In March, when New York City was instructed to shelter in place and I shut my apartment door behind me not knowing when I would open it again, I didn’t turn to Netflix. I had no interest in watching TV shows and movies about people who could go to restaurants and see their friends. Instead, I went to my trusty YouTube subscription box, where all of my tried and true creators were dealing with the same isolation as me. 

YouTube has been my primary form of entertainment since I was a tween, when I discovered it was yet another place I could consume content about Harry Potter. Over the years, my interests have evolved (I’m now more interested in watching lifestyle vlogs than I am in people debating Harry Potter vs. TwilightHarry Potter wins, by the way) and I’ve maintained a stable roster of creators whose lives I’ve kept up with, occasionally discarding and discovering new people along the way. But I have never subscribed to as many new people as I have these past few months. 

Once I exhausted the new videos from my OG creators—and the pandemic still wasn’t over—I frantically began searching for new content to fill the void. But rather than gravitating towards those who are keeping busy during quarantine, I found myself more and more watching people who were doing the exact opposite. I realized I’d rather watch someone give their house a deep clean and organize their closet than keep up the farce of normal life. Through soothing music and thoughtful cinematography, the mundane was becoming aspirational, and I was then finding joy in those same quarantine activities in my own life. 

A number of these videos come from Korean creators. Even before the pandemic, their style of vlogging is close to that of ASMR: it’s silent, subtitled, and rarely shows the face of the person behind the camera. The more YouTube saw me watching these simple, quiet vlogs, the more the algorithm kept serving me other variations from creators all over. These videos are something I may have not had the patience for when the world was at its fast-paced normal, but now it would not be too dramatic to say they are one of the only things keeping me sane. 

If you, too, also need something that will turn your mind to mush as you face yet another day inside, here are the creators that have been getting me through.

Cheyenne Barton

Illustrator Cheyenne Barton’s life in Seattle seems as magical as the fairytale characters she draws. Luckily, quarantine has enabled her to create more of her “Draw With Me” videos, with the added adventures of sourdough-baking and Animal Crossing.

승아네 seungahne

Seung-Ah’s apartment-organizing and furniture-rearranging videos combine the satisfaction of Tetris with the aesthetics of millennial pink—and her Instagram is just as pleasing.

Abetweene

I found Ariane’s videos when looking for an at-home manicure tutorial (#quarantine) and ended up binge-watching a lot of her content. How is someone able to make cuticle-trimming look so pretty? 

The Chateau Diaries

What I would give to be self-isolating in a chateau. Creator Stephanie has lived in the Chateau de Lalande for over a decade now, along with her mother and volunteers who help restore it. When they all found themselves locked down in the giant house together, Stephanie started regularly vlogging their gardening, cooking, and peacock adventures. 

Brittany Bathgate

I’d followed Brittany on Instagram for a while for her outfit pictures, but she recently picked up vlogging while England was in full lockdown. Her day-to-day lockdown life includes bike rides, reading in the garden, and drinking wine with friends over Zoom.