Inspirational Documentaries for Recovery

film strip - documentary

Sometimes the stories of others add to our motivation.

When choosing to live a healthier life, aspects of inspiration help center your focus and intention. From motivational memes on social media to podcasts filled with aspiring goals to thousands of self-help books, it’s easy to get a boost just when you need one the most.

Another medium, film, provides an opportunity to sit with someone else’s story and follow that journey. As you see real-life accomplishments unfold, you’ll reconnect with what matters most on your personal quest for a better life.

Documentaries to Help Inspire You

Here are just a few movies that help you recognize the power of perseverance, the triumphs over adversity, and the importance of setting an intention for success.

Into the Wind

The story of Terry Fox’s challenging decision to run alone across Canada in 1980 caught the attention of the world. Fox lost one leg to cancer, so as a “regular guy” with a prosthetic leg, he accomplished “something superhuman only because he had the determination to do it.” It’s an inspiring sports story that demonstrates how the mind and body work together to accomplish amazing things. This 2010 documentary was directed by Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns’ NBA star and head of the Steve Nash Foundation.

The Shift

The creators of this film believe “each of our individual stories reveals a hero’s journey, with moments of discovery, awakening, transformation, and vision.” Since community is a major part of living a healthful life, this film shares messages from inspirational leaders who help you understand how you belong and why that matters for your wellbeing. Commentary about shifting consciousness includes notables such as Marianne Williamson, author of The Age of Miracles; Russell Brand, actor, comedian, recovery advocate, and author of Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions; and Stephan Dinan, founder of The Shift Network.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

For members of a certain generation or two, no afternoon was complete without time spent watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. This documentary reinforces the gentle love and devotion Fred Rogers shared with millions of children and adults for more than 30 years, simply by reminding them of their innate goodness, purpose, equality, and right to have lives of quality. Rogers’ died in 2003, but his legacy of kindness lives on through this documentary and recurring episodes on his website. Watch him walk through the door singing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and you’re bound to feel a little more uplifted.

We Are Not Done Yet

Overcoming trauma takes care and time. In this documentary, veterans and active-duty personnel share their experiences and use their words to create a moving performance of survival. Almost 20 percent of veterans who participated in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have PTSD, and more than 30 percent of female veterans suffered military sexual trauma. Through art and unity, the servicewomen and servicemen in this film formed new healing paths without addiction. We Are Not Done Yet is a project of the Community Building Art Works organization, which helps former and active military members heal through art therapy.

Finding Joe

Joseph Campbell was a respected professor of literature and comparative mythology and religion. His most renowned works, including the TV mini-series and books The Hero’s Journey and Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, established the thinking “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again,” among other pivotal points of consciousness. This documentary, featuring Deepak Chopra, Avika Goldman, Rashida Jones, and others, helps individuals understand their heroes’ journeys, with direction to “follow your bliss” by “conquering your dragons” and understanding that in what we do with our lives, we’re all heroes.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

“Problems are what make us grow.” “Life is always happening for us, not to us.” “Authenticity will lead to a rich life.” These and other affirmations are just a few of the hundreds provided by Robbins, considered a motivational locomotive. More than four million people have attended his live inspirational seminars. This documentary follows one annual event, Date With Destiny, and the stories from its participants, as well as a peek at Robbins’ evolution from a chaotic, abusive childhood to a worldwide phenomenon for business and personal development.

How Cottonwood Adds to Your Motivation

When you’re ready to make a significant change in your life and health, Cottonwood Tucson has extensive resources and expert personnel to guide you every step of the way. We treat the whole person with dignity and value to help our clients begin their journey to recovery.

For more information about Cottonwood Tucson, Arizona substance abuse treatment center, call (800) 877-4520. We are ready to help you or your loved one find lasting recovery.

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