5 Empowering Movies and Shows to Watch on Netflix

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Alexandria OCasio Cortez
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As women, many of us seek empowerment anywhere we can to uplift our spirits and remind us that anything is possible. Everyone’s journey is unique, and having others we can look up to can really make a difference when navigating a range of life-changing decisions and transitions. No matter how old you are, an empowering story and role model can enhance your overall mood and motivation, providing you with the extra fuel you need to go after your dreams with nothing but excitement for what lies ahead.

Netflix, which has been a streaming service favorite for many years now, provides just that inspiration at the click of a button or two, offering shows and movies to reference and enjoy as you evolve and mature in your personal and professional life. Here are five series and movies in particular that can provide you with the boost you need to believe in yourself, follow your heart’s desires, and chase the passions that matter most to you.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

TV Series

Sometimes, all you need is a good laugh to get yourself out of your bad mood and into the mindset you need to achieve your goals. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, an American sitcom, is a great example of the monumental impact a positive attitude can have in your life when you’re experiencing lots of unexpected twists and turns — some more emotionally draining than others.

In the beginning, you’ll watch as the show’s main character, Kimmy Schmidt, gets rescued from a religious cult, leading her to explore a brand new life in none other than New York City. While the show is at its core a comedy, watching as Kimmy breaks free from her cult’s conditioning to build a new life for herself is nothing short of inspiring.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Brené Brown: The Call to Courage


A world-renowned author and motivation speaker, Brené Brown shares her knowledge and wisdom in Brené Brown: A Call to Courage. A former Ted Talk guest speaker and interviewee on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, Super Soul Sunday, Brown combines heartfelt and authentic advice with a compelling sense of humor that will have you thinking about life in a more positive and uplifting way.

Throughout the movie, Brown invites viewers to take a personal inventory, accept themselves (including their flaws), and celebrate their growth; three key aspects of living a more authentic and fulfilling life. Not only will you feel more empowered after watching the film, but you’ll also gain a new role model to look up to as you learn how to capitalize on your own individual strengths.

Brene Brown Call to Courage
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Dead to Me

TV Series

Dead to Me is another great show that offers a compelling narrative that will have you looking at life through a different lens. Centered around a woman named Jen, this series is all about regaining purpose and meaning in life after experiencing a terrible tragedy. Having lost her husband and searching for answers about what she should do next, Jen befriends a lady named Judy from her grief support group. Shortly after, they bond over the tragedies that have occurred in their lives, learning many lessons from each other’s pain.

Starting off as strangers, these women quickly become unofficial sisters, overcoming their grief together while also navigating their new friendship, which, as we all know, often comes with its own unexpected challenges. Throughout the show, you’ll learn that, regardless of what happens in your life, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel; you just have to know where to look for it.

Dead to Me POster
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Knock Down the House


In Knock Down the House, the underdogs — unconventional and out-of-the-box thinkers — step up to the plate to transform the world of politics. Working against the currents of inequality and marginalization, these brave women, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, choose to be leaders in a plot that will surely have you sitting at the edge of your seat. Throughout the film, you’ll watch as each woman fights to overcome an array of challenges, as well as witness the unity among a courageous group of souls risking their lives for a cause bigger than life itself.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Selling Sunset

TV Series

Selling Sunset is a go-to series for reality TV lovers who are searching for some motivation in life. This show follows a group of dynamic and elite women who work for The Oppenheim Group, a male-led company famous for its dealings in real estate. These women are tasked with proving their worth by skyrocketing the firm’s success, and they are definitely the right people for the job.

If you’re a woman working in a male-dominated field, this series is a great reminder of what happens when you tap into your potential, follow your intuition, and stay focused on the end goal. While these women have many forces acting against them, they’re a prime example of what happens when you tune into how powerful you really are.

Selling Sunset Poster
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix