Here’s my top 10 hidden gems on the internet, relatively unknown yet amazing websites. I picked these because they are relaxing, heartwarming, positive, creative and juste make me happy. They’re in no specific order. I love them all.
1. Need a hug?
This site is literally called “the nicest place on the internet” because it just is. It shows you videos of strangers hugging “you”. Well, their camera technically. It may sound a little weird but it really is heartwarming and makes you feel like someone cares. Because people actually do. And you can also record your own hug to add to the site for other people to enjoy. I just really like this simple initiative.
2. Customizable guided meditations
I personally really like guided meditations but it’s hard to find short ones for when you don’t have time for a half hour meditation and don’t want to spend an extra 15 actually looking for a good guided meditation on Youtube for instance. Calm.com is an awesome, intuitive, simple meditation solution for busy people. You can choose the background image & the duration. It’s very easy. And it’s free. :)
3. Relaxing ambient sounds
A very simple website that just allows you to play one or several ambient sounds to wash away the distractions. There are preset settings if you want. You can choose “random”, “productivity” and “relax”. You can listen to these sounds while you’re working or just while you close your eyes for a little bit. It really helps and I just love how simple it is to customize the sound environment you want. There are 16 different sounds to choose from! You can play them together, adjust the volume of each. It’s awesome and the website itself looks beautiful and has a slowly changing background color.
4. A cooperation experience
Do Not Touch is a crowd-sourced music video. You really have to experience it to understand it but basically every person that participates (it can be you in a minute) has their cursor recorded. You just have to follow the instructions and see what all the other people did right before you. It’s fun and most importantly, it gives a sense of community, seeing the cursors representing all these other people like you, doing the same thing, playing, making things together, cooperating! A creative and touching initiative. Try it out!
5. Make music with strangers!
Plink is an intuitive multiplayer music experience developed by Dinahmoe Labs. It’s very, very simple to use. You pick your instruments by clicking colored buttons on the right and you move your mouse up and down while clicking to make sounds. There are always people playing with you. It’s awesome to see how people are being attentive to the rhythm you’re following. If you take the lead with the melody, someone will harmonize with you and play the bass sounds. It’s an awesome jam session for everybody, even if you don’t know how to make music. Creating with strangers is just a beautiful moment that can definitely cheer you up and make you feel part of something.
6. Unplug the TV
Unplug the TV is meant to replace mind-numbing television. They propose that you instead watch something mind-opening and educational. It has hundreds of educational videos to help you learn or gain a new perspective. It’s the most minimalistic website layout ever and it’s amazing specifically because it doesn’t give you a list of things to choose from. It just gives you a random video that is guaranteed to be interesting. It’s okay if you don’t like one so much, you can just click on “I want to watch something else” and another great video will start. I just love this idea.
7. The Quiet Place
The quiet place is a short yet deep experience. It just helps you take a break. A real one. It’s exactly what it says it is. A quiet place. You just “communicate” with the quiet place by “gently squeezing” the spacebar. You can do it whenever you feel like you’re too distracted, can’t stop checking your phone, need to just focus on not doing anything for a second (well 30 to be specific). It’s necessary.
8. Write to your future self
Future Me is a simple yet amazing website. The idea is very basic, it allows you to send yourself an email in the future. I used it and I’ll receive an email in 10 years. In the email, I told myself what I hope will happen between now and then, what I believe now and how interesting it will be to see how I changed, etc. When I told friends I had done that, some of them were shocked! They didn’t like the idea too much because they thought I might be depressed to see all the hopes I had for the future, especially if none of them happen. It’s a pretty pessimistic way of seeing it to say the least… I think on the contrary that it can make you reflect on how you evolved and because I’ll receive it in 10 years, I’ll still have plenty of time to do the things I didn’t do and always wanted to. It’s a great, touching reminder. I find it fascinating. You can set it to be sent whenever you want, it doesn’t have to be 10 years. What I also like on the website is that you can read public letters (you have the option to set your email to be public–yet anonymous–or not. I set my letter to private) and it’s moving and inspiring to see what people are saying to their future self.
9. Watch your stressful thoughts go away
We hear a lot during guided meditations about visualizing something good, or seeing our negative thoughts being small. When I have a thought I don’t like I usually visualize a computer desktop with the trash can icon and I mentally drag my negative thoughts to it and then in my mind I hear that satisfying sound virtual trash cans make when you empty them. :) All this to say that visualizing is an effective way to deal with our emotions. Pixelthoughts allows you to write down a stressful thought and see it become small and disappear while being given perspective on your problem. It helps you step back and literally shows your thought go away. I think it’s an amazing idea. Try it out. :)
10. Good News!
The Good News Network is a website that shares positive news. It’s like a regular online newspaper, only they focus on good stuff, giving you a necessary break from all the negative things we hear about every day (not because there are more bad things than before, but because media focuses on the negative and media sources have increased in number). So this is a breath of fresh air. It shows us that there really are amazing things, uplifting stories, generous initiatives, humans being humane in our world. I think we all know it but we easily forget it, we generalize the bad news, turning it into a reality, which is actually only a perspective on reality. I think this website creates a good balance. :)
What do you think of this list? Are there other amazing yet rather unknown websites you want to share? Please do so in the comments below. :)