If you’ve been on the Internet at all lately or watched the news, or even done something as simple as being outside, you have most likely noticed that the world is becoming a lot more… well, more. There’s plenty of stimulation and information everywhere, everybody is stressed all the time, and quite frankly it seems like what everyone needs is a few minutes of relaxation, which explains why meditation and minimalism are so trendy these days.
I mean, everyone could use a little bit more than just relaxation, but for many of us, a bit of a breather on our lunch breaks is enough.
So, in the interest of providing some easily-accessible downtime, we scoured YouTube for some of the most soothing channels in its vast compendium. Lo and behold, we’ve come up with a few solid recommendations for your daily dose of “aaaahhhhhh!” content. Check them out below!
ASMR Rooms is a channel dedicated to making cinematographic representations of rooms that may exist in various fictional universes, each accompanied with a soothing backdrop of sounds to bring the experience to life. Claire, the creator of the channel, has posted over fifty immersive soundscapes from fictional universes, each one aimed at soothing the viewer with an hour spent in their favourite stories.
For example, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you can find a multitude of walkthroughs of the different dorm rooms. Or, if you’re into Studio Ghibli, you can embrace the soundscape of Howl’s Moving Castle for six wonderful hours. We love this channel because you can play it in the background and put it on loop while you work, study, sleep, or anything else really. It’s the perfect way to transport yourself out of a world of stress while keeping your feet on the ground.
Mr. Bob Ross was a warm, loving presence in the childhood of many a viewer with his show “The Joy of Painting”. And now, thanks to the beauty of the internet, all 403 episodes are available on the Bob Ross YouTube channel.
Whether you’re a painter looking to trial a new piece of art while guided by a patient teacher, or someone who has endured a bad day and needs an accepting smile, Bob Ross is for you. He says things like “we’ll paint a second branch, so the first one has a friend”, and isn’t that just all you need from life? I’m tearing up already.
His videos are short, actually very instructive, and above all, they are encouraging. Inspiration and expressions of his belief in the viewer pepper every tutorial, and I defy you to get to the end of even one of his videos without feeling that warm, fuzzy glow in your heart.
The Jazz Hop Café
If you love lo-fi music, then you are going to love this channel. Sitting at somewhere around 620,000 subscribers, the Jazz Hop Café is a smaller presence in the world of lo-fi study beats on YouTube, but in my opinion it’s one of the better providers.
First though, for the uninitiated – lo-fi (low fidelity) music is characterised by that fuzzy, imperfect or even distorted sound of older music. Producers use it as an aesthetic choice, often layering the lo-fi quality over existing classical music, remixed speech, and chill beats to bring the listener back down to Earth.
The Jazz Hop Café is a personal favourite for a few reasons:
- Their music rarely makes us contend with ads mid-mix. Those things are so disruptive, and there is a whole heap of lo-fi channels that put them all throughout their mixes, but Jazz Hop refrains admirably.
- The mixes they publish really speak to some niche moods and feelings – how you feel when you take a breath on a sunny morning walk, or the odd ambience of a quiet 3 am insomnia session.
- All of the music is easy to study and work to. So, no matter the mood you’re in, you’ll be able to find a mix from them that takes the stress out of the task in front of you.
You’ll have to exercise a little suspension of disbelief for this one, but I promise it will be worth it. Ms. Yeah (real name Zhou Xiaohui) is a Chinese YouTuber who makes food. Sounds normal enough right?
The catch is, she makes it by deconstructing (and subsequently reconstructing) various implements around her office and somehow fashions delicious feasts at her desk. If you can get past the unlikely scenario where you have to craft a New Year’s dinner from the comfort of your high-rise workspace, her mechanical skills and culinary expertise will enthral you.
Not to mention, the process of watching someone so friendly and at ease with her environment absolutely bend the forces of food and physics to her will is… well, it’s soothing, honestly. You can leave your problems at the door and sit down to watch Ms. Yeah wow her colleagues with an array of undoubtedly scrumptious treats (usually with an adorable storyline to match).
I’m going to be honest right here and now – this YouTuber is quite possibly my favourite one of all time. There is a bias at play here, and I’m not even sorry.
Li Ziqi is a Chinese food blogger and YouTuber with over 5 million subscribers, and her channel is incredible. She posts videos of the food, furniture, clothes and other things she makes as part of her daily life in the rural town of Mianyang, Sichuan. Each video is shot with an incredible precision and technique, creating an ethereal ambience that the viewer can lose themselves in after a stressful day.
Whether she’s weaving a coat from freshly-shorn wool, building furniture from the bamboo harvested personally from the forest surrounding her home, or making starch from scratch; you will be unavoidably enamoured with her gentle bearing and overall competence. Do yourself a favour and click the link!
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