you can take to improve how you eat.

Grizzly Man

Have you ever considered packing in the rat race to live amongst the wild things? That’s exactly what Timothy Treadwell did. He lived among grizzly bears in the North American wilds for thirteen years, before tragically meeting his end at the hands of one. It’s an inspiring tale of a man who pursues his passions, regardless of the sacrifices he must make.

Show Me What You’re Made Of

Breakthrough BBC documentary presenter Stacey Dooley has won global fame for the attention she’s been able to draw to injustices across the world. Despite her having recently participated in Strictly Come Dancing, which Paddy Power special bets has her on 6/1 odds of winning, she still managed to find the time to shoot this eye-opening documentary series. It follows British children as they leave their comfortable lives in order to pursue the toughest jobs in the world, be it a bricklayer in New Delhi, a sweatshop worker in Vietnam or a cocoa farmer in Ghana. It’s an immensely humbling series which reminds us to be grateful for our own privileges, and to work hard to change things.

Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things

Minimalism is so much more than a Scandinavian design trend, as this thrilling documentary teaches us. It’s about learning how to determine which things are truly important in life, and which things are dragging us down, be it possessions, attitudes or personal relationships. It shows how we can all borrow lessons from this global lifestyle movement, in order to make our lives lighter, calmer and more efficient in the long-run.

Documentaries entertain us, but they can also enrich us. Anything that leaves you more informed about the world around you after viewing is always worth experiencing, while anything that teaches you how to improve your life is a must-watch.