Movies that’ll help you properly destress during finals week

Close-up of a young woman lying on the bed in front of a laptop
Anya Sapozhnikov/File

It’s that magical time of the year again: finals week. We’ve been waiting all semester, through endless midterms and stress acne, and we’ve finally arrived. It’s time to kick our butts into gear and pull some all-nighters. Seeing that stress is inevitable this time of the year, why not take some time for yourself and watch a few movies? If you’re at a loss for a feel-good movie that won’t remind you of how single or stressed you are, check out the following list.

“Mean Girls”

Who can watch anything written by Tina Fey and not laugh? “Mean Girls” is a classic and should definitely be watched at any time possible, especially when life’s getting you down with essays, presentations and 80-question tests. Plus, Lindsay Lohan pre-blonde hair and constructed accent is a gem.

“Almost Famous”

Live out your dreams as a groupie or a Rolling Stone journalist with this beautiful film. It’s the perfect way to fantasize about a life as a rock star or just as someone who follows them around. It’ll definitely take your mind off that research paper you’re trying to finish. If not, maybe you’ll change your topic to be about rock bands.

Any Disney movie

Honestly, any Disney movie ever is usually a good move, but we’d suggest “Tangled,” “Mulan,” “Aladdin” and “Frozen” to get you going. Don’t limit yourself, though: “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic and shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes all you need is a little singalong to “I’ll Make a Man out of You” from “Mulan” to destress, refocus and crush your finals week.

“No Strings Attached”

While this may serve as a slight reminder of your single life, it’s actually worth it because Ashton Kutcher is shirtless several times. He also does sad eyes sometimes, which will both comfort you and make you feel better about your life. Not to mention, the guy who plays Nick Miller in “New Girl” (Jake Johnson) plays Kutcher’s best friend, so do yourself a favor and watch this movie after you study a little bit (a very little bit).


Zac Efron. Seth Rogen. Need we say more? This movie will make you laugh and feel like you just went to a frat party. Basically, this means no FOMO, because that’s really one of the hardest things about studying: when your friends are doing other fun stuff.

“SpongeBob Squarepants Movie”

We’re not sure how this animated film didn’t win an Academy Award. It’s got a great message, a singalong number and a cool mermaid with the voice of Scarlett Johansson. It’ll bring back happier times, such as those Saturdays when you had nothing to do besides watch SpongeBob and Patrick go jellyfishing. Ah, the memories.

“Pirates of the Caribbean”

Adventure! Treasure! Weird skeleton people! Just to clarify, this is the first movie of the series. The one where Orlando Bloom is pining after Keira Knightley, aka the best one. It’ll satisfy all your adventure cravings and leave you ready to bust out an all-nighter. Just kidding, please get some sleep #selfcare.

“Love Actually”

OK, so while this may in fact remind you of your current state of singleness, it’ll also get you in the mood for the upcoming holidays. So, it’s actually a win. You can really feel the love in this one (hence the name) and it’ll help you cruise through finals. Hot chocolate optional.

Extra pro tip: avoid “The Graduate” at all costs. It’s messed up and may provoke your internal crisis about what you’re doing with your life. Plus, the main character seems to be dealing with serious depression, and that’s just not addressed. You get it. Don’t do it, but do take time to yourself this finals week, because you deserve to take a break with a good flick! Happy destressing!

Contact Hailey Johnson at [email protected].