13 YouTube channels to soothe, relax, and distract you

Mar 25 2020, 6:04 pm

If you don’t have your mom’s Netflix password, or your ex blocked you from their HBO Go, you might be struggling for entertainment in your self-isolation.

Fear not, because there’s a free service at your fingertips that you’ve probably heard of at some point.

This is YouTube’s time to shine.

We’ve put together a few favorite channels that aim to relax, educate, or distract you as we all find ourselves spending more time than usual indoors.

Lofi hip hop radio-beats to relax/study to

Everyone loves lofi hip hop radio beats to relax/study to, and the live-streaming channel is constantly running with relaxing, low-volume instrumentals interspersed with song samples, spoken word, and excerpts from movies and TV shows. It’s the perfect background noise for working from home, reading, painting, or anything else.

Crash Course

If you feel like learning a thing or six, Crash Course has videos on a wide range of subjects, taught through illustration and animated graphics. The channel is run by authors and multi-hyphenates Hank and John Green, the latter of whom you’ll remember for his best-selling book The Fault in Our Stars.

Hot Ones

A rising star of the First We Feast channel, Hot Ones is a great way to pass the time by watching celebrities get uncomfortable whilst munching on increasingly hotter wings or wing substitutes.

Chelsea the Dog

Just a dog and her owner. Chelsea likes walks, treats, and disrupting her owner’s attempts to game or do home workouts.

Animal Planet

A one-stop-shop for all and any animal videos, Animal Planet’s YouTube account has been running for 12 years. That adds up to a lot of videos of cute, cuddly, scary, amazing, and heart-warming animals. Their channel is well organized into playlists, so if you’re really into a specific show or animal, like Pitbulls and Parolees, you can find what you’re looking for.


Theme park history, with episodes focusing on Disney specifically.

Jenna Marbles

After going viral in 2010, Jenna Mourey has been steadily publishing content on her YouTube channel almost every week. After mainly engaging in viral challenges and videos about gender differences, in the last three years, Mourey has pivoted to videos about whatever she feels like doing — to entertaining results. Videos of her turning herself into a disco ball, constructing a bald cap of only false eyelashes, and bleaching her own eyebrows are among some of the most popular on the channel, and are always good for a laugh in stressful times.

You Suck at Cooking

An oddball lo-fi comedy cooking channel with skits, songs, and spoken word odes to bean dip.

Rhett and Link

Jokesters Rhett McLaughlin and Charles “Link” Neal have been uploading videos to YouTube since it launched in 2005 and, as such, have a massive catalog of videos across four-plus channels. Their YouTube talk show Good Mythical Morning is a good place to start; topics range from daily news to finding out what happens to things submerged into margarita mix for a month.

Lessons From the Screenplay/Now You See It

Two channels focused on film theory from two different angles, the former from the writing side and the latter from the filmmaking process.

Binging with Babish

What started as an after-hours Reddit hobby has expanded into a full-time career for Andrew Rea, the dulcet-toned man behind the camera and frying pan. His recreations of food from TV, movies, and video games are backed by soothing instrumentals and narrated by Rea himself, leading to a channel worthy of hitting auto-play on.


The channel behind the True Facts series of videos, it also has some comedy skits and existential heart-warmers in the mix of informative and funny nature videos.

Any Let’s Play host

Search “Let’s Play (insert game title here)” and you’ll find hours of playthroughs, game guides, and more. Find your favorite YouTuber and watch them play the games you can’t.

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