Need a few amazing recommendations for your next movie night?
I got you covered!
Today I’m sharing three of my top must-see documentaries in the genre of mindset, motivation, and inspiration.
You’ve probably never heard of them before, but hopefully by the end of this newsletter you will feel inspired to give them a shot!
And, by the way, two of the three documentaries are completely free to watch online!
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
My first movie recommendation is Finding Joe. First off, it’s free! (You can watch the full movie on YouTube.) Second, it’s the perfect watch for anyone who’s feeling a little stuck or lost in life.
Let me give you a little background on why I think everyone needs to see this movie.
The documentary-style film dives deep into the hero’s journey, a concept named by famous mythologist Joseph Campbell back in 1949, and it’s the archetype of the main character in almost every TV show, book, movie, religion—you get it.
The beautiful thing about the hero’s journey is that we’re all on one, and Finding Joe walks us through how its themes can relate to our own lives. A person wakes up from the dissatisfaction of their reality and is summoned to go on an adventure of self-discovery (i.e., the hero’s journey).
On this journey, they must summon the courage to overcome challenges and, through these challenges, break free from their past to transform into the person they’re meant to be. Then, after conquering the battle, the hero returns home to tell their story. And the cycle repeats.
The documentary features the hero’s journeys of celebrities like Laird Hamilton, Rashida Jones, and Tony Hawk and how following their bliss was key to leading a life of intention. The title of the film, Finding Joe, is a nod to Joe Campbell and symbolizes the hero’s journey that exists within all of us so we can go on to fulfill our life’s purpose.
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Descending the Mountain
I’ve been pretty open about my interest and excitement with everything that’s happening right now in the world of psychedelics. This led me to have my own experience with psilocybin in a controlled setting with my family and to sit down with the world’s leading experts, Dr. Roland Griffiths and Dr. Rick Doblin (who, by the way, was the first person to introduce me to this movie), to learn more about psychedelics’ nature for expanding consciousness and treating mental illness.
The documentary-style film follows neuroscientist, researcher, and consciousness expert Franz Vollenweider and Zen priest Vanja Palmers as they conduct their clinical trial to study the effects of meditation combined with psilocybin on self-transcendence and personal change.
Meditators on the last day of a mindfulness group retreat with no experience in psychedelics were randomly assigned to take psilocybin or a placebo. Throughout the film, Franz explains the effects of psilocybin on the brain and how it promotes neuroplasticity and can help change how we think and approach life on a personal, political, and global scale.
The study’s findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, explain the scientific advantages of psilocybin for anyone (not just those with mental health challenges!) to help us better connect to ourselves, each other, our environment, and the universe at large. I highly recommend it to anyone curious about this world. It’s available on Gaia or Prime Video.
Turn it Around
The work of Byron Katie has had a tremendous influence on my life and the lives of my sisters, colleagues, and business partner, Dr. Mark Hyman. Turn it Around is a movie that walks us through a simple yet powerful self-inquiry exercise that Byron Katie developed through her own life experience.
In the movie, we oversee one of Byron Katie’s workshops and watch as she walks a handful of people through four questions designed to challenge the thoughts that cause us pain, sadness, and strife.
There’s something wildly inspiring about witnessing people confront the beliefs they’ve held onto about themselves for their entire lives.
Byron provides examples of how to do this with a woman grappling with the loss of her brother, another terrified of getting her heart broken, a man who feels unattractive, and many others. Watching Byron take these individuals through her questions and seeing them shed their stories in real time is incredibly moving and motivating.
This film resonates with me because it teaches us how to become the observer of our thoughts instead of taking them as gospel. It reinforces the idea that, regardless of our life’s circumstances, we are the only ones who can unlock the freedom of our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves by tapping into the wisdom inside us.
Watch it here for free.
I hope you get a chance to watch these three movies, and if you do, I’d love to hear what you think! Send me an email and let me know your thoughts, and if you have a friend or loved one who is looking for something to watch for their next movie night, please forward this newsletter to them!