10 Best Health and Wellness Documentaries to Stream on Netflix
Put your binge time on the couch to good use.
While binge-watching Netflix may not be the healthiest thing to do (unless you’re watching while on the treadmill), these must-watch documentaries offer rich insights into the health and wellness industry today, from debunking miracle cures to thought-provoking conversations about the power of the mind.
Wellness, an industry that’s worth trillions of dollars. But does it bring health and healing—or are we falling victim to false promises? (Un)Well, a six-episode Netflix documentary, searches for answers by delving into six controversial wellness trends: essential oils, Tantric sex, human breast milk for adult health, fasting, ayahuasca and bee-sting therapy.
The Goop Lab
Hosted and executive-produced by Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, The Goop Lab centres around her lifestyle and wellness company Goop, where she and her team explore wellness trends that may seem “out-there”, namely psychedelic drugs, the Wim Hof Method, female sexuality, anti-ageing diets, energy work and communication with the dead.
Down to Earth
Watch Zac Efron and his wellness expert friend Darin Olien as they foray into the unknown around the world and forage for plant medicines, healing steam baths, superfoods, filtered water and more. On a mission to find eco-friendly, healthier alternatives for producing food, the High School Musical star’s debut documentary promises some thought-provoking takeaways.
“Down to Earth” is currently unavailable in Hong Kong
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
If you’ve come across hot yoga, you may have heard of Bikram Yoga, a yoga style comprising a sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. This documentary film examines the rise and fall of founder Bikram Choudhury and ugly truths behind his yoga empire.
To what extent does medicine heal? How much control do we have over our own health? In its attempt to answer these questions, Heal investigates the power of spiritual healing on physical illness. It follows the journey of three people on actual high-stakes healing journeys, where they discover that by changing one’s perceptions, the human body can heal itself from any disease.
The Mind Explained
In five 20-minute episodes, The Mind Explained makes the brain’s complexities more digestible by delving into subjects related to—you guessed it—the mind. Thanks to the engaging narration by Emma Stone and lively animations, the docuseries helps us get one step closer to understanding how our mysterious brains work.
The Game Changers
If you’re interested in diets and nutrition, you’d probably want to give this documentary a go. The Game Changers follows former UFC fighter James Wilks, who sets off to search for the optimal diet for recovery and meet elite athletes who thrive on plant-based diets.
What the Health
Not an athlete, but curious about veganism? An attempt to help Americans make healthier food choices, What the Health examines the link between diet—precisely one that contains meat, fish, poultry and dairy—and disease. It’s a pro-vegan documentary, which means viewpoints can be biased and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
As opposed to the American ideal that things bring happiness, this film takes a scrutinising look at the problem of consumerism and the effects it has on our planet and us as humans. Rather than guilt-tripping or brainwashing the audience, Minimalism shines a light on minimalists from various walks of life to show how the lifestyle can benefit all kinds of people.
Wild Wild Country
This docuseries focus on the controversial cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajnee (Osho), who created a “utopia” of thousands of followers in a rural Oregon town in the early 1980s. But what began as a minority religion escalated into a dramatic saga of poison attacks, sexual assaults and federal criminal prosecution.