Inspiration

Top 10 Amazing Websites You Don’t Know About

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?

thenicestplaceontheinter.net

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

calm.com

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

noisly.com

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

donottouch.org

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!

dinahmoelabs.com/plink

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

unplugthetv.com

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

thequietplaceproject.com

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

futureme.org

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

pixelthoughts.co

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!

goodnewsnetwork.org

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. :)

 

Do Good

7+ Ideas For Online Acts Of Kindness

— Originally published on Kindness Blog — by Louise Massol


Wanting to spread kindness through simple acts is a beautiful sentiment, and a contagious one. It inspires, it does good, it’s active, and it’s outside ourselves.

Kindness is an endless, fast growing resource, but isn’t complete if it remains kind thoughts that are never transformed into something real that has an impact on others.

We read here and there about acts of kindness ideas that are wonderful, but some take more time than we think we have, or we don’t have what is needed to actually apply these ideas.

But online acts of kindness can be done at any time from where you are! It’s easy and their impact is real, whether you see it or not. 

I do them often, even at work when I take a break. If you have access to a computer, you can spread positivity and kindness very simply.

I think doing acts of kindness online is also important because it counteracts the negativity we sometimes see online in forums, in comments, people insulting each other, being intolerant and disrespectful. Then of course it’s important to not generalize, as the internet is also a place of wonderful connections, support, and even friendship between strangers. It’s full of knowledge and discoveries, and is a window to different ways of living, to inspirational people and heartwarming initiatives.

Observing and receiving all that is amazing of course, but to play a part in the kindness and humanity we want to witness around us is equally important.

 

 Here are 7 ideas for online acts of kindness :   

 

1.     Send an email to organizations or brands you think do a good job

Giving positive feedback is important. Most of the reviews we see online are negative, sometimes because the product or service is not of value, but also often because people are more inspired by writing something negative when they’re not satisfied than writing something positive when they’re happy. And you don’t have to express something publicly either. I usually send emails just to express my gratitude for something this company or organization is doing, even for small things I appreciate. It matters.

I once wrote to an online translation website to thank them for making something useful and effective, and they were so touched they forwarded my email to their team members and said it was encouraging them to keep improving their service. Remember you’re making an actual person feel appreciated by doing so and push them to keep working towards better things, ideas, services, solutions. That’s the beauty of the kindness and positivity cycle.

 

2.     Search for “suicide” on tumblr

Search on tumblr for blogs that mention suicide and send a private message to the bloggers you find who talk about hurting themselves (and unfortunately there are many), no matter how serious it may seem to you. If you don’t know what to say, just say that you care, that this person matters and that you would hug him/her if you could. You may never get a reply but I assure you that if your message is read (and the tumblr community does appreciate private messages), it will warm the heart of someone, make them feel valued.

People who think about suicide are struggling every day, and you, with five minutes of your time, can make that day a little better. Remember that no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

 

3.     Send an animated e-card to someone

Sending an e-card is a lovely gesture. It puts images and sounds on your words and even though it only takes you the selection of an e-card your friend would like, it’s meaningful. It just makes people happy! Kindness isn’t about changing people’s lives with one action (although that does happen), but creating moments of selfless human connections for others. Even small acts of kindness generate a positive ripple effect.

“Helping” someone can also be doing something simple that says, “I recognize that you are here, and you are important”. I personally use Ojolie to send e-cards to people I care about and who are far away or who I don’t get to talk to that often. I’m only mentioning Ojolie cards because they’re actually illustrated by hand and then animated, and are just absolutely wonderful.

 

4.     Spend an hour on 7cups.com to listen to someone who needs to talk

7cups is an amazing online initiative that allows people to talk to a stranger when they feel alone, when they need to be actively listened to. It’s a very valuable use of your time online. Being an active listener takes a short online training that is fascinating and very well done. You learn to hear and not give advice, to actively help someone reflect on his or her feelings and work towards a solution or a clearer and more serene perspective on what they’re going through.

If you only have 20 minutes, it’s fine too. Making a difference in someone’s life is wonderful and is the best application of modern technology—connecting us, for real, no matter how isolated some may feel.

 

5.     Reply to content you enjoy

This is similar to the first idea, but it’s more about changing our consumption of online content by taking a minute to say “thank you”, to share a constructive thought, etc. There are times when I’m reading a great article, and though I consider replying to it, I just move on because I (like most of us) am used to doing that, or I realize I need to create an account to do so, etc. But it’s actually worth the “effort” and the time.

Slowing down when browsing the internet or using social media and expressing gratitude for something you enjoyed or adding something positive and constructive to what is said, created, shared, is a valuable change, and it emphasizes the human side of our seemingly individualistic online behavior.

 

6.     Join a forum and answer others’ questions

If there’s a topic you really enjoy and are good at (gardening, making model boats, drawing, raising lizards, etc), join a forum about it, spend some time regularly to find topics with questions that are still unanswered, and help by replying or redirecting to a relevant resource. Make the new members feel welcomed and supported. Online communities are wonderful. They make people feel less isolated and also more understood when they don’t know anybody in “real life” that shares their interest. I’m personally on a snail forum, as I’m raising some, and it’s amazing to talk to other people who have snails too!

 

7.     Forward coupons you receive by email

It’s annoying at times to receive special offers by email, because we’re not always interested, or because we get so many that we don’t sort them out and just delete them, even for products or services we do use sometimes. But the thing is that while those coupons may be for a product you’re not interested in, maybe someone you know would benefit from it (be careful to not forward spam, of course).

If you receive a discount on business cards and know someone who’s starting their own business or just got a new job, let them know about it. I don’t think we should frown on everything “commercial” that’s sent our way. We all receive a lot of these types of emails, but I think instead of only thinking of our own interest, or lack thereof, we should wonder for a moment if someone else would be interested.

Additionally, if you have special skills you can do even more acts of kindness! If you speak another language, you can volunteer to translate articles or subtitles for a website or a YouTube channel, for instance. If you’re a good reader, you can record books for the blind. If you know a city very well, you can give advice to travelers or expats.

Just think of what you’re good at and use some of your time to bring that knowledge to others.

There are many wonderful ways to practice kindness online, and it’s extremely rewarding too. It gives purpose to our lives and improves our happiness. It has also been proven to have a positive and real impact on our brain, our stress level, and our immune system!

Remember that every moment of your day, you can make the choice of kindness. 
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Illustrations by Freepik and Roundicons