Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
The web can feel like a place where everyone wants something from you. There are emails about work and Facebook notifications – to-do lists and IMs. Are there any sites on the web that don’t want you to respond to everything?
The Nicest Place on the Internet: For When You’re Feeling Down
The Internet can be a nasty place, but it doesn’t have to be. This collection of video hugs proves that.
Technically this is just a collection of YouTube videos, tied together with music and a pixelated heart. Simple as this site is, though, it’s effective. I’ve been around this wide old Internet of ours, and seen my share of terrible things. By all rights, I should be jaded at this point, but I can’t load this particular site without smiling. I bet you can’t either.
You can even contribute your own hugs to the project, if you want. Remember: you can be a force for good in a world filled with online trolls.
The Quiet Place: For When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
Your phone just buzzed. Even if it didn’t, I bet you had an impulse to check after reading that. We’re all overwhelmed by notifications, and we kind of like it.
The Quiet Place is a sort of digital detox, designed to remind you to pull away from your notifications from time to time.
Turn off your notifications and take a few minutes with this website – it’ll be worthwhile.
Make Everything OK: For When a Friend Needs Support
Try as we might to calm ourselves down, sometimes we just can’t. When life gets really bad we wish there was a button that could just make everything fine. And there is one.
There’s no magic here, obviously, but this site is worth keeping in mind the next time you need to cheer someone up. Check it out, then bookmark it for later.
What ISS Astronauts See Now: Realtime Space Station Map
Our problems here on earth seem superficial when thought about from a cosmic perspective, and few people have a better idea of this than those on the International Space Station (ISS). This site shows you, in real time, the part of our beautiful planet people on the space station are looking down on right now:
We’re big fans of cool NASA stuff, so this is right up our alley. But if you need to relax, there’s something strangely compelling about watching the world drift by – even if it’s just a Google Maps representation. If you’d prefer a live video feed of what’s happening on the station, check out ISS Live.
Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere: The Best Google Maps Mashup of All Time
The ISS gets around, but you know who else did? Johnny Cash. This site combines one of Cash’s best songs with Google Maps, and works exactly the way you think it does. Which is to say, it’s delightful.
If you and some co-workers need to wind down after a long day, pull this site up. I promise you’ll all enjoy it.
While we’re on the subject, here’s a fact not everyone knows: Cash’s version is a cover of a song that was originally about Australia. Seriously: that song’s been everywhere.
Which Web Sites Calm You Down?
Sometimes you just need to relax for two minutes, but can’t get away from your computer. Knowing the right sites can help, which is why we want to know: which sites help you relax? Let’s compile an ongoing list in the comments below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.