9 films about overcoming worry, fear or anxiety with strong leading ladies

9 films about overcoming worry, fear or anxiety with strong leading ladies

Firstly, can I want to point out how annoyed I was when writing this post because I was under the impression there were more than 9 films with leading ladies?

I planned for 10 and couldn’t think of more than 9, even after a good search on the internet too. We need more female-led films!!!


READ MORE: 16 bad ass leading ladies in movies


OK. Now I’ve got that rant off my chest, let’s talk about all these fabulous film characters. As you’ll probably know, I’m a massive film buff. I love a good storyline, a strong female character and bottomless popcorn to complement it.

I’ve got anxiety, therefore I’m pretty much scared of everything and everyone. I worry about everything from what to eat for breakfast to how I parked the car on the side of the road. This is why I love films about overcoming your fears and anxieties because if they can do it, so can I….right?




Take a look at this list, grab your Amazon or Netflix account and get watching!


The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is filled with mental health issues, including anxiety, PTSD, alcoholism, drug addiction, panic disorders and depression. Kind of brings a downer on one of the worlds favourite franchises but it’s true.

Katniss and her fellow tributes not only show strength, courage and bravery to overcome the Hunger Games, the Quater Quell and the war on the capital but with their mental health issues too.

Also showing how helping each other, friend or foe, they understand how what each other is going through. Showing how well a support system really is.


“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall a part”



Spirited Away

Spirited Away is simply put a masterpiece and still the most successful Japanese animation to date. It even picked up an Oscar along the way.

Our heroine is a 10-year-old Chihiro who’s family come across an old abandoned theme park and her parents get turned into pigs. Yes, pigs. It’s a weird but wonderful Alice in Wonderland story but set in Japan.

Chihiro is a bit of a spoilt brat really and really realises on her parents to look after her. She complains a lot until her parents get turned into pigs and then has to face her fears and look after herself in this weird world.

She’s lost and we’ve all felt a little lost, scared and alone in a new place. Time to grow up, put your big girl pants on and conquering your fears.


“I Finally Get A Bouquet And It’s A Goodbye Present. That’s Depressing.”



The Help

This is one powerful movie and filled with incredibly talented actresses. This story follows Skeeter (played by Emma Stone) who’s an aspiring author and decides to write a book based on the help but from the help’s point of view.

To write the book, she needs stories which required brave women to come forward and spill the tea. Privacy within the help is a part of the job and this is set in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil rights movement.

All these women risked everything to let their voices be heard and tell their stories to make things change.


Courage isn’t just about being brave. It’s about overcoming fear, and doing what is right for you and your fellow man




A great travel film for women! We don’t get many of these and they don’t come along as often as I would like.

This film really shows the mental and physical strength of hiking the Pacific trial but also all the emotions that goes with it. There’s also a lot about the reasons why she’s doing it.

Her fear during the journey is present throughout the film which shows the real ups and downs of travelling alone as a female.


“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back, and most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”

Cheryl Strayed


Inside out

This is one of my favourite Pixar films ever. It’s so clever and unique, just how Pixar films should be.

This film shows all the little voices in your head who are actually your emotions. The emotions take on the character forms of Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger and Sadness. The run the control centre in your head and help create the memories your collect.

Joy wants all your memories to be mostly happy memories which is great but life isn’t 100% happiness. You’re going to be angry, disgusted, fearful and sad at times in your life.

Sadness is the star of the show and shows that some of the best memories come from being sad and sometimes you need to just let it all out.


“I’m Too Sad To Walk. Just Give Me A Few… Hours”




This sci-fi thriller has a paranormal entity which takes on the form of your worst fears. Like a Bogot in Harry Potter. But this one will kill you instantly by driving you insane and committing suicide.

The only way they can go outside is if they can’t see, so they have to blindfold themselves and move by touch. The main character Malorie (played by the incredible Sandra Bullock) is currently battling her own ignorance of being pregnant and fear of becoming a mother.

You get a sense she might not want to be a mother and even looks at adoption pamphlets, then going through an apocalypse having no choice but to go through labour and raise the child herself. She doesn’t even name her baby.

There are also people who have a different side effect to seeing the fear entities and want you to see it too. These people appear to have already been suffering from mental health issues.

By them “wanting you to see” shows a physiological meaning to the film by them wanting you to see what they see, as no one can really know what it’s like to have mental health issues yourself. However, in this film, you can. Deep.


That’s something you can’t unsee.



The Village

This is an underrated M.Night masterpiece. Based on a 19th Century village surrounded by a forest which also has mysterious creatures which inhabit it.

The villages fear the creatures and the children play games to see how long they can keep their backs to the woods.

Ivy Elizabeth Walker is the blind daughter of the chief and is fearless throughout. She has to brace the woods alone and face the creatures head-on.


“How is it you are brave, when all the rest of us shake in our boots?”

Ivy Walker



I was tossing and turning about whether or not to add this one as not many people can relate to the storyline (thank god) but there are lots of elements to the film that are relevant.

If you’re not acquainted with this film, it’s about a woman who’s been kidnapped and her kidnapper keeps her in a shed in the back garden for years and even has a baby with her. This kid grows up and only knows this room as his whole world.

When Jack turns 5, his Ma comes up with a plan to escape and it works. While Jack is coming to terms with the real world, his Ma deals with depression and PTSD. She also has to deal with negative media and even tries to commit suicide.

It’s a great movie of survival, bravery and support.


“Sometimes it’s scary. But that’s ok. Because it’s still just you and me…”




In this world, the city is split into 5 factions Abnegation (selfless), Erudite (intellectual), Dauntless (brave), Candor (honest), and Amity (peaceful).

The main character Beatrice is born in Abnegation but after taking the test, she’s found to be Divergent. This means she fits into more than one faction, and they don’t like that because they believe you can’t control you.

She hides in Dauntless faction to train to be a soldier but she’s doing “too well” and could be found out. She understands that fear can be managed.

This film is filled with examples of overcoming fear, which is why I love it so much. I want to be Beatrice…and date Four.


“Fear doesn’t shut you down, it wakes you up.”



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Natasha Atlas
Natasha Atlas

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