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10 Netflix Documentaries for a Low-Budget Date Night

Spend date night with your significant other binge-watching some of these eye-opening, positive, and heartwarming Netflix documentaries. With so many amazing, low-cost entertainment options, all you'll be spending money on is the popcorn.

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We all need time to recharge and relax, and dedicating time to our loved ones is important, even when your schedule is packed. In 2013, Redbook found that 45 percent of modern couples "rarely" make time for date night. But taking a break from our to-do lists is a critically important opportunity to listen and express affection, says relationship expert Winifred M. Reilly.

If you're worried about a tight budget, remember not every date night needs to be an expensive blowout with stilettos and symphony tickets. Social Psychologist Arthur Aron reports that novelty is important when it comes to keeping the romance in your relationship alive. Strive for variety, which can include a balance of staying in and going out.

If you're both in the mood for a quiet and relaxing evening at home, we've curated a list of the best positive entertainment options available at almost no cost. Put on your most comfortable yoga pants, and prepare for a romantic and relaxing night at home with one of these amazing Netflix documentaries.

1. The Punk Singer
Kathleen Hanna is something of a legend in the "riot grrrl" movement, an underground feminist movement closely associated with punk music that originated in the early 1990s. With interviews and footage, the documentary traces Hanna's life from her origins as a troubled youth, her participation in spoken word poetry, her stardom as the lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and beyond.

2. Mortified Nation
How embarrassed would you be if you were forced to read your middle school diary on stage in front of hundreds of strangers? If you're anything like me, it would be pretty humiliating. But adults who participate in Mortified "share the shame," publicly revisiting their first kiss, first school dance, and so much more. You'll alternate between laughing and squirming in secondhand embarrassment.

3. Brooklyn Castle
This Netflix documentary tells the story of Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, where many students live below the poverty line. Despite budget cuts, dedicated champions of the students have managed to build a world-class chess team. You'll follow the lives of five students every day for a year.

4. Advanced Style
Fashionistas will drool over the haute couture and eccentric wardrobe choices profiled in this Netflix documentary, which examines the closets of seven senior citizens in New York. You'll learn and grow from the wisdom of the film's elegant subjects, who've learned from life's lessons that the very best way to look beautiful is to be your authentic self.

5. The Imposter
If you or your significant other is a fan of thrillers, the twists and turns of this film make it a heart-pounding choice for your night in. Through interviews and reenactments, follow the case of French serial imposter Frederic Bourdin as he attempts to convince a Texas family that he's their missing teenager. The film is both thrilling and heart-warming, with a heavy dose of the creep factor.

6. Somm
The test to become a Master Sommelier has one of the lowest pass rates of any professional certification. Successful attempts can require a lifestyle of preparation on wines from all over the world. The subject matter is massive, more so than most of us realize. Step into the world of four individuals trying to join the elite ranks of fewer than 200 wine experts worldwide.

7. Girl Rising
Across the globe, women face significant barriers in education. This Netflix documentary is narrated by a star-studded cast, including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and many others. Viewers follow the struggles of nine young women in Sierra Leone, Haiti, Cambodia, and other countries who must fight against cultural barriers to attend school.

8. Chef's Table
If you're in the mood for a serious binge and some eye-poppingly pretty food porn, this original Netflix documentary might be just what you need. It's a six-part series that profiles world-renowned chefs in famous fine dining locations around the world, including Italy, Sweden, Australia, and Argentina.

9. Pandas: The Journey Home
Who doesn't love pandas? Boost your moods with tons of cute panda footage, including film of the Wolong Panda Center in China. The documentary tells the tale of these adorable animals who are being prepared for release back into their natural habitats.

10. Monica & David
This critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary is a beautiful overview of a newly married couple with Down syndrome. Follow Monica and David from their wedding to their first anniversary, through changing homes, health struggles, desires for independence, and plenty of triumphs along the way.

What's are your favorite Netflix documentaries? Share your all-time faves in the comments!

Jasmine Gordon

Jasmine Gordon is a freelance writer who lives in the gorgeous rain forest of NW Washington state. Her writing on love, relationships and technology has appeared on XoJane, Time.com, and elsewhere.

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