It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Drama Review, Cast, Story, Trailer, Timing, and Release Date

Published on Dec 27, 2023 by

It's Okay to Not Be Okay 2020 Drama Review

“It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” is a South Korean TV drama. The drama is about Moon Gang-tae, who has a job in the psychiatric ward and cares for his autistic brother, and Ko Moon-young, an author of children’s books who doesn’t often get out. They encounter each other and ease their past pain together. This show is about love, secrets, and healing. It’s a hit and is on Netflix in some places.

It’s  Okay to Not Be Okay Drama Review

Drama It’s  Okay to Not Be Okay (사이코지만 괜찮아)
Channel tvN 


Director Park Shin-woo
Production companies Story TV 

 Gold Medalist

Starring Kim Soo-Hyun

 Seo Yea-ji

Oh Jung-se 

Park Gyu-young

Writer Jo Yong
Timing Saturday and Sunday at 21:00 (KST)
Country of origin South Korea
Release date June 20 – August 9, 2020
IMDB rating 8.6/10
Total episodes 16
First episode’s airing date June 20, 2020
Average episode length 70–85 minutes
Language Korean
Genre Romantic comedy
This show is Romantic

It’s  Okay to Not Be Okay Drama Cast

Actor Character Role Description
Kim Soo-hyun Moon Gang-tae An orphaned caregiver at OK Psychiatric Hospital struggles with self-esteem and avoids close relationships.
Moon Woo-jin Young Moon Gang-tae
Seo Yea-ji Ko Moon-young A popular children’s book author with antisocial personality disorder, troubled past, develops an obsession for Gang-tae.
Kim Soo-in Young Ko Moon-young
Oh Jung-se Moon Sang-tae Gang-tae’s autistic older brother, a fan of Moon-young and an aspiring illustrator, haunted by past trauma.
Lee Kyu-sung Young Moon Sang-tae
Park Gyu-young Nam Ju-ri A nurse at OK Psychiatric Hospital with an unrequited crush on Gang-tae, dislikes Moon-young.
Park Seo-kyung Young Nam Ju-ri

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Supporting Characters

Actor Character Role Description
Kim Joo-hun Lee Sang-in CEO of SangsangESang Publishing Company, publisher of Moon-young’s books.
Park Jin-joo Yoo Seung-jae Art director at SangsangESang Publishing Company.
Kim Chang-wan Oh Ji-wang Director of OK Psychiatric Hospital, cares deeply for patients.
Kim Mi-kyung Kang Soon-deok Chef at the hospital and Ju-ri’s mother.
Jang Young-nam Park Haeng-ja/Do Hui-jae Head nurse at the hospital, later revealed as Moon-young’s mother.
Jang Gyu-ri Sun Byul Nurse and friend of Ju-ri at the hospital.
Seo Joon Kwon Min-seok Psychiatrist at OK Psychiatric Hospital.
Choi Woo-sung Oh Cha-yong Caregiver at the hospital, son of director Oh Ji-wang.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Hospital Patients

Actor Character Role Description
Lee Eol Ko Dae-hwan Moon-young’s father, patient with dementia, designed the “Cursed Castle”.
Kim Ki-cheon Kan Pil-ong Vietnam War veteran with PTSD.
Jung Jae-kwang Joo Jeong-tae Patient, boyfriend of Lee Ah-reum, initially admitted for alcoholism.
Ji Hye-won Lee Ah-reum Patient, admitted for anxiety, girlfriend of Joo Jeong-tae.
Kang Ji-eun Park Ok-ran Mysterious fan of Hui-jae.
Joo In-young Yoo Sun-hae Patient with dissociative identity disorder.
Ko Do-yeon Young Sun-hae

Other Show’s Cast

Actor Role
Kim Yoo-jung Do Do-hee
Song Kang Jeong Gu-won
Lee Sang-yi Joo Seok-hoon
Kim Hae-sook Joo Cheon-sook
Kim Tae-hoon Noh Seok-min
Lee Yoon-ji Noh Soo-an
Jo Yeon-hee Kim Se-ra
Kang Seung-ho Noh Do-gyeong
Park Do-yoon Austin
Kang Da-on Justin
Jo Hye-joo Jin Ga-young
Heo Jeong-do Park Bok-gyu
Seo Jeong-yeon Secretary Shin Da-jeong
Park Jin-woo Han Min-soo
Lee Ji-won Choi Jung-mi
Hong Jin-ki Lee Han-seong
Cha Chung-hwa Homeless woman
Kim Young-jae Do-hee’s father
Woo Hee-jin Do-hee’s mother
Kim Seol-jin Gi Gwang-chol
Kim Beop-rae A boss
Jung Soon-won Number two
Lim Cheol-hyung Detective Park
Jeon Sok-chan Detective Oh
Seo Sang-won Pastor Michael
Joo Suk-tae Cha Tae-jun
Lee Kang-wook Do-hee’s blind date

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episodes List

Episode Release Date
E01. Episode 1 20 June 2020
E02. Episode 2 21 June 2020
E03. Episode 3 27 June 2020
E04. Episode 4 28 June 2020
E05. Episode 5 4 July 2020
E06. Episode 6 5 July 2020
E07. Episode 7 11 July 2020
E08. Episode 8 12 July 2020
E09. Episode 9 18 July 2020
E10. Episode 10 19 July 2020
E11. Episode 11 25 July 2020
E12. Episode 12 26 July 2020
E13. Episode 13 1 August 2020
E14. Episode 14 2 August 2020
E15. Episode 15 8 August 2020
E16. Episode 16 9 August 2020

Average TV Viewership Ratings

Ep. Part Original broadcast date Title Average audience share

(Nielsen Korea)

Nationwide Seoul
1 June 20, 2020 The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares 6.093% (1st) 7.036% (1st)
2 June 21, 2020 The Lady In Red Shoes 4.722% (1st) 5.474% (1st)
3 June 27, 2020 Sleeping Witch 5.940% (1st) 6.529% (1st)
4 June 28, 2020 Zombie Kid 4.942% (1st) 6.000% (1st)
5 1 July 4, 2020 Rapunzel and the Cursed Castle 4.661% (2nd) 5.285% (2nd)
2 5.248% (1st) 5.782% (1st)
6 1 July 5, 2020 Bluebeard’s Secret 5.056% (2nd) 5.114% (2nd)
2 5.647% (1st) 5.748% (1st)
7 1 July 11, 2020 The Cheerful Dog 5.054% (2nd) 5.434% (2nd)
2 5.555% (1st) 5.753% (1st)
8 1 July 12, 2020 Beauty and the Beast 4.744% (2nd) 5.160% (2nd)
2 5.634% (1st) 6.407% (1st)
9 1 July 18, 2020 The King Has Donkey Ears 4.995% (2nd) 5.416% (2nd)
2 5.814% (1st) 6.501% (1st)
10 1 July 19, 2020 The Girl Who Cried Wolf 4.212% (2nd) 4.669% (2nd)
2 5.481% (1st) 5.995% (1st)
11 1 July 25, 2020 The Ugly Duckling 4.552% (2nd) 4.681% (2nd)
2 5.681% (1st) 5.661% (1st)
12 1 July 26, 2020 Romeo and Juliet 5.145% (2nd) 5.597% (2nd)
2 5.264% (1st) 6.108% (1st)
13 1 August 1, 2020 The Father of the Two  Sisters 4.794% (2nd) 5.155% (2nd)
2 5.696% (1st) 6.151% (1st)
14 1 August 2, 2020 The Hand, The Monkfish 5.403% (2nd) 6.042% (2nd)
2 5.947% (1st) 6.654% (1st)
15 1 August 8, 2020 The Tale of Two Brothers 5.567% (2nd) 6.198% (2nd)
2 6.492% (1st) 7.365% (1st)
16 1 August 9, 2020 Finding The Real Face 6.224% (2nd) 7.296% (2nd)
2 7.348% (1st) 8.535% (1st)
Average 5.425% 6.025%

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Overview

It's Okay to Not Be Okay Overview

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is a 2020 South Korean drama. Moon Gang-tae a man who works at a psychiatric ward and looks after his autistic brother, Moon Sang- They meet Ko Moon-young, a children’s book author with an antisocial personality. The two begin a romantic relationship as they face their traumatic pasts. This story delves into themes of recovery and psychological growth. It ran on TVN from June 20 to August 9, 2020; Netflix has the stock in some regions. The unusual story and outstanding performances earned many favorable reviews and several award nominations.

Original Soundtrack

The music album for It’s Okay to Not Be Okay was released online on August 9, 2021. Nam Hye-seung, the music director, made the album. It has 16 songs and 20 parts of music from the show. Singers like Janet Suhh, Heize, and others sing on it. People could order the CD starting on August 5, which came out on August 13. The CD became popular, reaching number 14 and 10 on the Gaon Album Chart in August.

Tie-in literature

Five children’s books appeared in the stage drama It’s Okay to Not be Okay. These were written by Jo Yong and drawn by Jamsan. Korean editions were published in July and August 2020. These books were very popular and ranked among the country’s top 20 best-selling. Therefore, the bookstore Kyobo Book Centre did much better with drama and film books. These books were published in Brazilian Portuguese by Kuntrantu magazine, with two editions appearing respectively in March and May of 2021.

No. Title (English translation) Pages Publication date ISBN
1 The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares (악몽을 먹고 자란 소년) 16 July 18, 2020 979-1-1909-0815-3
2 Zombie Kid (좀비아이) 24 July 13, 2020 979-1-1909-0816-0
3 The Dog of Spring Day (봄날의 개) 16 July 30, 2020 979-1-1909-0817-7
4 The Hand, the Monkfish (손, 아귀) 20 August 15, 2020 979-1-1909-0868-9
5 Finding the Real Faces (진짜 진짜 얼굴을 찾아서) 24 August 31, 2020 979-1-1909-0874-0

The series’ script, also illustrated by Jamsan, was published in two books; each covers eight episodes.

No. Title (English translation) Pages Publication date ISBN
1 It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 1 (사이코지만 괜찮아) 504 July 30, 2020 978-8-9315-8984-9
2 It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 2 (사이코지만 괜찮아) 520 August 27, 2020 978-8-9315-8985-6


Disc 1

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. Sketch Book (It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Opening Title) Janet Suhh 0:45
2. You’re Cold (더 많이 사랑한 쪽이 아프대; The One Who Loved You More Hurts) Heize 3:54
3. Breath (숨) Sam Kim 4:13
4. My Tale Park Won 3:46
5. In Your Time (아직 너의 시간에 살아; I’m Still Living in Your Time) Lee Su-hyun 4:28
6. Hallelujah (나도 모르는 노래; A Song I Don’t Know) Kim Feel 4:27
7. Little by Little (너라서 고마워; Thank You For Being You) Cheeze 4:26
8. Puzzle (퍼즐) Yongzoo 3:55
9. Wake Up Elaine 4:14
10. Got You GA EUN 3:13
11. Your Day (feat. Kim Bom) Kim Ki-won 1:51
12. In Silence Janet Suhh 3:29
13. I’m Your Psycho Janet Suhh 3:09
14. Lighting Up Your World Janet Suhh 3:38
15. Quelemente (괜찮은 병원 체조송; OK Hospital Gymnastics Song) Lee Jong-soo, Na Byung-soo 1:57
16. Song for Election (선거송 [기호1번 권만수]; Election [Symbol No. 1 Kwon Man-soo]) Funny J 2:50
Total length: 54:02

Disc 2

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. Sew Your Heart Kim Kyung-hee 3:24
2. “Brother (Gang-tae, Sang-tae’s Theme) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

3. Her World (Moon-young’s Theme) (그녀의 세계) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

4. Destiny is Nothing (운명이 별거) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

5. Gang-tae & Jae-soo’s Speed Instinct (강태와 재수의 질주본능) Kim Kyung-hee 1:19
6. Facing the Fate (운명을 맞잡고) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

7. River of Loneliness (Gang-tae’s Theme) (외로움의 강) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

8. On The Road, Left Alone (혼자 남겨진 그 길 위에서) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

9. Through The Dark Tunnel of Time (어두운 시간의 터널을 지나다) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

10. Their Own World (그들만의 세계) Lee So-young 2:12
11. It’s Okay (괜찮아) Nam Hye-seung

Go Eun-jung

12. Woorunggakshi (우렁각시) Nam Hye-seung

Go Eun-jung

13. Rooftop March (옥탑방 행진곡) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

14. Butterfly (Do Hui-jae’s Theme) (나비) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

15. Jae-soo and Alberto (재수와 알베르토) Nam Hye-seung

Jeon Jung-hoon

16. A Hidden Heart (감춰진 마음) Lee So-young 3:03
17. Bluebeard (푸른수염) Nam Hye-seung

Jeon Jung-hoon

18. The Dusk of The City (도시의 해질녘) Lee So-young 3:52
19. For Ju-ri (For Elise Variation) (주리를 위하여) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

20. Publishing Company SangsangESang (상상이상 출판사) Nam Hye-seung

Park Sang-hee

Total length: 48:07


Title Artist(s) Peak chart position




You’re Cold Heize 62 57
Breath Sam Kim 59 61
My Tale Park Won 92 62
In Your Time Lee Su-hyun 31 32
Hallelujah Kim Feel 80 67
Little By Little Cheeze 107 86
Puzzle Yongzoo

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay StoryLine

In the heart of Seoul, the lives of two individuals, Ko Moon-young and Moon Gang-tae, intertwine in a tale of emotional healing and love. Moon-young, a successful children’s book author, carries a facade of confidence and independence, but beneath her exterior lies a tumultuous past and unresolved emotional scars. Her life changes when she encounters Moon Gang-tae, a compassionate caregiver at a psychiatric hospital, who devotes his life to helping others while neglecting his own emotional needs. Moon Gang-tae, burdened by the responsibility of caring for his younger brother Moon Sang-tae with autism, has always placed others’ needs above his own, leaving little room for personal growth or happiness.

As their paths cross, Moon Young and Moon Gang-tae embark on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and healing. Ko Moon-young’s cold demeanor initially clashes with Moon Gang-tae’s warm and selfless nature, but as they navigate the complexities of their respective pasts, they begin to understand and empathize with each other. The story beautifully unfolds, exploring themes of mental health, the importance of self-care, and the power of empathy. Through their connection, they confront their deepest fears and learn that it’s okay not to be okay, finding solace and strength in each other’s company. The drama elegantly weaves a narrative that not only delves into the struggles of the characters but also offers a message of hope and resilience, resonating with anyone who has ever felt lost in the chaos of life.

Trailer and Teaser

Plot Summary

The drama It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is about Moon Gang-tae, who works in a psychiatric ward and lives with his autistic older brother, Moon Sang-tae. It is because of Moon Sang Tae’s painful past that they move so frequently. Gang-tae meets a children’s book writer with antisocial personality disorder, Ko Moon-young. Only when Moon-young falls madly in love with Gang-tae do their lives become entwined. They move forward together with Sang-tae, where they help each other to open up about their emotional wounds, discover secrets, and find a way beyond. The story unfolds in the pretend city of Sejong City, where they all grew up as kids.

Parents Guide

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is for adult audiences. It includes some scenes featuring romance, violence, and gore. There is strong profanity, as well as alcohol, drugs, and smoking. There are also scenes of intense and potentially frightening horror in the show. Parents, please be advised: this series focuses on mature themes (due to violent scenes) and may not suit younger viewers.

User Reviews

The drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” has garnered many positive reviews from viewers. Here are some key points from five user reviews:

  • One viewer highlighted the deep emotional impact of the series, praising its exploration of themes like love, fear, worthiness, and self-acceptance. They praised Oh Jung-se’s performance as being exceptional and expressed their deep emotion over the finale, which they found to be both joyful and tear-inducing.
  • Another review focused on the drama’s unique treatment of mental health issues. The chemistry between the actors and the incorporation of animation into the plot captivated the viewer. They recommended the drama for its distinct approach and powerful message​.
  • A different viewer expressed how the series gave them closure and personal healing. They appreciated the life lessons woven into the plot, such as the importance of family, confronting trauma, and the power of speaking up for oneself. They found watching the show to be a highly rewarding and transformative experience​.
  • In another review, the emotional depth of the series was emphasized. The story’s intensity and portrayal of mental illness moved the viewer to tears, and they shared their experience. They appreciated the show’s balance of heartbreaking and uplifting moments and the strong performances of the lead actors​.
  • A final review celebrated the series for its originality and heartwarming premise. The reviewer admired the portrayal of mental health issues and the main character’s journey as they confront their past traumas. They noted the beautiful animation and scenery and the excellent character development throughout the series​.

For more intriguing Korean drama content, check out our review of My Demon and The Glory. These dramas, much like “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” weave captivating tales of emotion and resilience.


Is it's okay to not be okay worth watching?

It's a scary fairy tale. I suggest it to anyone who likes the idea of old friends meeting up again and dark, deep conversations. More is needed to say that the music is good. I'm already in love with it after just two shows.

Does it's okay not to be okay to have a happy ending?

As a result, the characters grow in a way that is well-rounded and vital to the happy finish. It's not wishy-washy; there are real reasons why everyone is happy. Sang-tae is then picked up by Lee Sang-in. Moon Ga-young and Gang-tae keep going on their trip.

Is it's okay to not be okay based on a true story?

Studio Dragon made It's Okay to Not Be Okay. Jo Yong wrote the script, and Park Shin-woo directed it. Story TV and Gold Medalist produced it. It was based on Jo Yong's friendship with a girl who had a personality disorder.

What is the moral of the story of it's okay not to be okay?

It's fine to remember the bad times more than the good ones. Even though he has done a great job over many years, facing his pain is the only thing that helps him remember the little things that his mind sneakily forgets.

About the Author: Alicia Haddick

Alicia Haddick is a talented and versatile writer, recognized for her insightful contributions to various publications covering a wide array of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a flair for engaging storytelling, Alicia has carved out a niche in the world of journalism and content creation. Her work often reflects a deep understanding of her subjects, whether it’s in the realms of culture, technology, or current events. Alicia's writing style is noted for its clarity, depth, and ability to connect with readers on multiple levels. She is also known for her thorough research skills, ensuring that every piece she writes is not only informative but also thought-provoking.

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