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Let's face it. The past few weeks have been stressful. People are sick. Jobs are in flux. Kids are home. We're mostly stuck indoors. There are ways to cope, including meditation, therapy, yoga, workouts -- and YouTube videos. You just have to know where to look. Here are 11 videos that should soothe your stressed-out soul.
Visiting with Huell Howser: Little Piano
Beloved TV personality and raconteur Huell Howser hosted and produced more than 400 episodes of California's Gold and Visiting over 24 seasons on KCET. Howser's genuine enthusiasm for all things Golden State was endearing. Who else could make a visit to a toy piano museum or a tortilla factory or a concert so riveting? Who else would do it snark-free? Such was the joy of watching his shows. Check out other episodes including visits to Pink's Hot Dogs, the Calligraphy Society of Los Angeles, Lily Farms (home of the happy chickens) and the Lummis House.
Bob Ross - A Walk in the Woods (Season 1 Episode 1)
Huell had his happy chickens and Bob Ross had his happy trees. The late painting instructor hosted the PBS show The Joy of Painting for 11 years. Known for painting landscapes using an "alla prima" ("wet on wet") oil painting technique, his zen-like manner and soporific tones are still mesmerizing to watch. Most viewers never painted along. They tuned in to zone out.
Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors
Ragnar Kjartansson's nine-screen installation is a haunting, beautiful film that was shot in a crumbling upstate New York manse. Kjartansson and his friends perform the same tune in different areas of the house simultaneously. Running more than an hour, the project was produced in one take. Many who caught the work at The Broad were enchanted by its hypnotic, soothing melody, the repetitiveness and the mundanity of its subject matter. Of course, the piece is best experienced in person, but the video excerpt still has anxiety-reducing properties.
Open Ocean: 10 Hours of Relaxing Oceanscapes | BBC Earth
BBC Earth, the documentary nature channel, put together 20 minutes of relaxing scenes from under the deep blue sea then looped the material into a 10-hour video. Watch hammerhead sharks, solitary stingrays and schools of fishes. If that doesn't lull you to sleep, the ocean sounds will.
7 HOUR 4K DRONE FILM: "Earth from Above" + Music by Nature Relaxation™ (Ambient AppleTV Style)
If you'd rather be in the clouds than sea, check out the drone footage from Nature Relaxation's library. The films combine ambient music of the sort you'd hear during a massage with breathtaking mountain scenery shot in 4K (like what's playing in a Best Buy TV section).
TV for Dogs! Chill Your Dog Out with this 24/7 TV and Music Playlist!
Another subgenre of calming videos is dedicated to canine relaxation. The music videos are supposedly created for anxious pups who suffer from separation anxiety or boredom. But the 24/7 channel by Relax My Dog, with its accompanying videos of dogs frolicking, can soothe puppy owners, too.
Deep Healing Music: Release Toxic Energy With These Cute Cats
Cat videos are all over the internet but we found this video courtesy of Paradigm Meditations. It can reduce anxiety -- or at least give you some really cute felines to watch while you count sheep.
Most Satisfying Pressing SLIME Videos #21
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos are all over YouTube. Using commonplace sights and sounds like melting, chewing and whispering, they're designed to relax and captivate. (Bob Ross' soothing voice is often cited as triggering ASMR.) Slime is a popular material used in many of these short, oddly satisfying videos that people rely on to quell anxiety. The video posted above has more than 18 million views.
If slime's not you're style, objects getting crushed by hydraulic press might be:
Or listening to people eat:
And finally, if you Google "The World's Most Relaxing Film," you'll get a nature video made on the west coast of Denmark. The filmmakers say that watching their short film will relax you in 7 minutes (and make you want to book a trip to Scandinavia when it's safe to come out).
Now let's all take a collective deep breath and press play.
SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19
We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.
LAist is known for our events listings but now hopefully we'll be known for our non-event listings and tips for parents to try to keep you sane. And we're looking for your nominations for everyday heroes in this time of crisis. We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.