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May 13, 2020
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Let’s say you’re stuck at home and you have an hour or two to spare. If you’re like most people, you’ll likely turn on the TV or cozy up in bed with the latest Netflix docuseries.
The average American adult watches almost three hours of television every day, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, more than 90% of adults subscribe to at least one video streaming service, with 60% subscribing to more than one, according to Nielsen.
You, like many Americans, probably enjoy a riveting HBO drama or a light-hearted Hulu comedy every once in a while, but you might also be like 42% of Americans who say they don’t use their streaming services enough to justify the cost. Why not use those hours spent in front of the screen to enrich your mental and physical health in other ways and not pay a hefty monthly subscription fee?
Here are some unique streaming services that offer free online classes and tutorials — whether you want to learn how to take your stick figure horse drawings to the next level, cook a chicken breast or even meditate from the comfort of your couch — and make you feel better about yourself in the process.
Choose one of the streaming service categories, or skip to the infographic for an overview of why it pays to take advantage of these free online videos and classes.
Free Art Streaming Services
Combined with other forms of therapy, art therapy has been shown to help people work through strong emotions, increase their self-awareness and self-worth, and even decrease their stress and anxiety.
In an article published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, researchers studied whether drawing improves your mood by helping you express your negative emotions and release them or by distracting you from your negative emotions. Ultimately, they found that drawing helps people’s moods by serving as a distraction from negative emotions.
Here are a number of free online art streaming resources to help steer you away from negative emotions in your life.
Academy of Art University: Practice drawing a head from memory or from a photo with this guided video tutorial.
Creativebug: Start a 30-day free trial to gain access to thousands of videos and classes on a variety of arts and crafts topics. The platform is owned by JOANN Fabric and Craft stores and releases new videos every day.
Ctrl+Paint: Explore the interesting world of digital painting with Ctrl+Paint’s collection of free videos that cut straight to the point and only last five minutes.
Jerry’s Artarama: Watch more than 4,000 free videos on everything from drawing and painting with watercolors to framing your masterpiece.
KlineStudios: Artist John Kline, who specializes in oil paintings of people in everyday situations, offers 15 free drawing lessons, as well as a collection of time-lapse videos.
LinkedIn Learning: Learn how to bring the human body to life with this free course taught by Fine Arts Professor Amy Wynne. The course also includes practice worksheets and sample poses.
Museum of Modern Art: The world-famous art museum offers nine free courses online, on everything from abstract painting to fashion.
RapidFireArt: Artist Darlene Nguyen provides several videos and step-by-step tutorials using her non-dominant hand to learn alongside you.
Free Cooking Streaming Services
Scientific research has revealed a number of potential positive psychological effects of cooking. A team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center found that cooking could provide a “reminiscence therapy experience,” or, in other words, the pleasure that accompanies remembering happy memories.
The team also found that cooking could lead to increased self-esteem and compel you to make healthier food choices, which, in turn, could boost your mood.
Check out these free cooking streaming services to lift your spirits and learn something new.
America’s Test Kitchen: Based on the hit TV show in which a team of chefs tweak recipes until they’re just right, America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School offers a free three-week trial.
Baker Bettie’s Baking School: Enroll in the Fundamentals of Baking course for free and access 12 lessons with detailed videos. If you like that course, you can enroll in a course about the essentials of yeast for $59.
BBC: These mini video lessons, broken down by difficulty levels, cut straight to the point and tell you exactly what you’ve always wondered, like how to temper chocolate or de-beard mussels.
CakeFlix: If recreating an actual-size teddy bear cake or piping any type of flower you can imagine sounds like fun, try out more than 1,000 cake courses through CakeFlix with a free seven-day trial.
Texas A&M’s Dinner Tonight: This platform offers weekly video demonstrations on cooking nutritious meals when you don’t have a lot of free time.
MIT’s Kitchen Chemistry: If you’re interested in science, this online course explains chemical principles like extraction, denaturation and phase changes through hands-on cooking lessons.
Rouxbe: With cooking classes for both home cooks and professional chefs, Rouxbe offers a 30-day free trial, after which the lessons cost $9.99 per month. Unique to the platform is its hundreds of plant-based recipes.
The New York Times: Whether you want to learn how to make pommes or ice cream, The New York Times offers a well-organized collection of cooking videos that explain the stories behind many foods.
Free General Wellness Streaming Services
Being mindful of what makes you happy and what upsets you can go a long way toward boosting your happiness and increasing your ability to work out problems.
Here are a number of videos and tutorials on a wide range of topics to boost your mood. Plus, check out these Udemy coupons for more online learning opportunities.
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s Crafting Realities: If you’re not happy about your job, look to this course, which uses positive psychology, neuroscience, sociology and philosophy to help you “experience your work as a joyful and meaningful activity.”
Indian School of Business’s A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment: Explore this course developed by Dr. Raj Raghunathan, who is also known as “Dr. Happy-smarts,” and learn the seven “deadly happiness sins.”
University of California, Berkeley’s The Science of Happiness: This popular free course teaches the ins and outs of positive psychology and allows you to purchase a verified certificate at the end.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Psychology of Popularity: Learn about the ways that the popularity you experienced when you were younger still affects you today and how to use this information to promote greater happiness later in life.
University of Washington’s Becoming a Resilient Person: Turn to these online videos in stressful times to learn more about optimistic thinking, relaxation strategies, choosing one’s attention and positive routines.
Yale’s The Science of Wellbeing: Known as one of the university’s most popular classes ever, this course uses behavioral science to explore what actually makes you happy (and what doesn’t).
Free Meditation Streaming Services
People have practiced meditation for thousands of years, historically as a way to understand sacred and mystical forces but more commonly today as a way to reduce stress.
There are plenty of emotional benefits of meditation, according to Mayo Clinic, including managing stress, increasing self awareness, reducing negative emotions, boosting imagination and creativity and even strengthening the capacity for patience and tolerance. Meditation could also help those struggling with certain medical conditions, especially if those conditions are worsened by stress.
Here’s where to watch and listen to free meditation sessions online.
Headspace: Listen to certain guided meditations for free on this popular meditation app, after which you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to unlock hundreds more.
Insight Timer: Gain access to more than 25,000 guided meditations and thousands of inspiring talks. The app lets you know how many people are meditating with you during any given program.
Simple Habit: Listen to short meditation sessions on a wide range of topics, from mindfulness for kids to self-care and easing fear. There’s also a premium subscription plan with more options.
Smiling Mind: Completely free to use with no paid options, Smiling Mind offers hundreds of programs for adults and kids, as well as for educators in classrooms.
Stop, Breathe & Think: The app checks in with you every day and recommends meditations based on how you’re feeling. Thirty meditations are available for free, with the option to pay for 100 premium meditations.
Tara Brach: These simple, no-frills meditations feature no music and allow you to focus only on what’s being said.
The Free Mindfulness Project: Download a number of short meditations on everything from body scans to mindfulness of breath.
The Meditation Podcast: Grab your headphones because these guided meditations feature binaural beats, which are two slightly different sound frequencies fed to each ear and designed to help with relaxation.
UCLA Mindful: If you’re new to meditation, the UCLA Mindful app provides helpful videos on the science of mindfulness, how to get started and proper meditation postures. There are also about a dozen meditations in English and Spanish.
Free Yoga and At-Home Exercise Streaming Services
In addition to its calming effects, yoga also provides a number of physical benefits: improved flexibility, better posture (and fewer people telling you to sit up “tall”), lower blood pressure and slower heart rates.
Check out these free options for getting in some exercise from the comfort of your home.
Alo Moves: Choose a yoga, fitness or meditation series from Alo Yoga and work out from your living room. The service is free for 14 days. You also can receive a free month with any purchase. Check out other Alo Yoga coupons for additional savings.
Daily Burn: Participate in a 30-minute workout every day from your home or try a new yoga routine. Daily Burn offers a free 30-day trial.
Fightmaster Yoga: Lesley Fightmaster releases a new video each week on her YouTube channel, which features moderately long, exercise-intensive sequences.
P.volve: Try the functional movement fitness streaming service free for 30 days. Also check out P.volve’s Instagram and YouTube channels for live workouts.
Rumble: The boxing studio offers free “social fitnessing” classes on its Instagram every day.
Yoga Television: Receive a taste of the popular New York-based Sky Ting Yoga with a seven-day free trial.
Sweatfest: Ryan Heffington, a dance instructor from Los Angeles, hosts free dance lessons on Instagram Live.
YMCA 360: Watch on-demand workouts from the YMCA on just about every physical activity, from pilates to kids’ activities to workouts for active seniors.
Yoga with Adriene: Adriene releases new videos on her YouTube channel each week and completes a 30-day journey in January that you can view at any time of the year.
YOME: The name says it all. This hub of videos aims to be your home for yoga. It offers plenty of free videos broken geared toward beginning and advanced learners.
Take advantage of these free services to learn something new from the comfort of your home and support your physical and mental wellness.
Or, if you’d like to take up a new hobby (say, knitting or chess), there’s probably an online course for you. Check out these Coursera coupons for deals on courses relating to just about anything you can think of. Also, check out the infographic exploring unique video streaming services to replace your typical TV viewing habits.
We hope that you found this blog helpful. Our content is not intended to provide mental health, physical fitness, psychological or financial advice. For specific guidance about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional. Capital One Shopping does not endorse or guarantee any information or recommendation listed above.