Journey to Good

What We're Watching Now: 4 Documentaries On Netflix That Could Change Your Life

Education JourneyAnne Worth & Colleen Reilley Bohmbach

We like to Netflix and chill at times. Though for us, it’s not just about entertainment… It’s also about education.

That's why we're big fans of documentaries, which can be entertaining vehicles for important information that can and have inspired major change.

See an example of what happened to Seaworld after Blackfish was released.

If a single film could have such a dramatic impact on a large corporation, think of how one great documentary on Netflix might affect you personally. 

If you're interested in opening your eyes to pressing issues and new strategies for better living, then check out our list of 4 powerful documentaries on Netflix now that you can watch to better your life today.

These films changed our lives, and we hope they inspire positive change in yours, too.

4 Thought-Provoking Documentaries on Netflix You Should Watch


What the Health

What the Health will change the way you view the food and health industry - or, it may just reaffirm your current skepticism.

Described by IMDb as following “An intrepid filmmaker on a journey of discovery as he uncovers possibly the largest health secret of our time and the collusion between industry, government, pharmaceutical and health organizations keeping this information from us.”

What the Health questions what’s keeping Americans sick, and exposes corruption in the health and food industries that should be understood by everyone. 

We live in a time where Government agencies, mainstream media, big pharma, and big ag are perpetuating misinformation about health care, disease prevention, animal agriculture, our food and threats to our environment that directly affect human wellness.

Some of the facts exposed in What the Health are SHOCKING.

From the civil rights issues surrounding the pork industry in North Carolina to the federal "checkoff programs" which use government money to market disease-promoting foods for big businesses such as extra cheese pizzas and fast-food quesadillas (to promote dairy).

Leading health organizations such as Susan G Komen, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association are caught promoting foods and products that cause the very diseases they are supposedly fighting because of their sponsorships and donors. 

What the Health poses hard questions and exposes even harder truths that are much needed to see on all of our journeys to good health.

The most important take-away from the film, however, is the hope received from learning how simple dietary changes can have massive positive impact on our health, environment, animal and human welfare.

If you aren't interested in watching the film, you can still read What the Health's astonishing "Facts" page (all facts with linked sources).

(We also recommend watching Cowspiracy on Netflix, by the same creators of What the Health.)


The True Cost

If you’ve never heard the term “fast fashion” or asked the question “who made my clothes?”, then you need to watch the 2015 documentary The True Cost, created by Andrew Morgan.

And, prepare to be moved to change. It’s so powerful it brought Colleen to tears.

The True Cost, according to CNBC, “examines the business of fast fashion, scrutinizes the process every step of the way—from the overworked, underpaid factory workers in Bangladesh, to the American consumers who view cheap apparel as a disposable item, all the way through to the after effects of pollution in developing countries.”

When global clothing manufacturers supply clothing options to Americans at low prices and with strategic branding, it is easy to get caught up and prioritize looking cute at a low cost without thinking about the true cost to laborers and our environment.

This documentary was the primary catalyst for us to begin purchasing ethical and sustainable clothing and shoes, as well as vintage wear.

If you're concerned about how your shopping choices are negatively affecting people worldwide, then you should watch The True Cost.

We think it is a must-see for anyone who buys clothes (yes, we mean everyone).


The 2016 documentary Sustainable touches on problems associated with the current state of American farming and food such as factory farms, pesticide use, and food marketing spending.

The majority of the film is beautifully set around the personal story of an Illinois farmer named Marty Travis of Spence Farm.

Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher of Hourglass Films document each stage of Travis’s sustainable farm through the four seasons—providing an intimate glimpse into the challenges and opportunities that progressive farmers face in America. 

For Chicagoans like us, this is an especially interesting story as it goes into depth on how Travis forms partnerships with farm-to-table Chicago restaurateurs such as Rick Bayless—growing ingredients they need while working with fellow local farmers in the process. 

The documentary left Anne feeling hopeful and inspired by Travis’s passion and commitment to create meaningful relationships and sustainable farming practices that can impact huge communities.

As Travis says in the film, “Measuring wealth is not always about counting your dollars. Sustainability is measured in a lot of different ways. For me personally, I think it’s the relationship we have between ourselves and our friends and our clients that make me feel very rich.” 

The Human Experiment

A controversial 2013 documentary by Filmmakers Don Hardy Jr. and Dana Nachman, The Human Experiment highlights the “high-stakes battle to protect people's health from untested chemicals in consumer products.” 

This film will show you the importance of switching to less toxic consumer products (including but not limited to makeup, household cleaners, furniture without flame retardants, and so on). 

The film includes some sensationalism, but does a good job at questioning the allowance of thousands of untested chemicals in our everyday products, and raises important questions about the long-term effects of these chemicals.

For instance, a woman with infertility is featured in the film, but it’s never proven whether Bisphenol A (BPA) has caused her specific case of infertility - even though studies have shown BPA is linked to fertility issues (among other health issues).

The Human Experiment balances facts and speculation beautifully, leaving you with new perspectives and a desire to conduct your own research on chemical additives. 

We hope you watch it and consider how you too can reduce your toxic chemical exposure.

What Great Documentaries on Netflix Are You Watching?

We know the 4 documentaries we just reviewed are a drop in the bucket compared to all the brilliant documentaries available on Netflix alone or online.

What documentaries are you watching that have made a difference in your life?

Let us know in the comments below, and if you liked this post, share it with your friends!