Feeling a little out-of-sync or technologically overwhelmed from trying to keep up with “Tiger King” drama and the next 2020 bonanza? While the internet notoriously drags us down rabbit holes we can do well without, it luckily also acts as an aid that provides us with peace, healthy entertainment and new perspectives. With quarantine still in effect, embrace this time to hop on YouTube and take on new hobbies that’ll prove that living is still possible whether stuck indoors or not.
Check out these 25 YouTube channels that will keep you entertained and informed, and encourage you to take on some new wholesome habits along the way.
Looking for cinematic masterpieces but don’t want to commit to a 3 season show or 2-hour movie? Luckily, the short film gods shine down on us in the form of Omeleto’s channel, “the home of award-winning short films.” With titles like: “A woman must confess her love of meat to her vegan boyfriend before he meets her family” to “A young man struggles to impress his dream girl. Then he gets creative,” you know exactly what you’re walking into with every short film. In a time period of unfortunate events like 2020 when entertainment takes a stale turn with the same shows and streaming platforms, Omeleto offers a refreshing experience on YouTube that may or may not keep you up until the a.m.’s to binge-watch.
2. 李子柒 Liziqi
Year in review: we almost went to war, our president was in a peach, a worldwide pandemic drags on and killer bees enter America. This year keeps getting more exhausting, and sometimes the best medicine is returning to our roots. These origins speak to a simpler time when we made things by hand, took naturalistic walks into the forest and valued family over Instagram likes. Liziqi’s channel is a Youtube channel in which a young woman abandons all forms of modern living to take care of her grandmother who lives in the Chinese countryside. Her videos are anything but boring. Take a journey into her world as she rides her horse through a misty forest to find magnolia blossoms, makes homemade beer and crafts and dyes a homemade blanket from sheep’s wool. Her channel offers a relaxing and simple take, giving a relieving break from our current world.
3. Binging with Babish
What separates a professional quality cooking channel from any other amateur YouTube channel? Easy. I can tell you, but it’d probably be easier to just watch Binging with Babish’s YouTube videos instead. A cook combines his love for cooking and film in the form of replications of famous foods in film, how-to’s, cooking techniques and humor. Don’t limit your cooking to the same old boring pasta’s, “authentic” enchiladas or that outdated ramen recipe you made up in college. Learn how to cook the famous ratatouille from Ratatouille, a Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants or Bubba’s famous shrimp from “Forest Gump.” If that doesn’t do it for you, check out his Basics with Babish series in which he returns to food basics by teaching how to cook staples like gnocchi, sourdough bread or vegetarian chili. With a YouTube channel like his, you’ll never run out of recipes to cook.
4. Frank James
For all my MBTI and the human mind obsessed folk, your secret lies safe with me. Well, at least within the bounds of this article and the thousands of people reading it. The Myers Briggs test is a self-assessment indicator that gives 4 letters to indicate how the test subject perceives the world and makes decisions–introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Luckily, a whole fan base doesn’t just limit itself to real-world conversations and blogs, but also leaks into the fantastic world of YouTube. Frank James offers a humorous and freakishly accurate take on Myers Briggs by performing skits of how each MBTI type would respond to various hypothetical situations. From videos like “16 Personalities on a Video Conference Call” to “16 Personalities as Moms in Quarantine,” prepare for a ride of your life that keeps you entertained every YouTube video.
Our addiction to BestDressed goes as follows: in our efforts to find something more remotely interesting than mainstream YouTube, we come across a seemingly humble page based on fashion. But don’t fret; this YouTube page offers more application and entertainment than first meets the eye. As we follow the life of recent UCLA film graduate Ashley, we witness her journey start as a mere interest in thrifting as a hobby. Now, she has completely transformed her YouTube channel into her dream lifestyle. From videos of her redecorating her L.A. studio apartment, offering tips on how to properly thrift, turning herself into an E-girl or just having a heart to heart chat about beauty insecurities, BestDressed strives to combine authenticity to her film degree talent, fashion and humor all into one channel. When all else seems dull, delve into a YouTube channel that will amp up your fashion sense and thrifting skills, and gain a new friend in the process.
6. The Office
I get it–you can easily access the iconic show “The Office” on Netflix with just one click of your Roku remote. Even so, the official The Office YouTube page still click baits me as it shares the show’s best moments and compilations. Refresh your memory of the time the office debated over Hillary Swank’s hotness, the heartwarming moments when Jim confessed his love for Pam or when Dwight gave birth to a melon. The channel also creates compilations of random categories like the best conference room moments, the best office pranks or the rivalry between Phylis and Angela. If you don’t consider yourself an Office fanatic, this channel offers the perfect moment to appreciate the show’s humor and characters without having to flip through specific episodes to find moments like when Michael burnt his foot on a George Foreman grill or accidentally cross-dressed. If you don’t come out as an Office fanatic once quarantine ends, then I haven’t done my job.
7. What I’ve Learned
The truth: quarantine gets boring as heck sometimes, and when we don’t get the constant stimulation we desire, the days just drag on. But don’t search for stimulation in the form of funny TikToks, a new show or texts from that one person who left you on read. Rather, steer left and indulge in knowledge, What I’ve Learned offers a stimulating and fact-filled experience with videos on a wide range of topics. “If you need to give your brain a little boost during quarantine, the bite-sized videos on this channel share fresh, somewhat experimental ideas on psychology, philosophy and nutrition,” UCLA 2020 grad Juliette LeSaint said. Whether you want to know what sleeping position is the best, where emotions come from or why people in Japan have such healthy lifestyles, feed yourself with knowledge of the world that’ll engage your mind.
8. Brave Wilderness
While trapped in quarantine, you may miss the great outdoors and the chance to experience nature’s miracles to their full extent. But thanks to animal enthusiast Coyote Peterson, he will help you make up for lost time through his YouTube channel Brave Wilderness. While accompanying this guy on his journey to come face to face with wild animals, get an adrenaline rush and an animal lesson at the same time. Watch him intentionally experience the bite of a giant hornet, enter the killer zone in a shark cage or scout out the South African rivers to find a river dragon. While he explores the great oceans, mountains and deserts, he constantly reminds his audience that animal education and exposure constitute his primary motivations. Get lost in his brave and wild world while you brush up on some animal knowledge.
9. Asian Boss
Tired of all the fake news and media dominated by biased perspectives and shallow topics? It’s no coincidence that Asian Boss’ slogan reads “Real News by Real People on Real Issues,” because this YouTube channel offers a refreshing new take on society. Although the channel mainly addresses social issues and cultural trends from Asia, its content resonates with just about anyone. Titles include “Koreans Debate on Privacy vs. Public Health,” “Life in Japan’s Smallest Rooms,” “A Wuhan Resident Speaks Out on Coronavirus” and “This South Korean Man is Raising 10 North Korean Kids.” Asian Boss addresses controversial issues most feel too afraid to bring up with honest takes and opinions from real people living it out. C’mon, you just can’t pass up quality content like this given the time of 2020.
After watching just a couple of Maangchi’s YouTube videos, you’ll start saying “Hi everybody!” with a smile on your face just like Maangchi does at the start of her videos. And not just because this woman is the embodiment of sunshine, but because you made some delicious Korean food. This channel bases its content in authentic Korean cooking and cuisine by teaching you how to make Korean classics like kimbap, short ribs and kimchi pancakes. If you feel extra daring, learn her other recipes like her jellyfish salad, ox bone hangover soup or spicy grilled squid. Don’t worry; Maangchi will walk you through every recipe thoroughly. She’ll give you important pointers like how to properly clean produce, reveal game-changing secret ingredients and teach you some Korean vocab along the way. So abandon those predictable dinner nights and embrace a new hobby of the beautiful art of cooking Korean food. Heck, by the end of it all, you could host your own Korean bbq party instead of going to overpriced Korean bbq joints.
Welcome to the story of how I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole by accidentally pressing on a video of a regular guy trying-and failing- to imitate a professional opera singer, and I’ve never looked back since. TwoSetViolin identifies as your classical musical savior. Whoever said classical musicians are boring and uptight never experienced how TwoSetViolin’s channel makes you question the boundaries of what classical musicians can do with their talent. “The videos can be really informative about classical music and what it’s like to be a musician, and they manage to keep us engaged with humor,” UCLA 2020 grad Becky Yang said. From videos in which musicians get roasted by professional recorder players, try to develop perfect pitch through an experiment or react to musical blind dating, TwoSetViolin offers comedic and random content to keep you entertained. This channel raises the bar of entertainment and fun by presenting it in the form of classical music.
Thanks to quarantine, all our dormant hobbies from childhood come out—including our inclinations to draw mythical creatures and fight stick figure wars in class during home economics. DrawingWiffWaffles offers all you want in a drawing channel–she doesn’t just draw… her imaginative capability is on par with any Pixar animator or 8-year old child still overflowing with imagination. From redesigning her 10-year old art to taking on art challenges and reviewing art supplies, sooner or later you’ll get enthralled in her creative process- art enthusiast or not. Her titles include “Drawing the Same Thing Until My Art Block Falls Off,” “Drawing Chocolate Strawberries as People” and “Trying out Professional Crayons.” Watching her sketch in purples and reds, outline her drawings with the fine line of quality ink and then filling it in with color is therapeutic.
13. Joanna Ceddia
Joanne Ceddia’s YouTube channel features a girl with the personality of a golden retriever who leads you through the events of her quirky life and personal challenges she chooses to take on. To put it simply, college student Joanna Ceddia embodies the kind of person you’d want to spend time within quarantine because her life is nothing short of remarkable. From shaving her head, hatching and raising 24 quails or dressing as a pirate for an entire week of school, this girl lives life to the fullest. “When I first saw one of Joanna’s videos, I was skeptical of just another “quirky” girl on Youtube trying to make some jokes while doing unconventional things. But I found her videos to be really funny, and even though I was just watching her do things like run a track, talk about a PhotoBooth neck injury or try to redecorate her room, I was always entertained. She’s fun, relatable and just a great getaway from what’s going on in your own life,” UCLA junior Monica Perez said. Subscribe for the content but stay for the offbeat humor, mini microphone she interviews herself with and cameos with her adorable mother.
14. Wilderness TV
One day, I thought I experienced just about everything on YouTube, and then it happened: I stumbled across a humble video of a man making a mud house for abandoned puppies. Now, if that story alone doesn’t make you want to immediately go to Wilderness TV, then do you even have a heart? Inspired by his discovery of abandoned cats and dogs, the main star of Wilderness TV builds huts, ponds and aquariums from scratch using natural resources. From mixing water with dirt to make mud to making his own water filter out of bamboo, this man’s projects will leave you in shock and awe at how he accomplished more in one video than you have this whole year. Watching his beautiful handiwork while listening to flow of water in the background offers a calming and satisfying experience to distract you from our chaotic reality in America.
Just when you thought you escaped the nagging thought of “Oh snap, I better start working out until this quarantine thing catches up to me”, well, here’s another wake-up call for you. Luckily, Madfit’s channel doesn’t produce those annoying, aimless, workout videos. Instead, these clean-cut and real-time videos offer straightforward workouts that always target a body area to focus on. Whether you want to become more flexible, obtain toned arms or work on burning fat, Madfit has videos for every kind of workout. The channel even has dance workouts to some of your favorite tunes from Britney Spears, Eminem and Benee. So, if you want to flail your arms and squat to lyrics about mom’s spaghetti and dropping bombs, be my guest.
16. Yoga with Adriene
When thinking about yoga and what that word even means, sometimes the images that pop into our heads include a hippie guy dressed in rainbow print and beads, staying in the same position for hours chanting “Om.” To that, Yoga Adriene says “No girl, what is you doing?” This channel transforms yoga, redefining it as a daily engagement that improves more than just your patience. Made complete with Adriene’s soothing voice, she numbers her videos by day so that yoga continues daily. With videos targeting focusing, unwinding or healing stress, it’s hard to bypass such healthy and beneficial content. She also leads meditation and yoga videos to aid in subjects in learning, vulnerability, and awakening the artist within. In a time of stress and uncertainty, Yoga with Adriene may become your new best friend.
The funny thing about authors these days–the fact that they’re far beyond able to create desirable fictional boyfriends in the form of Augustus Waters. The Vlog Brothers is a channel by brothers Hank and John Green- author of YA reads like The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. The two brothers vlog back and forth as if they’re having a conversation with one another, using the channel as an opportunity to talk about real-life issues, controversies or just plain banter. Two intellectual and educated people are a rare find on YouTube these days. From offering book recommendations on reads that have changed their lives to mental health tips from experience to encouraging takes on COVID, the Greens offer honesty and entertainment through genuine conversations. You want to have The Vlog Brothers by your side during the pandemic for their sensitivity, applicable advice and the refreshing reminder that we’re all just human.
18. Doctor Mike
In the wake of medical mix-ups like Trump’s advice to self-inject Lysol and passionate Facebook posts on the false, conspiratorial documentary “Plandemic,” sometimes current news gets confusing and unreliable. Luckily, Doctor Mike, known as the #1 Health/Medicine Influencer, opens himself up to answer all the unanswered questions. From creating videos on how to recharge during a time of a draining quarantine, fact-checking the “Plandemic” conspiracy or providing a routine for better nighttime sleep, he offers quality information that will better your life and knowledge of the pandemic. “He uploads videos frequently so you’re always updated. He also makes fun videos in between where he either reacts to medical shows and games. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about not only the coronavirus, but also about health and wellness in general,” UCLA 2020 grad Poleena Bedrosian said. In the words of his “about” page, he strives to make medicine relatable, understanding and fun.
19. Hailey in Bookland
Quarantine probably made you do some crazy things so far, like open a book for the first time in years. But don’t let the giant and the unfamiliar monster of reading for enjoyment get to you; booktubers like Hailey in Bookland can show you the way. This Canadian native makes readings an exciting adventure by offering unique insights on her favorite books, recommending new reads based on specific genres and recommending the perfect reads for self-quarantine. As a book enthusiast myself, lots of the best books come straight from her recommended list. She makes videos touring her beautiful color-coded bookshelf, reading to her puppy and sharing tips on how to work from home. Don’t feel afraid to take on reading as a pastime and expand your horizons in the form of juicy plots.
20. The Dodo
Given that the next phase of 2020 may involve an alien invasion or stings by a killer hornet, sometimes all we want to do is cuddle in the corner with our pets and escape. For both those with animal friends and those without, The Dodo offers an alternative to uplift our spirits with some of the best animal videos in existence. Get lost in videos of a pitbull bringing his stuffed animal to his owner, a mailman and a dog’s sweet relationship or a brave blue-eyed elephant. These videos restore our faith in humanity because lots of them feature stories of rescued animals or ones that were restored back to health by fellow animal lovers. In a directionless time like 2020, focusing on the good of this world offers a lovely alternative to spending an uneventful day in quarantine.
21. Rowena Tsai
Constantly kicking yourself in the shin for continuously missing your 8 a.m’s, waking up every day at 2 p.m. or slacking on your health and academics? Rowena Tsai offers the perfect videos for anyone looking to become their best self and live a life of productivity, positivity and growth. Her video titles include: “7 mindset habits that help me stay calm, positive, and sane,” “Doodle and Journal with Me: Prompts + Drawing as Self-Discovery” and “7 systems to incorporate into your routine to stay inspired.” It’s clear that this girl is on a mission to change not only her own life but yours too! So, don’t fester in the sorrow that you have once again wasted another day, but take action with Rowena Tsai by your side.
We all know John Krasinski as the unmotivated prankster Jim in “The Office” or the brave family man in “The Quiet Place,” but did you know him as the guy who took coronavirus limitations into his own hands? John and his wife Emily Blunt used their celebrity platform to create a YouTube channel that offers a refreshingly positive take on current events. The channel called SomeGoodNews doubles as a conversation and interview with celebrities they’re friends with like Oprah, Martha Stewart and the original Hamilton Broadway cast. The channel even consistently features the Office cast, an entertainment gold mine in itself. Instead of featuring celebrities as we always see them, fitted in their Oscar-winning outfits and plastered smiles, we witness them from their own homes. It makes the whole vibe of the videos casual, fun and allows you to view these celebrities as people like you and me. With John opening up the video with some good news, inspiring videos and positive ways people are responding to the virus, we can’t help but feel a sense of relief that at least some good things are taking place in the world.
23. 1 the K
Want to escape into a world of attractive k-pop boys like BTS and interesting characters like Psy, but don’t know where to start? 1 the K acts as a hub for all things k-pop related and offers a good introduction to k-pop music videos. The channel releases new videos from some of Korea’s leading artists daily, so you’ll never run out of content, eye-candy and catchy beats to keep you invested. Watching these videos doesn’t just stop there, because you also have a whole world of dance choreography, the Korean language and joining k-pop fan groups to steal your attention. So kick off your shoes and get ready for aesthetically pleasing videos that make you want to cry and dance at the same time.
24. Postmodern Jukebox
While hearing indistinguishable rap lyrics and getting bombarded with twerking dancers in the music videos of today, ever wish you could teleport back to a time to when music was defined by class, tux’s and slick gelled back hairdos? Postmodern Jukebox offers a window into music’s endearing past by remaking all your favorite modern-day songs into jazz style tunes of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. With extravagant styles of clothing, backup singers, dancers and actual vintage microphones, this channel is the real deal. So take a journey back to the past to hear your favorite tunes in elegant fashion and take your mind off our current world and disappointments.
25. Cooking Tree
Before quarantine, “baking” meant greasing a pan and popping a few premade Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies into the oven and calling it a day. Now, there’s no excuse why you can’t make a rainbow crepe cake from scratch or master the art of cheese tarts. Cooking Tree turns baking into art by leading us through recipes that not only taste good but look too perfect to ruin with our undeserving peasant hands. Check out Cooking Tree’s recipes on honey double cheese tarts, the no oven strawberry cheesecake, a grapefruit orange cake, custard soufflé pancakes- the list goes on. Now, your friends and families with baking skills you considered only doable by Gordon Ramsey himself.