Happy and Inspiring Things to Watch/Read/Listen Before Bed

At uncertain times like these, we need to actively seek out happy and inspiring stories, as there is only so much news we can take before fatigue sets in.

Prioritising self-care is important right now and taking a few chunks of time out of your day to enjoy content that is uplifting totally counts.

Below, we’ve curated five things you can watch, listen or read before you put your phone down for the day. Taking in something happy, inspiring and thoughtful just before switching off social media is definitely the way forward.

#1 Watch

An Instagram video. BBC News recently posted a short interview-style video with a wonderful lady by the name of May Willis. Willis celebrated her 110th birthday on March 18 and after living through so many tragic world events, including two world wars, her outlook on life is completely refreshing.

For a joy-filled two minutes, watch the video below:

#2 Listen

To a Spotify playlist. There are a plethora of playlists on Spotify to choose from, but if you don’t have the brain space to make a decision at the moment, here’s a suggestion.

This playlist, called ‘sounds to feel sound to’, was compiled by ceramicist Rachel Saunders and it’s honestly just a delightful audio experience. Pop it on in the background as you work, or listen as you get ready for bed. It’s comforting and relaxing enough to zone out to.

#3 Read

The New York Times profile on Tom Hanks. This profile was originally published in November 2019, but it’s still just as heartwarming and relevant to read today. And rather aptly, it’s called ‘This Tom Hanks Story Will Make You Feel Less Bad’.

There’s a particularly touching moment in the article where Hanks reassures the journalist, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, about her own skills as a parent. While he might be an icon of Hollywood, he’s also just a lovely person.


#4 Watch and listen

To Lizzo’s Tiny Desk Concert. If you haven’t heard of the Tiny Desk Concert, it’s a series by NPR where artists perform three or four songs while sitting behind a desk. Simple concept, but massive results. And, everyone from Coldplay to Florence + the Machine and Adele have performed behind the same tiny desk.

It’s hard not to feel happy when watching Lizzo perform and this video will hopefully lift your spirits as it did ours.

#5 Read

The stories on Humans of New York (HONY). What began as a photography project in 2010 has now grown into a massive worldwide community. Created by Brandon Stanton, HONY shares stories of strangers in New York (and around the world, as Stanton frequently travels).

Reading random captions about other people’s lives might sound bizarre, the results are moving. If you’re not following Humans of New York on Facebook or Instagram, you’re missing out.

All of the stories posted on HONY are great, but there was an 11-part series that was particularly gripping and inspiring. Check out the first part of the story below:

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