10 Shows to Watch Similar to Apple TV+ Life by Ella

As streamers like HBO Max scale back their family shows, Apple TV+ has expanded its roster of such series with the release of Life by Ella. It follows Ella, a middle schooler who has just beaten cancer and is ready to start living her best life again. Determined to make the most of every day, she drags her best friend Kai along on her many adventures while her parents try to give her space to grow and her brother deals with feeling like the forgotten one in the family. .


The coming-of-age story is full of heart and wholesome teen angst that is sure to resonate with audiences of all ages. With a season of ten episodes, Life by Ella is a relatively easy-to-consume show that is sure to leave audiences wanting more. Luckily, there are a handful of shows that feature similar characters, themes, and storylines to Life by Ella Is.

Alexa and Katie (2018-2020)

Stream on Netflix

Alexa and Katie is one of Netflix’s most underrated teen comedies. The series centered on Alexa, a young teenager who spent the summer battling cancer, and her best friend Katie, who was there for her every step of the way. Now in remission, the girls are ready to start high school and enjoy all that life has to offer.

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The obvious similarity between these two shows is that they both center on young protagonists who have battled cancer. Like Ella, Alexa is determined not to let her cancer hold her back, and she certainly doesn’t want to be treated any differently because of her diagnosis.

Amber Brown (2022-)

Stream to Apple TV+

Amber Brown drawing in her sketchbook at Amber Brown

amber brown is another new Apple TV+ family show that debuted in July 2022. Based on the children’s book series of the same name, the show follows Amber as she deals with the divorce of her parents and her best friend. who moves away through his art.

Like Ella, Amber is going through some pretty big changes in her life that require her to dig deep within herself. Through friendship, family, and self-confidence, Amber is able to overcome obstacles and succeed in life just like Ella.

Andi Mack (2017 – 2019)

Stream on Disney+

Andi Mac is one of Disney Channel’s best original shows of the 2010s. The series begins with preteen Andi learning that her older sister is actually her mother, but ends up being more on the coming-of-age journey of Andi as she goes to school alongside her best friends.

Both shows deal with teenage growing pains, which is why fans of Life by Ella will like Andi Mac if they haven’t seen it already. Both shows feature the protagonist with a strong and supportive group of friends, which is so important.

Diary of a Future President (2020-2021)

Stream on Disney+

Diary of a Future President

As Elena Cañero-Reed becomes President of the United States, Diary of a Future President focuses on Elena’s middle school years as she discovers who she is and where she belongs in the world alongside her best friends and family.

Like Ella, Elena’s family is extremely supportive in more ways than one. Both shows also feature brothers struggling in their own ways, with Bobby coming to terms with his sexuality and Grady trying to find his place in the world.

Girl Meets World (2014-2017)

Stream on Disney+

Girl Meets World Cast

A reboot of the beloved 90s sitcom, A girl meets the world, follows Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley, as she navigates school, love, and heartbreak with her best friends and her father as her teacher.

RELATED: 5 Things Boy Meets World Did Better Than Girl Meets World (& 5 Things Girl Meets World Did Better)

Riley and Cory’s father-daughter relationship in A girl meets the world is extremely similar to the one Ella shares with her own father in Ella’s Life. Both Cory and Karl find it difficult to separate from their daughters, even though they know it’s best for them to let them make their own mistakes.

Chronicles of Gordita (2022)

Stream on HBO Max

Cucu dressed in a yellow vest, deep in thought in Gordita Chonicles

Set in Miami in the 1980s, Chronicles of Gordita follows the Castelli family as they adjust to life in the United States after leaving the Dominican Republic, told from the perspective of the family’s student and baby, Cucu.

Although Cucu may not have battled cancer, she has faced battles on her behalf adjusting to American life while trying to maintain her Dominican roots. Cucu and Ella rely on their friends and family to help them through it and end up learning a lot about themselves along the way.

Julie and the Ghosts (2020)

Stream on Netflix

Original cast of the Netflix musical Julie and the phantoms (2020)

Unfortunately canceled after one season, Netflix Julie and the ghosts centered on Julie, a talented singer who finds herself pursuing music more seriously when she accidentally summons the ghosts of three teenagers who were part of a 90s band.

Whereas Julie and the ghosts is much more musical than Life by Ella, the shows have a lot in common. Julie and Ella deal with changes in their lives, with Julie still dealing with her mother’s death and Ella dealing with her remission from cancer. Both shows also feature mischievous younger brothers.

The Babysitters Club (2020-2021)

Stream on Netflix

The Babysitters Club revisits the beloved children’s franchise and brings it into the modern age. The show follows a group of college kids as they start their own babysitting business to prove their independence and earn money so they can have their own adventures.

RELATED: The Baby-Sitters Club Characters and Their Disney Counterparts

Like the girls of The Babysitters Club, Ella tries to find her place in the world. Luckily for her, she has friends like Kai and Ximena to help her along the way. Both shows also deal with deeper themes like cancer, diabetes, and even LGBTQ+ stories.

Stuck in the Middle (2016–2018)

Stream on Disney+

Stuck in the hugging middle cast

stuck in the middle is a Disney Channel Original Series that follows middle child Harley Diaz as she tries to be herself alongside her six other siblings.

Harley has a lot in common with Grady from Life by Ella. The two children feel a little neglected by their families because they are not always the center of attention. Fortunately, they eventually learn that this is not the case and that they are part of their family in their own way.

Zac and Mia (2017-2019)

Stream on Paramount+

Based on the young adult novel of the same name, Zac & Mia is a webseries now living on Paramount+. The series centers on two teenagers who meet in the hospital and help each other through their battles with cancer.

Whereas Zac & Mia is a bit older in themes, centered around older teens, the show still has a lot in common with Life by Ella as both deal with characters trying to find their place in the world after their cancer diagnosis. Zac and Mia’s relationship also looks like a sequel to what Ella’s friendship with Gavin could become.

NEXT: 10 Best Kids’ Shows With LGBTQ+ Representation

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