15 Feel-Good Shows Because Ted Lasso Didn't Invent Heartwarming TV (2022)

Ted Lasso, Gilmore Girls, and other shows that will help you escape reality and just enjoy the good vibes.

by Blake HarperBuzzFeed Staff

It's been a tough time for pretty much everyone for the last 18ish months, and sometimes, facing the reality of day-to-day life can feel overwhelming. That's why everyone needs a feel-good show to allow them to ignore all the pesky nuances and complexities of existence in favor of a world where everything is neatly wrapped up in less than a half hour. If you are looking for your next go-to feel-good favorite, look no further. Here are 15 of the best feel-good shows that you can start streaming now.

1. Bob's Burgers (2011–)

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20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

What sets Bob's Burgers apart from other animated family shows is that the joke is never on the Belchers. While The Simpsons and Family Guy have fun taking shots at their respective families, Bob's Burgershas nothing but affection for the entire Belcher clan, celebrating their quirks (like Tina's affinity for butts and Gene's excessive use of fart noises) rather than disparaging them. As a result, the show has a distinctive sense of camaraderie that makes you wish you could head to Seymour's Bay and chow down on one of Bob's pun-inspired burgers. And the cherry on top of the feel-good sundae that is Bob's Burgers is the show's original songs, which are far better than they have any right to be and will be stick in your head for days at a time.

Watch it on Hulu.

2. Broad City (2014–19)

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Comedy Central / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Soul mates are typically thought of as romantic partners, but Broad Citychallenges that notion, as it's hard to deny that Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) weren't made for each other. Their borderline obsession with each other is unquestionably the core of the series, and watching them delight in their friendship will fill your heart with joy. They even balance each other out perfectly, with Abbi's measured pragmatism complementing Ilana's impassioned impulsiveness. And no matter how shitty their jobs are or how much they struggle with relationships, the duo know that they can always count on their other half. If you have a friend you love more than anyone else on earth, this is the show for you.

Watch it on Hulu.

3. Cheers (1982–93)

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Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

Don't we all dream of a place where everybody knows your name? That's the primary appeal of Cheers. The beloved sitcom created a world where, no matter if your wife isn't speaking to you or you just got laid off, you can always head to Cheers and enjoy an ice-cold beer while all your worries melt away. Cheers is basically what we all wish bars were like: not too crowded, staffed with a charming collection of barkeeps and waitstaff, and bar seats filled with lovable so-and-sos who casually doll out wisecracks and nuggets of surprisingly profound wisdom. The bar may not really exist, but you can feel like you're there by watching all 275 episodes. So take a seat and relax; they'll always be glad you came.

Watch it on Peacock.

4. Derry Girls (2018–)

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Channel Four/ Courtesy Everett Collection

Shows about teens tend to delve into melodramatic territory, but one of the most grounded teen shows is Derry Girls, which follows Erin(Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her friends as they navigate life in Northern Ireland during The Troubles in the '90s. Despite the complex nature of the show's setting, Derry Girls remains a mostly lighthearted affair. Erin, Clare (Nicola Coughlan), and the rest of the titular Derry Girls are mostly focused on the type of mundane things teens tend to actually think about, like dating and figuring out how to ditch school to go to a Take That concert. Bonus feel-good points for everyone's impossibly charming Irish accents, as you could listen to them talk about the differences between Protestants and Catholics all damn day.

Watch it on Netflix.

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–96)

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NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air begins as a classic fish-out-of-water story, with street smart Will (Will Smith) is sent to live with his relatives, the wealthy Banks family, in Bel-Air after he gets into some trouble back in Philly (you all remember the theme song). But before long, the show became an undeniable feel-good fest, as it's impossible not to smile as you watch Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) dancing to Tom Jones or Jazz (DJ Jazzy Jeff) getting tossed onto the curb by Uncle Phil (James Avery). And even when the show gets real, it remains extremely heartwarming. Who can forget Uncle Phil comforting Will after his dad once again walks out on him, proving he's the father figure Will never had growing up?

Watch it on HBO Max.

6. Gilmore Girls (2000–07)

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The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Plenty of criticism has been leveled against Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) over the years. Acknowledging the Gilmore privilege is more than fair, but the reason most of us continue to rewatch is because it serves as a fantastical escape from the consistently grim reality we exist in every day. The most comforting part of this fast-talking mother-daughter duo's world is Stars Hollow, the cozy Connecticut small town where everyone gathers for town meetings and starts their morning with a cup of joe at Luke's. They even have a town troubadour! No matter how bad of a day you've had, you can always take comfort in knowing that all you have to do is call the Gilmore Girls' name, and they'll be there on the next train (not literally, but you get the idea).

Watch it on Netflix.

7. The Golden Girls (1985–92)

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Touchstone Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

What a drag it is getting old — but not when you're living with three of your best friends in a sweet house in Miami. Despite their old age, this fiery foursome has not lost a step, and seeing them all trade barbs and lob one-liners at each other is every bit as comforting as falling asleep under a weighted blanket. After hours of watching their hysterical banter, you will thank Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), and Sophia (Estelle Getty) for being your friends.

Watch it on Hulu.

8. The Great British Baking Show (2010–)

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Channel 4 / Courtesy Everett Collection

Cooking shows are typically centered around the idiom "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen," with the likes of Gordon Ramsay chewing out aspiring chefs about their inability to make the perfect risotto. But The Great British Baking Show takes a decidedly different approach, as the show cultivates a positive and supportive environment where nobody is getting mocked or derided for making a mistake under pressure. Getting to see Mary Berry (now Prue Leith) and Paul Hollywood praise an amateur chef for nailing a difficult dish is as delicious a treat as anything you'll see on the show. It's the anti-reality show of your dreams.

Watch it on Netflix.

9. Happy Endings (2011–13)

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ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

When Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) leaves Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the altar, their longstanding friend group has to figure out how to keep everyone together. Don't let the premise fool you — this is an extremely low stakes show where each week this delightfully kooky crew gets into all sorts of wacky shenanigans that are inevitably resolved by the time the end credits roll.Happy Endings has a bit more snark in its sense of humor than other ensemble sitcoms, but the bond shared between these six wacky Chicagoans is entirely unbreakable. The only thing that won't make you feel good while watching Happy Endings is that it was tragically cancelled after just three seasons.

Watch it on Netflix.

10. Insecure (2016–)

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Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Insecure isn't a show that's afraid to delve into darker themes, including Issa and Molly's friendship breakup last season. But no matter how bad things get, the core connection between the two is an unabashed heartfelt tribute to how the people in your life can help you navigate through even the toughest of times. And the celebration of friendship extends beyond Molly and Issa, as the show is at its strongest when Kelli (Natasha Rothwell of recentWhite Lotus fame) and Tiffany (Amanda Seales) are around. Seeing this delightfully hysterical group talk shit and laugh about everything and nothing in particular will make you want to plan a night with your best pals this weekend.

Watch it on HBO Max.

11. Living Single (1993–98)

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Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Six friends living in New York City are desperately trying to navigate their late 20s while surviving through their love for each other. Sound familiar? It's not Friends. It's Living Single, the superior show that Friends copied, and remains one of the essential feel-good shows nearly two decades after it premiered. The enduring legacy of the series is its characters, as Living Single creatorYvette Lee Bowser told Ebony Magazine that"people say our characters remind them of themselves, their friends or their relatives. They all know someone like one of the characters." And whether you relate toKhadijah (Queen Latifah),Synclaire (Kim Coles), or any of the rest of the crew, you'll have a damn good time watching them live their best lives together.

Watch it on Hulu.

12. Joe Pera Talks With You (2018–)

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Cartoon Network / Courtesy Everett Collection

Joe Pera is a mild-mannered middle school choir teacher enjoying his aggressively low stakes life in small-town Minnesota. Each episode, Joe discusses a new topic that he discusses with the viewer, ranging from teaching you how to dance to growing a bean arch. A lesser show would treat the Midwestern lifestyle as a joke, but insteadJoe Perafeels like a sincere celebration of life's ordinary pleasures. What really makes Joe Pera Talks With You such a feel-good show is Joe himself, as it's an absolute delight watching him discuss the simple joys of life like discovering a new song you love or figuring out what you're going to buy at the grocery store. And every episode is only about 10 to 12 minutes long, which makes it very easy to put a quick one on or watch 3 or 4 in a row.

Watch it on HBO Max.

13. Schitt's Creek (2015–20)

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POP / Courtesy Everett Collection

Another feel-good show set in a small town, the premise of Schitt's Creek suggests you might be tuning into a dark comedy, as a rich, out-of-touch family is forced to relocate to the aptly named Schitt's Creek after they lose everything. But even though the Rose family is introduced as judgmental, spoiled narcissists, they all become better, more empathetic people over the course of the show as they learn to love their quaint Canadian hamlet. The town may be filled with kooky characters, but nobody is treated like a punching bag or looked down upon. Even when Moira (Catherine O'Hara) is casually doling out biting insults to her fellow Schitt's Creek residents or Roland (Chris Elliott) is getting on Johnny's (Eugene Levy) last nerve, the love shared between everyone in this charming small town remains intact.Schitt's Creek is never afraid to wear its sentimental heart on its sleeve, and that makes it feel like the viewing equivalent of some truly fantastic comfort food.

Watch it on Netflix.

14. Superstore (2015–21)

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NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

When business school dropout Jonah (Ben Feldman) starts working at Cloud 9, a superstore, his slacker attitude quickly causes him to butt heads with10-year floor supervisor Amy (America Ferrera). But their icy relationship slowly cools as they get to know each other, and along with the rest of the store's staff, they form a familial-like bond that demonstrates the camaraderie you can have at even the most miserable job.Superstore's greatest strength is its dynamite ensemble cast, as Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nico Santos, and the rest of the ragtag crew will make you wish you could give up your job and work a few shifts at Cloud 9.

Watch it on Peacock.

15. Ted Lasso (2020–)

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Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

At the start of the series, our beloved American coach has his fair share of skeptics, including AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham). But Ted manages to win them (and millions of viewers) over through his Midwestern charm, love for groanworthy wordplay, and exceptional baking skills. While the Apple TV show is not afraid to dive into some darker topics, the overall tone ofTed Lassois unapologetically hopeful, which allowedit to become one of the most beloved shows on streaming. Not even the world's biggest curmudgeon would be able resist enjoying watching Ted and his "Diamond Dogs" resolve any issues they have through moral support and clear communication.

Watch it on Apple TV+.

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