Ah, good ole’ Netflix. One-third of my life is spent scrolling on this streaming app, only to end up watching the same episode of The Vampire Diaries from 2011 (for the fourteen-billionth time). But once in a while, something magical happens. In between my endless scrolling, I land on a documentary. Finding a quality documentary on Netflix can be dangerous, because one minute you are dabbling with the story, and the next minute you’re getting sucked into a whirlpool of mind-altering information. So I beg you, after you’re done binging Season 3 of Stranger Things, check out this list of hidden gems waiting to be found – you won’t be disappointed. Plus, I just saved you an hour of scrolling. You’re welcome! 

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Blackfish

If you’re ready to go on an emotionally-intense roller coaster, this is the documentary for you. Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, the captive orca that was involved in multiple deaths at SeaWorld as well as the emotional and physical toll captive orcas experience. This documentary explores the 1983 capture of Tilikum, and the harassment that he faced by other captive orcas at Sealand of the Pacific. The documentary shares real-life footage of attacks on trainers as well as interviews with the people who were witnessing Tilly’s life from a behind-the-scenes perspective. The amount of real footage in this documentary is what keeps you glued to your TV screen. 

Brené Brown: The Call To Courage

The second that a psychotherapist recommended this documentary to me, I ran home and asked my boyfriend if we could watch it during our weekly date night. We cuddled up with a glass of wine and listened to Brené Brown discuss the importance of vulnerability. We usually try to make our date nights light-hearted, but Brené has a way of speaking to you that feels comfortable. It led to an amazing one-on-one conversation afterward (plus she’s SUPER funny and relatable). So whether you’re alone and need a gentle reminder to explore vulnerability or you’re trying to spark a new conversation with your partner, I highly recommend you check this out! 

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Fyre

Fyre Festival was marketed as a luxury music festival with intent to promote an app for booking music talent, but it ended up being one of the most notorious fraudulent festivals to date. Not only is this documentary hilariously bizarre, it explores the power influence and social media have on our generation. You get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on the making of the festival as well as how Billy McFarland and Ja Rule were able to completely manipulate thousands of people to spend millions of dollars by promoting social media influencers such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Kendall Jenner. You are guaranteed to laugh and experience so many W-T-F moments watching this disaster unfold. 

The Magic Pill

I’m not going to lie. I was super disappointed when Netflix removed the documentary Fed Up (now available on Amazon Prime), but I was also really excited to find my next favorite health documentary – The Magic Pill. This documentary is a character-driven narrative, following five different people trying to make serious changes to their health. Doctors, patients, scientists, chefs, farmers, and journalists from around the world to discuss the different ways we are dealing with illnesses based on popular dietary movements. You watch as these five individuals adjust their diet to be high-fat and low-carb including both plants and meats. What I love about this documentary is that it debunks the idea that low-fat diets are healthy. In fact, low-fat diets can deprive the body of essential building blocks we need for optimal health according to their research. This documentary will change the way you view how food is marketed to us. 

Amanda Knox

The case is one of those enticing stories that you can’t pull away from. This documentary explores the trial of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend who were twice convicted and later acquitted of the murder of her roommate while they were studying abroad. Amanda shares her side of the story as well as her experience with serving prison time in another country. The hardest part about this documentary is having to decide whether or not you believe that she was wrongfully convicted. What do you think? 

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