Even before the COVID-19 lockdown, people were watching a lot of TV: almost three hours a day, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These days, you’re probably watching even more television and binging on more Netflix and Hulu shows. Sometimes, it seems like there isn’t much else to do. However, the shows that you watch do have the power to improve your mood, make you feel inspired and help with your mental wellbeing, if you choose what to watch carefully.
There are a number of excellent streaming service alternatives to Netflix, Hulu and HBO where you can learn about things like art, cooking, meditation, yoga and physical exercise: all things that can boost your mood and make you feel uplifted during scary times.
Art & Crafts Shows
Drawing and painting are great ways to distract yourself, improve your mental wellbeing, reduce negative emotions and relieve stress and anxiety. Luckily, there are a ton of excellent art streaming services to help you do just that.
Creativebug: Get crafting with online classes on general arts and crafts, sewing, knitting, jewellery and so much more.
Ctrl+Paint: Browse a large collection of five-minute videos on the ins and outs of digital painting.
Jerry’s Artarama: Learn how to draw, paint with watercolors and frame your masterpieces with more than 4,000 free videos.
Museum of Modern Art: Watch nine online courses on everything from “Seeing Through Photographs” to “Fashion as Design” and “Postwar Abstract Painting.”
Cooking Streaming Services
In addition to allowing you to spend some quality time with your loved ones in the kitchen, cooking has also been shown to increase self-esteem and remind you of pleasant memories from your past. Overall, cooking will make you calm, relaxed and help with your mental wellbeing.
America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School: Watch as teams of chefs tweak recipes until they’re just right.
BBC Food Techniques: Brush up on how to prepare artichoke hearts, how to shape Chinese dumplings and so much more with short mini videos.
Cakeflix: Like Netflix but for cake decorating, choose from thousands of videos.
MIT’s Kitchen Chemistry: Learn about the chemical principles behind the foods that you cook.
General Wellness Shows
If you know the mechanisms behind what makes you happy and what doesn’t, you can gradually work on boosting your happiness.
University of California, Berkeley’s The Foundations of Happiness at Work: Try out ways to boost your happiness at work and test whether your workplace as a whole is happy.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Psychology of Popularity: Learn about the ways that popularity affects all of us and how that can be used to promote happiness.
Yale’s The Science of Wellbeing: Explore the fascinating world of behavioral science and what actually makes you happy (and what doesn’t).
Yoga and Exercise Shows
It’s no secret that yoga can decrease stress and provide a whole host of other physical benefits, like improving your flexibility and posture. Why not try it at home?
YMCA 360: Browse a diverse collection of videos on everything from yoga to weightlifting and activities for kids and seniors.
Fightmaster Yoga: Watch a new video each week on Leslie Fightmaster’s YouTube channel, which features moderately long sequences.
YOME: Explore a number of great yoga videos, broken down by difficulty level.
When you’d like to learn something new or binge watch something else than the latest Netflix drama, aim to boost your mental wellbeing and physical wellness by exploring a new streaming service.
Thank you to Matt Zdun for his valuable contribution. Matt writes about a little of everything, from topics on self care and wellness to finance and politics. When not looking for good stories to tell, he plays piano and guitar and sings with a choir in Austin, Texas.