There are many reasons why K-dramas are loved by almost *everyone*: They entertain you, bring you to different worlds, and stir your emotions. Some of them also have the ability to speak to your soul—they're the series you can deeply relate to and give you a sense of meaning in each episode. You know that feeling when you heave a sigh after you cry your eyes out and everything feels so much better? That's what you'll get after watching these shows.
From crowd favorites to underrated gems, we listed eight healing K-dramas on Netflix that will surely warm your heart:
1. Move To Heaven (2021)
The short plot: Based on an essay by a first-generation trauma cleaner, the story of the departed is told from the perspective of Han Geu Ru, a 20-year-old with Asperger's syndrome, in this Netflix original series. Together with his uncle, Geu Ru cleans up the crime scenes and tries to empathize with the deceased. Move To Heaven will move you to tears as you reminisce about the loved ones you lost, and the good memories you had with them.
2. Hospital Playlist (2020)
The short plot: We know how doctors are willing to do anything to help their patients survive—but what we don't know is their inner struggle in doing so. Aside from showing what medical professionals do, Hospital Playlist takes us to their lives outside the hospital walls. No matter what industry you're part of, there has got to be one character that you can resonate with in this drama. Plus, the lessons you'll learn will have a big impact on your life.
3. When The Camellia Blooms (2019)
The short plot: An ode to single moms, When The Camellia Blooms revolves around Oh Dong Baek and the many challenges she faces with her son. When she moves to the province, she receives harsh criticism for raising her child without a husband. This award-winning series sheds light on the discrimination against single parents and will help you better understand the love only a mother can give.
4. It's Okay To Not Be Okay (2020)
The short plot: It's Okay To Not Be Okay became the talk of the town last year after it tackled mental health. The initial episodes may seem dark and heavy but it eventually shows that healing is possible despite how deep your scars are. The ending is a great antidote to your emotions and it's guaranteed to leave a smile on your face after you wipe your tears.
5. Mystic Pop-Up Bar (2020)
Who’s in it: Hwang Jung Eum, Yook Sungjae, Choi Won Young
The short plot: A fantasy drama at its core, you will love the quirky personalities in the webtoon-adapted series, Mystic Pop-Up Bar. More than the entertainment value, this show is popular for its healing power in each episode: The characters face their own conflicts without forgetting to help those who undergo the same struggle. This all happens inside a pojangmacha, an outdoor drinking stall that's popular in South Korea.
6. Hello, My Twenties! (2016)
Who’s in it: Han Ye Ri, Han Seung Yeon, Park Eun Bin, Park Hye Soo, Rwu Hwa Young
The short plot: Adulting sucks but it's easier to navigate through your twenties when you're surrounded by people who can sympathize with you. Hello, My Twenties! follows the lives of five college students who live in a house called Belle Epoque. It was a rough start for them but the girls soon found a support system in each other. Belle Epoque translates to “beautiful age” in French, a perfect summary of this drama's main theme.
7. Reply 1988 (2016)
The short plot: From your childhood friends, first-love, reliable neighbors, and annoying yet loving family members, there's bound to be something you can relate to in Reply 1988. You may have probably heard about it somewhere and that because it's a hit K-drama that feels like a tight hug. Don't forget to prepare your tissues as you'll be crying buckets (and laugh out loud, too) when you binge-watch this series.
8. It's Okay, That's Love (2016)
The short plot: Another mental health drama you shouldn't sleep on, It's Okay, That's Love focuses on patients diagnosed with mental disorders and explains their conditions in detail. After you've seen all 16 episodes, you'll learn to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are viewed as outcasts in society—they're flawed and messed up, but equally worthy of love.
9. Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021)
The short plot: A refreshing tale set in the countryside, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha will either remind you of your probinsiya life or make you want to visit a province someday. More than the main lead's romantic relationship, this K-drama shines the spotlight on all forms of love: A parent's concern for his child, the respect between a divorced couple, the thoughtfulness of a neighbor, and the loyalty of a best friend. Add that to the scenic seaside village called Gongjin and you have a healing K-drama you'll look forward to every weekend.
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