3 Netflix Shows That Will Make You Want to Live More Mindfully

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Netflix has become an amazing platform where new and alternative voices can shine and find their niche audiences. Every once in a while (and progressively more often), they have a break-out show that captures the attention of the mainstream. What can be surprising is what becomes popular and why. 

In a world where we are glued to our screens and have curated—if not filtered—experiences of what it means to be human, these three shows have risen above the rest to show that people are craving a return to simple and mindful times. 

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Chef’s Table - Mindful Eating

This show aired its first season in 2015, but is timeless in its format and message. Each episode is a 40-50 minute documentary that centers on a different chef around the world—diving into their life stories and experiences that led them down the path to becoming the chefs they are today, as well as how they create their innovative dishes.

Aside from the obvious food porn showcased throughout, this show is an exercise in becoming more mindful of our eating habits, where our food comes from, and what it means to truly eat well. The title sequence alone is mesmerizing, combining time-lapse shots of delicious tablescapes, dishes, and chefs at work from the given season with an undertone of classical music. 

The intention and passion behind these food creations remains at the forefront of each episode. And through each chef’s eyes, we fall in love with a different aspect of food while also connecting on a deep level to the human experience. 

My favorite episodes include: 

Volume 1, Episode 3 on Francis Mallman

Volume 3, Episode 1 on Jeong Kwan

Volume 4 (Pastry), Episode 4 on Will Goldfarb

Volume 5, Episode 2 on Musa Dagdeviren

Volume 6, Episode 3 on Asthma Khan

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Tidying Up with Marie Kondo - A Mindful Home

I read Marie Kondo’s book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, several years before the show aired. I made the mistake of starting the book one night before bed and finished the first chapter at 11:00 pm. So I did the only thing I could before falling asleep: I reorganized my sock drawer. 

Needless to say, her methods are effective!

So when the show was announced, I couldn’t have been more thrilled for the opportunity to see Marie Kondo in action. Tidying Up takes the main concepts of Marie’s methods and follows 8 different families, each with their own dedicated episode, on their journey to getting organized, with Marie’s help of course. 

Marie embodies mindfulness, taking the time to sit on her knees, close her eyes, and intentionally greet the space where she is about to help tidy for each family. You can see the change that occurs in each person just from that act alone. She also shows each person how to thank the items that they are letting go of, rather than throwing them into a pile without a second thought.

Though the show is not perfect—with 30-40 minute episodes it is hard to dive deep into each of her concepts and I felt that certain family dynamics and issues were trivialized as if “solved” on the basis of having an organized home—what it does offer is hope that all of us are capable of organizing our lives. 

Whether we get rid of items or just rearrange them. Whether we always have time to fold our clothes using the KonMari method or whether we’ll need to reorganize every year (Spring cleaning, anyone?). Whether we are able to get all of our family members or roommates on board or are in it alone. Marie shows us that even one aspect of her method—changing how we fold our clothes or finding a new way to organize important documents—can physically impact how we feel about our lives and ourselves. 

My favorite moment was when one family member told Marie to “work her magic,” and she replied, “I’m sorry to say I don’t use any magic, only you can do that.”

My favorite episodes include: 

Season 1, Episode 3 The Downsizers

Season 1, Episode 4 Sparking Joy After a Loss

Season 1, Episode 5 From Students to Improvements 

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Black Mirror - Mindful Technology Use

It took me several tries to get into this show. The biggest reason I had trouble was that it begins Season 1 with what I think is the most disturbing episodes of the series (and that’s saying something!) I recommend starting with Season 3, Episode 1, which follows darling actress Bryce Dallis Howard in an episode centered on ratings ruling the socioeconomic status of the world. After watching all four seasons, that is still my favorite—likely because it is the most relatable and sugar-coated. What can I say? I like escapism fare!

What’s interesting about Black Mirror is that you’re essentially watching a series of short films solely connected by the dark side of technology. You will hate some, you will love some. But no mater which episode you watch, you will come away affected.

You will recognize yourself in some of the characters or situations. You will wonder if one day things will be like that. You will laugh and maybe even get an upset stomach. (Okay, you definitely will!) While many of the episodes err on the side of disturbing, I commend this series for using entertainment to do more than just entertain us.

When you walk away from this show, you will at the very least silence your phone. And at the most maybe do a technology cleanse

My favorite episodes include: 

Season 2, Episode 1 Be Right Back

Season 3, Episode 1 Nosedive

Season 3, Episode 4 San Junipero

Season 4, Episode 4 Hang the DJ

Have you seen any of these shows? Which is your favorite?