Films For Motivation

In need of motivation? If you are adamant you want to sit in front of the TV, what better way than to watch something that inspires you to get up and do something afterwards?

I do a lot of home workouts so putting on a motivating film really helps me to push myself harder and keep me on track.

They aren’t always sport related (although it helps) some just send a positive message or are about other hardships that people have overcome. Here are a few of my favorites…

McFarland USA (2015) – (My current favorite)

McFarland USA movie poster

Run Time: 2hrs 10 mins

Premise: The story of football coach Jim white moving his family to McFarland USA and unexpectedly creating one of the best all time running teams.

Why I enjoy it?

This is a running film and with lots of training montages and running clips it is perfect for when I am on the elliptical and trying to keep my speed up. It has a positive “keep going” feel and an “overcoming the odds” message at the end. It is based on a true story too so the “where are they now” at the end is quite inspiring too.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB 

American Flyers (1985)

American Flyer movie poster

Run Time: 1hr 53mins

Premise: Two brothers training and cycling in a race across the rocky mountains (with a twist)

Why I enjoy it?

Most of this film is about overcoming pain (in some form or another) and anyone who runs will know that is exactly what doing running events is like. With typical 80’s music and mustaches that go on for ages it really keeps me going during a workout and leaves me with a bit more appreciation for pain when the film (and my workout) is done.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB

The Blind side (2009)

the blind side poster

Run Time: 2hrs 10 mins

Premise: A homeless teen becomes an all american football player with the help of his adoptive family.

Why I enjoy it?

I don’t work out during this movie because it is a bit slower and has more of an emotional motivation to it, there are less action scenes and more character development but at the end I always feel empowered to do more. Sandra Bullock plays one of the leads and she is quite relatable which makes it a great all rounder film.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB

Coach Carter (2005)

coach carter movie poster

Run Time: 2hrs 15 mins

Premise: Coach Ken Carter refuses to let the undefeated basketball team play until they fulfill their end of the academic contracts they sign.

Why I enjoy it?

There are quite a few familiar faces in this film and even more blood sweat and tears (while you are sweating so are they). “you will run” is a favourite phrase by Samuel L. Jackson and he is pretty motivational as a coach. It has a good movie soundtrack too if you are working out.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB

The Express (2008)

The Express movie poster

Run Time: 2hrs 10 mins

Premise: Biographical drama based on Ernie Davis who was the first African-American footballer to win the Heisman Trophy

Why I enjoy it?

A lot happens in this movie and it is quite fast moving. There are a lot of running and training scenes as well as music montages of games which is great to workout too. The story itself also has some great climaxes that naturally get your heart beating a bit faster.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB

Remember the Titans (2000)

remember the titans movie poster

Run Time: 1hr 53 mins

Premise: The first season of integrated american football after a white and black school close and force two cultures together. Based on true events from 1971

Why I enjoy it?

It is a very inspiring film and although there are training sequences and the usual workout motivation I like the message this movie sends about teamwork and working together (well it is created by Disney 🙂 )

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB

Men of Honor (2000)

Men of honor movie poster

Run Time: 2hrs 10 mins

Premise: Based on the true story of Carl Brashear (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) who was the first African American diver and then amputee and his relationship with the man who trains him to be the best.

Why I enjoy it?

It is a very empowering film about all of the highs and lows and obstacles Carl overcomes throughout his career and life as well as the man who trains him. Although not a great one to workout too it will leave you inspired at the end.

For trailers and official synopsis check out IMDB



For more motivation try the Fitspiration or Motivational Mantras Gallery or checkout my pinterest motivation board

*Do you have any films that motivate you? leave a comment and I will check it out and maybe add it to the list*

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Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox


  • Nikki Frank-Hamilton (#)
    June 22nd, 2016

    I love great motivational films and the only one on here I’ve seen is the Blind Side. EEK! I’ve got some watching to do. Love a feel good movie that leaves you energized. Thanks for the great list. It’s supposed to storm today, I think I might curl up on the couch!

  • […] Films for Motivation […]

  • Michelle Murray (#)
    March 7th, 2016

    I thought I was a bit of a film buff but I haven’t seen any of these. Thanks for letting me know abuot them

  • Ana De- Jesus (#)
    March 6th, 2016

    Yes Blindside was such a great movie it made me cry. It deserved all the awards that it got.

  • Ickle Pickle (#)
    March 6th, 2016

    These all look great, I must have a look, I haven’t seen any of them. Thank you for sharing. Kaz x

  • Rachel (#)
    March 6th, 2016

    The only one of these that I have seen is The Blind Side and I enjoyed it for the same reasons x

  • Anosa (#)
    March 6th, 2016

    I am yet to watch any of these movies but I do love watching motivation tv that helps me get up and get going

  • A Moment with Franca (#)
    March 6th, 2016

    I have only seen one movie from your list which is the one with Sandra Bullock and I really loved it!!! Such a great movie and as you said very motivational. I will make a note of the other ones. 🙂 xx

  • Amy Hunt (#)
    March 5th, 2016

    Don’t hate me for saying it but.. I really didn’t like the blind side.
    I know! Everyone loves it but for me I didn’t find that attatchment of the mum to the adopted Son. Yes she understood him but it didn’t feel like love, it just felt like something she was missing in her life, like a project.
    I love Sandra Bullock aswell, but It just didn’t feel right!

  • Fi Ni Neachtain (#)
    March 5th, 2016

    I’ve never seen any of these films, I’m not a big film watcher anyway, I have such a short attention span, but it’s great that you have films that motivate you.

  • Kara (#)
    March 5th, 2016

    I am ashamed to say that I have not seen any of these!

  • Hannah Budding Smiles (#)
    March 5th, 2016

    Some good picks! I’ve only seen a couple of these but am interested in watching several of them xx

  • emma white (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    oh I don’t think I have ever seen any of these I must start watching more films as I must be missing out

  • oana79 (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    I only watched the Blind Side from the list above and really enjoyed the message of the movie. The others movies sounds truly motivational too!xx

  • Cardiff Mummy Says - Cathryn (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    Wow, I don’t think I have seen any of these films! Thanks so much for the recommendations. I know what you mean about films and things inspiring you x

  • Jenna (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    I love Remember the Titans and Coach Carter. I haven’t seen a lot of these movies, so I know what I’ll be doing over this snowy weekend 🙂

  • Joanna (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    We watch a lot of films but I’ve not heard of any of those ones before

  • GoodnightTheSkye (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    It’s not sports related, but I find that Devil’s Wear Prada really motivates me with my writing, and dance films like Ballet Shoes, Honey and Chorus Line really inspire me in my performance. <3

  • Dean of Little Steps (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    We watch a lot of films, but I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen any, not even the Sandra Bullock one (I love her). Must put some of your titles on my list 🙂 x

  • Lucy (Hello Beautiful Bear) (#)
    March 4th, 2016

    Ooh I love Coach Carter, I’ve not seen it for years, I wonder if it’s on Netflix or something? So motivational X

  • Beth (#)
    October 21st, 2015

    My motivational film is a really strange one… Legally Blonde. I just love the idea that no matter how much people put you down and don’t believe in you, if you work hard you can achieve anything.

    Beth x

    • Charlotte (#)
      October 21st, 2015

      I love that film! and you’re right she does send a great message too!!

  • Sarah Arnold (#)
    October 9th, 2015

    I use music instead of a movie.
    I don’t use an elliptical at home but do my PT exercises, foam roller and stretching to calm music. Different slant , I know but I usually need a calmer environment to get the muscles to release.
    However, when I do housework; we love Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rolling Stones– you get the gist!
    I do remember that movie Chariots of Fire and would use that if I were a runner! I used to be a semi-pro mountain biker but just rode outdoors. Great idea though 🙂

    • cvnxena (#)
      October 9th, 2015

      Thank you for commenting – ooo I will look into chariots of fire and see how I get on – thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

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