Home  >  Entertainment  >  Movies

41 Best Sad Movies to Heal Your Broken Heart, Make You Cry & Feel Better

These sad, romantic movies have it all: forbidden love, saucy love scenes, cheesy lines, conflict, and drama. Pop one on to turn on the waterworks!

Best Sad Movies to Make You Cry

We all need a good cry sometimes. In fact, it is a luxury that many need: an afternoon of snuggling up under your favorite blanket, with nothing but your sweats on, chowing down some popcorn. Of course, your feel-good-crying moment is not complete without your go-to sad movies.

[Read: 66 really depressing songs to make you cry and heal you]

Sad romantic movies to cue the waterworks

Whether you got fired from your job, fought with your partner, had a breakup, or are simply in the mood for a good cry, here is a list of fail-proof, cry-your-heart-out romantic movies.

[Read: The stages to embrace and overcome loneliness]

1. Brief Encounter

If you’re the type who believes in love at first sight, then you have to watch Brief Encounter. This movie is about two people, Laura and Doctor Harvey, who meet one random day at a train station and fall desperately in love. It would all have been perfect except for one thing… they’re both married.

And so, knowing they can’t be together, they have to return to their respective boring marriages, which is the most tragic part of it all.

2. An Affair to Remember

If there’s one classic you should put on your list of tear-jerker sad movies, this should be it. Playboy Nickie and Terry fall in love while on a cruise. The thing is, they are both attached to other people.

They agree to meet again after six months, on top of the Empire State Building, after they have ended their respective relationships.

However, the heart-wrenching part starts when Terry doesn’t turn up, only for Nickie to discover that she is, in fact, wheelchair-bound.

3. Moulin Rouge

Set in Bohemian-themed, 1900s France, Moulin Rouge is a comedy-musical-love story and all sorts of spectaculars. Naïve writer Christian goes to Paris to fulfill his Bohemian dreams, only to be mistaken as the Duke by the famous courtesan Satine.

Christian is then hurled into writing a play, which Satine stars in. This play, however, is financed by the real Duke of Monroth, who was promised Satine on the night after the play’s premiere.

It exudes all the excitement of a budding, secret love. That is until many secrets are revealed and jealousy ensues. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal & overcome it in love]

4. Steel Magnolias

It starts with the most perfect couple having the most perfect wedding. You think, “What could go wrong?” Such a wonderful couple deserves their happily ever after, right? Wrong!

Shelby has type one diabetes, which means she’ll fall seriously ill if she ever gets pregnant. Tragically, she does *of course, that’s the point of the movie, right?*.

5. Blue Valentine

What’s more tragic than a blue Valentine? This fittingly-titled sad movie follows Dean and Cindy’s marriage from the all-peaches-and-cream meeting to the gut-wrenchingly devastating meltdown as their marriage is violently plagued by Dean’s alcoholism. [Read: Marriage advice – 20 real-life tips and lessons for a happily ever after]

6. P.S. I Love You

While many sad romantic movies have someone dying in the end, P.S. I Love You has the protagonist die in the beginning—clear-cut foreshadowing that the worst is yet to come.

And come it does, as his wife reads all the letters he wrote her before he died, guiding her into a life without him. For a sad movie from start to finish, this one is golden.

7. The Fault In Our Stars

What’s more tragic than a terminally ill, yet fresh-faced, witty, and endearing teenager? Two terminally ill, yet fresh-faced, witty, and endearing teenagers… falling in love. [Read: The 20 best inspirational movies for when your motivation lags]

8. A Walk To Remember

Prepare a box of Kleenex for this sad movie. Though it’s a classic plot of a popular guy meets and falls for an unpopular, geeky girl, who transforms beautifully like an ugly duckling into a swan, you’ve just got to wait for the twist. And boy, is the twist heartbreaking.

9. The Notebook

Author Nicolas Sparks really had it going in the tearjerker department when he wrote The Notebook.

The movie adaptation has tugged at everyone’s heartstrings, from Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams’ rain-soaked kiss that made us believe in true love, to the final hours of James Garner and the Alzheimer’s-stricken Gena Rowlands’ portrayal of undying love. [Read: 59 relationship lessons and honest love advice only experience can teach you]

10. Titanic

A box-office hit, a tragic romance classic, and a surefire tearjerker, Titanic gives us plenty of things to cry over *and be frustrated about—like, hey, they can fit on that floating board together*.

It’s the story of free-spirited Jack and newly-engaged-to-someone-else Rose, and how their love can transcend social norms and economic status. But just when you think they’re about to sail off into the sunset, an iceberg ruins it all for everybody. And the rest, as they say, is history.

11. Brokeback Mountain

Who says a man-woman romance is the only romance worth watching? If you’re up for some bromance that’ll bring out the waterwork, this is the sad movie to watch.

Brokeback Mountain brings romantic love between men into the spotlight. Never has any film portrayed this love with such a tragic ending. [Read: Gay dating apps that’ll connect you with a perfect lover for life]

12. Atonement

This is a story that is both infuriating and sad. Aristocrat Cecilia and commoner Robbie fall desperately in love, despite their different economic classes.

However, they are denied their happiness as Cecilia’s jealous little sister accuses Robbie of raping their cousin. Of course, being of lower class, Robbie has no way of defending himself and therefore has to go to prison.

What is tragic about this sad movie is that it shows us that sometimes, selfish and jealous individuals can tear apart true love. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal, and overcome it in love]

13. Romeo + Juliet

An adaptation of a Shakespeare classic, this Baz Luhrman take dazzles us with the vitality and pettiness of youth, as well as the rollercoaster of forbidden love between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet.

The masquerade ball is a great introduction for the two doomed lovers, foreshadowing a tragic ending, when they both end up victims of their own plots and poison. [Read: Real soulmates – what it is, how it works, 59 secrets, and signs to find yours]

14. City of Angels

Seth, an angel, falls from the sky, giving up his powers to experience life as a human. Part of this experience, of course, is falling in love. The apple of this angel’s eye? Maggie, a surgeon, whom Seth watches save a man’s life.

What follows is their curious love affair, leaving the fallen angel feeling one of the most human emotions: heartbreak.

This sad movie is more than just sad—it’s absolutely tragic.

15. Gone With The Wind

What is sadder than wanting something you can’t have? This is the idea behind the gut-wrenching, tear-jerking classic Gone With The Wind. This is one sad, sad movie you just have to watch at least once in your life.

It revolves around Scarlett, who resists the advances of Rhett over many years, all because she is in love with a married man, Ashley. It’s a doomed love triangle, and you just have to watch it until the very end.

There’s nothing like a good cry, especially when you feel like you are against the world, or you’re about to lose the love of your life. Going through difficult times, it can feel so darn good to let it all out, sob, and bawl your eyes out.

16. A Little Thing Called Love

This is a Thai movie that gained a huge following after its showing. It’s about how a girl called Nam uses a book called “Nine Recipes of Love” to make her crush fall in love with her.

You’ll be surprised to find that this movie can make you cry like that, even when you’re watching a happy scene.

17. The First Wives Club

Three divorcees seek revenge on their husbands after their friend took her own life after she experienced the same relationship troubles. It’s a comforting story about absolution and getting to know yourself better after a huge breakup.

Aside from the life lessons you’ll learn in this uplifting and sad movie, you can also enjoy the antics of some of the best actresses who ever walked this planet. [Read: 20 baby steps to be single after a long relationship, start over, and feel fulfilled]

18. Toy Story 3

You probably didn’t expect to find a kid’s film on this list, but it’s actually a really great watch when you need a sad movie to help you cry out your tears. Because funnily enough, Woody and his friends are just as much in the same boat as you are.

Sometimes we outgrow our roles in the lives of our loved ones. We need to let them go and forge our own paths to meet new people who need us as much as we need them. [Read: 26 deep daily reminders to fix your life forever and go forward]

19. A Hundred-Foot Journey

The Kadam family leaves India in order to start a new life in France. This story revolves around a family who has lost everything and decided to follow their hearts and find a new home.

The people in this story each have their own self-actualizing journeys, and there’s a chance that you might relate to some of them. [Read: Small ways to deal with big changes in your life]

20. 3 Idiots

This story is about a group of people who went in search of their long-lost friend. As they go on their journey, they recall everything they learned while they were younger, and how their friend taught all of them how to think differently.

This film will really get you thinking about the people you’ve met in your own life and how they’ve helped to shape you. And we all know how feeling appreciative of the people around us can get the waterworks going!

21. Eat, Pray, Love

Liz has just freed herself from a life full of comfort and stability. Now she has to find herself on a journey around the world.

Maybe her experiences can give you a new perspective on life and how you can start fresh as well. No one said that nothing good has to come from a sad movie. [Read: Relieved after breaking up? 20 happy reasons why it’s a very good sign]

22. Hard Ball

When a gambler suffering from heavy debt takes a gig as a little league coach for less-than-fortunate kids in one of the toughest parts of Chicago, his life is forever changed.

He soon finds himself attached to the children he’s coaching and becomes a big part of their lives—the good and the tragic.

23. The Best of Me

Oh, Nicholas Sparks. Will he ever not make us bawl our eyes out? In this sad movie, Amanda and Dawson were fortunate enough to have found love in their high school years, but one tragic event changed their lives’ course. When a mutual old friend passes away, they’re reunited. But will it last this time?

24. Pay it Forward

When an average Social Studies teacher assigns an assignment to his junior high students, he never expected it to have a lasting impact.

When one student goes above and beyond the call of duty and creates a plan to “pay it forward,” he causes a wave of kindness that is everlasting.

25. Marley and Me

If you’re a big dog lover, this sad movie will have you crying your eyes out. This movie is one that even makes the toughest of men cry. When two newlyweds decide to add a new member to the family, they never thought a dog could change their lives—for better or worse.

26. Old Yeller

Prepare yourself, yet again, for the waterworks. When this family comes across a dog damaging one of their fields, they never expect to take a liking to the animal. As the family grows closer to the cute pup, concerns over a rabies outbreak grow, as well.

27. Dead Poet’s Society

When a high-standards, all-boys preparatory school hires a new English teacher, they get more than they bargained for.

His unorthodox methods become a concern for the parents of these eager students. With his help, students come out of their shells and learn to seize the day!

28. My Girl

This film will crack even the toughest of nuts. One girl labeled as a freak—due to her mother’s death during her birth and her father’s job operating a funeral service out of their home—has a complicated adolescence.

Things are made more challenging by her love for her English teacher and a tragic accident. [Read: Unrequited love – 58 signs, types, and steps to get out of unreciprocated love]

29. Blindside

When a wealthy, typical southern mom takes in a homeless teenager, she faces criticism and a life-changing moment.

Michael Oher isn’t just some homeless young man. He is protective, kind, and damn good at playing football.

30. Freedom Writers

A dedicated teacher takes a position at a Los Angeles school full of at-risk teenagers amid racial turmoil. When her effort to teach the students, supposedly “incapable of learning,” does more than anyone expected, the whole world is surprised.

31. The Pursuit of Happyness

Being a single father, evicted from his home, and raising a young boy by himself with nowhere to go, Chris finds his life more than a struggle.

But when he lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm that pays him no money, his life could be changed forever. [Check it out: Dating as a single parent – 56 must-knows to date a single mom or dad]

32. Keith

This lesser-known indie film will really tear at your heartstrings. A young girl thinks she has it all figured out… until she meets a guy who could change her life.

She is drawn to him, but he keeps holding back, unable to open up to her. What is he hiding? [Try: How to take care of a sick girlfriend – do it right without losing it]

33. Remember the Titans

Not many people are happy about the fact that this Virginia high school has to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school. And in a town where football is celebrated more than Christmas, it seems to be an even bigger problem… because the football teams have to integrate, too.

34. My Dog Skip

We all know that a dog can be your best friend. But Willie Morris had no idea this was possible until his birthday present came in the form of a talented terrier named Skip.

Soon, his struggle with bullies comes to an end and he even gets the affection of the prettiest girl in school. But none of this happens without hardship.

35. 12 Years a Slave

In the years leading up to the Civil War, a free black man from New York is kidnapped and sold into slavery down south. He meets with a malevolent owner, a kind owner, and a continuous struggle to survive with dignity. [Read: 19 simple ways to be a more socially conscious person]

36. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Amid WWII, an 8-year-old is swept away with his family to live near a concentration camp, where his father has become commandant.

He eventually wanders out near the camp and befriends a Jewish boy. Their naïve nature and kindness bring them more trouble than they deserve.

37. Up

It doesn’t matter how old you are, because if you are human and have a soul, this movie will make you tear up. If you watch this movie and don’t shed a tear, you have a black heart. Period. [Read: Growing together if you started your relationship young]

This movie is so sweet. There is nothing more precious than seeing Carl and his wife, Ellie, begin their relationship and grow old together.

When Ellie ultimately passes away, Carl’s way of keeping her memory alive is to have the adventure they’ve always dreamed of. He does whatever it takes to protect their memories and to keep the house they grew old together in.

38. How to Train Your Dragon

Sure, this might be a movie that appears to be made for children, but it’s actually another film that is great for all ages. Hiccup is the main character who is a misfit and struggles to find support from his father.

The underdog eventually makes his father extremely proud in the unlikeliest way, all the while forming an unbreakable bond with a dragon.

Let’s not even get into the friendship with the dragon, because we’ll probably start crying as we type this!

39. The Other Sister

Out of all the sad movies on this list, this movie by far will make you cry the most. Twenty-four-year-old Carla Tate is slightly mentally challenged. Her mother is extremely overbearing, protective, and doesn’t believe Carla will ever be able to do anything on her own.

Carla happens to fall in love with a boy, Danny, who is also mentally challenged. The Other Sister shows the relationship between the two mentally challenged people and how their love can conquer the odds.

It’s a movie that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, but it’s also a movie that will wake you up for all the right reasons. [Read: Why we need to break down the stigma of mental illness]

40. Hope Floats

This film is about a broken family, and how Sandra Bullock’s character, Birdie, handles her kids while coming to terms with the fact their father has left them for another woman.

A plus to watching this movie is that Harry Connick Jr. is in it, and he’s definitely easy on the eyes! Be sure to watch this sad movie to the very end for one of the best quotes ever written about love and hope. You can thank us later. [Read: Top 30 reasons for divorce most couples ignore until it’s too late]

41. Million Dollar Baby

There’s just something about Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank in this movie that really makes you feel every emotion from triumph to despair.

It also deals with the hard decisions and controversy surrounding taking people off life-support and trying to do the right thing to honor their wishes. This movie is inspirational, motivational, and so very sad.

[Read: 15 perfect feel-good movies for the brokenhearted]

We highly recommend these sad movies not just for movie buffs, but for those who are needing a good cry. They are also a great way to bond with your girlfriends, wallow about your troubled love lives, and just comfort each other over a good, sad, romantic movie.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...