me time

22 Under-The-Radar, Feel-Good Shows To Stream After Bedtime

Whether you’ve got 30 minutes or an entire hour of grown-up time tonight, you’ll find a soothing show to love on this list.

The house is quiet, the best snacks are finally yours to not-share, and the decision about what to watch is not in the hands of a tiny tyrant with terrible taste. You’ve only got a little time to relax, and you need a show that’s going to both pull you in and soothe away the stresses of the day so you can crawl into bed at a semi-reasonable time and get the 7-9 hours that you so desperately need. Sure, many people are fine doing an endless, looping rewatch of classic feel-good TV shows like Gilmore Girls, Friends or The Office. But, for others (me), the evening unwind requires shows with a bit of novelty. I’m talking about that tricky combination of intriguing enough to grab my attention and soothing enough to let me fall asleep as soon as the credits roll. If you’re looking to freshen up your go-to list of feel-good shows, add these 22 calming shows to your to-watch list.

From garden make overs to cozy mysteries and sweet rom-coms, these shows run the gamut, but are unified by their (highly unscientific) ability to lower your blood pressure and ease you into bed with a smile on your face. Here’s what you should be watching when you need just that.

Feel-good sitcoms like The Office and Friends

Survival of the Thickest (Netflix)

This lively new rom-com from Netflix is super buzzy, and for good reason. The light and joyful half-hour show stars Michelle Buteau and is based on her super-fun 2020 book of the same name. Bursting with charm, style and humor, the show is everything you need in your wind-down heart-warmer to be. Stream it now on Netflix.

Michelle Buteau stars in a new Netflix sitcom based on her book of essays.

Platonic (Apple TV+)

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogan star in this hilarious meditation on the highs, lows and crises of midlife motherhood. Stream it now on Apple+.

Community (Netflix and Hulu)

Dearly beloved, and for good reason, if you haven’t watched Community yet, it’s time. It has that lived-in, familiar ensemble vibe that you love about Friends, and it’s just as rewatchable, too. Stream it now on Netflix and Hulu.

Never Have I Ever (Netflix)

This smart, funny show just ended, so there’s never been a better time to binge it, start-to-finish. Created by Mindy Kaling — who’s infamous love for rom-coms is as obvious as ever here — and starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the stakes are high-low in that forever-relatable high school drama way. Stream it now on Netflix.

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Derry Girls (Netflix)

You haven’t watched Derry Girls yet? Get on it! Cozy, sweet, thoughtful, funny — this Irish show bursts with heart and hope. Stream it now on Netflix.

High Maintenance (Max)

Known only as The Guy, most parents will find nothing familiar in the lifestyle of the weed dealer that anchors this show, and therein lies the key to its soothing escapism. The Guy bikes around Brooklyn, making deliveries to people from all walks of life, and as he crosses their various paths, we peer into their worlds with him. Stream it now on HBO Max.

Detectorists (Acorn TV and Roku)

If you’re in the U.S., you may need to do some hunting to figure out how to stream this sweet, odd, quiet British gem of a TV show, as it seems to move around a bit, but it’ll be worth the hunt. Stream it now on Acorn TV and on Roku.

Kind-hearted reality shows if you love The Great British Bake Off

The Great Pottery Throw Down (Max)

This looks basically exactly like The Great British Bake Off but make it ceramics, and I’m into it. Calming TV shows have to be engrossing enough to occupy my mind, which is why GBBO isn’t a re-watchable soothing show for me. The stakes are sort of low to begin with and then if I already know who is going home, well, I’ll be bored instead of chilled out. Watch those pottery wheels spin, and listen to encouraging, kind British ceramics masters guide amateurs towards greatness and tell me that the world doesn’t feel like a slightly better place 54 minutes later. Stream now on HBO Max.

The season one trailer for The Great Pottery Throw Down on Netflix.

The Chef Show (Netflix)

Watch Jon Favreau and Roy Choi nerd out about their shared passion for food, restaurants and cooking in this fun show that’s grounded, most of all, by Choi and Favreau’s obvious friendship. It’s quiet and straightforward, and — be warned — quite hunger-inducing. Stream it now on Netflix.

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (Prime)

A classic for a reason. Watch two of the greats goof around in the kitchen and pick up some classic French culinary skills while you’re at it. Stream it now on Prime.

Be My Guest with Ina Garten (Max)

Watch celebrities you love so much that you’re not even jealous of them hang out and shoot the breeze with beloved gem-of-a-human, Ina Garten. As fresh as a Hamptons breeze and crisp as the white wine you know Ina would serve to you, this show is a candle-lit bubble bath for your world-weary brain. Stream it now on Max.

Great British Bake Off Juniors (Netflix)

The U.K.’s most talented bakers between the ages of 9 and 12 compete in the tent and it’s adorable. If you love GBBO, this is a must-watch. Stream it now on Netflix.

Calming TV shows if you love to fall asleep to HGTV

Big Dreams, Small Spaces (Prime)

If you want to see British women of a certain age (and also me, TBH) swoon, mention the name Monty Don. He’s a — better make that the — star gardener of Britain and this sweet show is one of many he’s made, but my personal favorite. Each episode shows a couple or family dream up, design and DIY their very own garden from scratch. You’ll learn so much, and your parasympathetic nervous system will be activated just in time for bed. What more can a tired parent ask for? Stream it now on Prime.

Amazon Prime / Big Dreams Small Spaces

Grand Designs (BritBox)

Every episode of this series sees someone build a house from scratch (or, sometimes, pull off a ground-up renovation / restoration), and it’s fun to watch the process with all of its inevitable mishaps. But the best part of Grand Designs is the warm-but-opinionated host, Kevin McCloud. If you’ve ever considered building your dream home, watch this first. Stream it now on BritBox.

Clarkson’s Farm (Prime)

Love him or hate him, you probably have some idea who Jeremy Clarkson is (AKA the guy from Top Gear), and you might enjoy watching him bumble around in fields trying to run an actually-functional farm. Stream it now on Prime.

For the Love of Kitchens (Max)

Paul O'Leary, Helen Parker and Robin McLellan of deVOL Kitchens fame star in this kitchen makeover show. From castle kitchens to tiny cottage kitchens, watch them work their magic from the sketched-out, mood-board start to stunning finish. Stream it now on Max.

Soothing British dramas

All Creatures Great and Small (PBS or Prime)

I have been known to fall asleep to this show, but that’s not because it’s boring. It’s just that the idyllic Yorkshire scenery and sweet cast put me in such a relaxed, cozy mood that sleep seems to just seep in accidentally. When you need to unwind from a stressful day, All Creatures Great And Small is here for you. Watch on PBS or stream on Prime.

All Creatures Great And Small is as soothing as TV shows get.

The Durrells in Corfu (PBS or Prime)

Another Masterpiece show, The Durrells in Corfu follows a widow as she moves her four children from Britain to Corfu. Come for the glittering location and stay for the lighthearted family drama that never strays into stressful. Watch it via PBS or stream it on Prime.

Doc Martin (Acorn TV or Roku)

The rolling hills of Cornwall, a long, drawn-out, slow-burn courtship, a cast of classic village characters — Doc Martin is a quinessentail soothing British “dramedy,” and it’ll help you chill out for sure. Stream it via Roku or Acorn TV.

Cozy shows for people who love mysteries

Only Murders In The Building (Hulu)

A cozy mystery meets the mind of Steve Martin, Only Murders In The Building is a televised benzo. Featuring starry celeb cameos (Sting! Paul Rudd! Meryl Streep!) and dreamy NYC apartments that surely cost more than the GOP of a small country, the show is all escapism with a side of murder mystery. Stream it now on Hulu.

Only Murders In The Building is a cozy mystery to unwind with.

Bored To Death (Max)

Quietly funny and surprisingly sweet, HBO’s Bored To Death, which stars Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis as mystery-solving BFFs, flew oddly under the radar. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat. If you like Ted Danson in The Good Place, you’ll love him in this. Stream it now on HBO Max.

Midsomer Murders (Acorn TV and Prime)

Your mom watches Midsomer Murders to unwind, and you should, too. With a whopping 138 episodes (and counting) to work through, this cozy British mystery show will keep you busy — in a chilled-out way — for a long time. Stream it now on Prime or Acorn TV.