Our Favorite Stress-Free Entertainment

By: Cassy Joy

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When life is hectic, zoning out with some good ole stress-free entertainment is all you need to get your mind off of the crazy around you! 

woman in a brown leather chair reading a book

Today, we’re bringing you 10 each of movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, and music for the days that you need a quick escape to a different world! Books are my favorite way to escape – there’s nothing like getting lost in Hogwarts (Harry Potter, anyone?!) during a stressful season of life. We’re confident that these shows, movies, podcasts, books, and songs will provide some relief from your hectic day-to-day. 

Books to Get Lost In

Escape to a different world with a book! There’s nothing quite like cozying up with a good book, and if you’re more of an audiobook listener, consider downloading Libro.fm and getting 3 books for the price of 1, plus support your local bookstore with code: FEDANDFIT. 

  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore – On her 19th birthday, Oona begins time-traveling each year and experiences the rest of her life out of order. It is completely addicting, full of life lessons, and really emphasizes the role of fate and family.
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid – With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown-up. 
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Taylor Jenkins Reid is a master at re-creating past eras. In this book, you're transported back to the days of old Hollywood to follow aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo, who is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. 
  • Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave – Eight Hundred Grapes is a story about the messy realities of family, the strength (and weaknesses) of romantic love, and the importance of finding a place to call home.
  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – City of Girls is a unique love story that takes place in the New York City theater world in the 1940s and follows protagonist Vivian as she tells her life story.
  • Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – Cassie Hanwell is a shining star as the only female firefighter in her Texas firehouse, but when she has to make the move to Boston to care for her ailing mother, she isn't exactly welcomed by the old-school Boston fire crew. The Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt book about vulnerability, forgiveness, and courage.
  • Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson – Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s matchmaking great-aunt, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
  • My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella – Katie's life is a daily struggle, so she finds herself taking refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts. Then, just as she's finding her feet and a possible new romance, she gets fired and has to retreat to her family farm. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and Katie must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
  • On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle & Jen Hatmaker – These days, so many voices tell us what to do, what to think, and what kind of parent or friend or spouse to be that it's easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Somewhere in the midst of online arguments and crazy politics and the ups and downs of life, we've lost sight of the gifts that are all around us: kindness, love, mercy, and joy.

3 tv show posters - schitts creek, grace and frankie, and the good place

TV Shows

If you’d prefer an engaging feel-good series, here’s your list! 

  • Pick of the Litter (Disney+) – Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind, the ultimate canine career. This one is guaranteed to make you feel good!
  • Love is Blind (Netflix) – In this reality show, singles who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like, have signed up for a less conventional approach to modern dating. This is the ultimate turn-your-brain-off show. You'll easily find yourself sucked into this drama!
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Hulu) – Jake Peralta, an immature, but talented N.Y.P.D. detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt. This show is hilarious, easily bingeable, and keeps storylines light.
  • Schitt's Creek (Netflix) – When rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt's Creek. Schitt's Creek is easily the funniest show on this list, and almost nothing bad ever happens – Schitt's Creek is the perfect place to escape to in this crazy time!
  • Outlander (Netflix) – This romantic tale adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s popular series of fantasy-romance novels focuses on the drama of two time-crossed lovers. Sometimes, there's nothing like a good, swoony love story to distract you from everyday life. The combination of romance and fantasy here makes for an addictive show!
  • The Good Place (Hulu and Netflix) – Four people and their otherworldly frienemy struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good. The Good Place tackles what could often be seen as serious subject matter with a lighthearted approach. It's funny, has a terrific cast, and you can easily find yourself watching for hours.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the ultimate escape about a 1960s housewife who decides to become a comic. You'll find yourself laughing out loud at Midge's stand up routines, mesmerized by the incredible costuming and sets, and falling in love with the characters.
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix) – Bakers attempt three challenges each week trying to impress the judges enough to go through to the next round and eventually are crowned Britain's best amateur baker. This isn't an American cooking competition where cutthroat chefs race to beat the clock. Instead, these participants are simply competing because they love baking. They help each other out, make incredible bakes, and keep it drama-free. It's a sweet and refreshing take on reality competitions!
  • Jane the Virgin (Netflix) – In this telenovela adaptation, a young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated. Despite the out-there premise, this fun series is truly about love and the importance of family. It is funny, full of heart, and has plenty of twists and turns that will keep you glued to your television.
  • Grace and Frankie  – Finding out that their husbands are not just work partners but have also been romantically involved for the last twenty years, two women with an already strained relationship try to cope with the circumstances together. If you loved The Golden Girls, you'll also love this show. It's funny and lighthearted and will keep you entertained season after season.

3 feel-good podcasts - office ladies, conan o brien, and the popcast

Feel-Good Podcasts

Organizing, cleaning, or cooking? Listen to one of these podcasts as you complete your to-do list! 

  • The Popcast – A weekly pop culture podcast seeking to educate on things that entertain, but do not matter. The Popcast always keeps things light and makes us laugh, plus Knox and Jamie are fantastic hosts. It's a great way to tune out and de-stress, even if you're not super into pop culture!
  • The Last Degree of Kevin Bacon Randy Beslow lost the role of Footloose to Kevin Bacon and has spent the last 30-plus years blaming Bacon for the way his life turned out. After he hits rock bottom, he snaps and embarks on a mission to hunt down Bacon and exact his revenge.
  • The Next Right Thing PodcastA weekly podcast to help clear the decision-making chaos, quiet the fear of choosing wrong, and find the courage to finally decide without regret or second-guessing. 
  • Burnt ToastFood intersects with our lives in more ways than we think. Food52's Burnt Toast podcast chases those stories to give listeners the perfect pieces of snackable dinner-party fodder—all inside of a commute's time. This one is a must-listen if you're a foodie!
  • The Driven PodcastPractical, approachable, real-life business and marketing advice with best-selling authors and serial entrepreneurs Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia. Driven is a show about how to be healthier, more fulfilled, and more effective with your work in a demanding, ever-changing, often-confusing landscape of modern business building.
  • That Sounds FunLess like a podcast and more like coffee with friends, Annie’s podcast, released on Mondays and Thursdays, features her favorite things and favorite people. Pretty much, if it sounds fun to Annie, she wants you to hear about it.
  • Conan O'Brien Needs A FriendDeeper, unboundedly playful, and free from FCC regulations, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out with the people he enjoys most and perhaps find some real friendship along the way.
  • Office LadiesThe Office co-stars and best friends, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, are doing the ultimate The Office re-watch podcast for you. Each week Jenna and Angela will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scene stories that only two people who were there, can tell you.
  • The Happy HourThe Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey is a place where girlfriends gather to talk about the big things in life, the little things in life, and everything in between. Each week Jamie and a guest invite you into their conversation, and you will be inspired, encouraged, and pointed to Jesus through every show.
  • Forever35On Forever35, LA-based writers and friends Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer dive into the self-care practices that we all text our friends about — from which serums they’re using right now and whether drugstore mascara is as good as the fancy stuff, to finding a great therapist, navigating the challenges of friendship, and what they’re making for dinner.

stress-free movies

Best Stress-Free Movies

If you’ve got enough time on your hands (and let’s be honest, most of us do right now), consider giving one of these movies a go! 

  • Faith, Hope, and Love (Netflix)Recent divorcee Faith enters a dance contest to save her dance studio, where she meets Jimmy Hope and rediscovers her faith and dreams.
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Netflix)A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)A teenage girl's secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.
  • Julie & Julia (Netflix)Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Netflix)A few decades after her original visit, Mary Poppins, the magical nanny, returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.
  • About Time (Netflix)At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
  • Always Be My Maybe (Netflix)Everyone assumed Sasha and Marcus would wind up together except for Sasha and Marcus. Reconnecting after 15 years, the two start to wonder – maybe?
  • Set it Up (Netflix)Two corporate executive assistants hatch a plan to match-make their two bosses.
  • Wine Country (Netflix)During a vacation to Napa Valley, a group of long time friends reunite and revisit past choices in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from director Amy Poehler.
  • Murder Mystery (Netflix)A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.

Music to Dance To

Pop in your earbuds, turn up one of these feel-good songs, and get some movement in with a living room dance party! 

  • Best Friends by Hillsong Young & Free
  • Daughter by Sleeping At Last
  • The Bones by Marin Morris 
  • Look Up, Child by Lauren Daigle
  • ME! by Taylor Swift
  • Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Love on Top by Beyonce
  • Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
  • Habitual by Justin Bieber
  • Love Like This by Lauren Daigle

Let us know how you like to zone out – a feel-good movie, an engaging TV show, a witty podcast, a real page-turner of a book, or some good ole jams turned way up high! Whichever you choose, we hope you find some solace in these stress-free entertainment options!

Comments

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  1. Danielle says:

    Love all of these suggestions! Thank you!

  2. Barbara says:

    Thanks! This is great!

    5.0 rating

  3. Jessica LaBello says:

    More!
    Great beat= “Everything Means Nothing If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes
    which I discovered on the new Sunday night show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” It definitely covers some more sad/heavy topics, but it does it in a beautiful, MUSICAL way that lifts you up anyway!

    5.0 rating

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thanks for the recommendations, Jessica!