Photo courtesy of YouTube

The halfway mark for a quarter is the deer-in-the-headlights moment where one second guesses their study habits and begins to contemplate how to cram hundreds of pages of reading into one study session before the midterm. We all have something keeping us on the edge: a test, a paper, a presentation, or worse… a group project. Midterms, and finals for that matter, are a stressful time, but it’s important to allow oneself some time to take a study break in order to maintain a sound mental state. To assist with this, here are some YouTube channels that are great distractions for five to thirty minutes of de-stressing.

How to Dad

No YouTube recommendations list is complete without a cute baby video. In the channel, “How to Dad” you see, as the title implies, a father who takes the viewer through the tasks of raising two little girls. To deliver on its dry humor, these how-to videos follow a traditional YouTube style with short, but comical, jump cuts. At its core, this channel is sure to leave the viewer with a smile. A good starting point is watching “How to put a baby to sleep.”


Vox’s substantial data journalism and off-beat storytelling translates well into their video platform on YouTube. Filled with deep dives into numerous topics and plenty of eye-catching visuals, Vox’s video content will leave viewers more informed about the world than they initially were prior to watching any of their videos. Yet, the channel is still able to entertain and not strain the brain. Their “explained” videos and case studies on random observations are definite highlights for the channel—especially their video explaining the ubiquity of Grey Poupon references in rap songs.

Casually Explained

Casually Explained is a series of animated videos which turn relatable topics on its head. Filled with dry, self-deprecating humor, this channel pays close attention to detail which makes each video worth multiple viewings. Topics discussed in this channel range in various areas such as job searching, group projects and dating.

CGP Grey

Unlike typical informative channels, CGP Grey analyzes complicated topics that the average person may not have ever wondered about. Watching videos on this channel might even make study breaks more rewarding as they will allow the brain a chance to be distracted whilst still thinking complexly. CGP Grey’s videos go into varied topics of pop culture, politics, history, science and anything else in between. His video analyzing the fatal flaw with Star Trek transporters will surely leave viewers, in the best of ways, with an existential crisis.

Liza Koshy

For light-hearted viewing pleasures, former Viner, Liza Koshy, is a professional when it comes to creating digestible content that is silly and energetic. If a study session is reaching high levels of exertion, Koshy’s silly, pun-filled jokes are great breaks from reality. The channel relies on Koshy’s imaginative—and random—journeys to make a hilarious video. On one video she may tattoo her entire body and then grill some food on the next.

Music Video Sins

For those who have strong opinions over mainstream music—positive or negative—Music Video Sins is a fun alternative way to watch the latest music video that the pop world has to offer. Created by the same forces behind the popular YouTube channel Cinema Sins, Music Video Sins is equally as nitpicky and clever. An important note to consider is for this channel is  that, although watching the music video beforehand is not required, it can be rewarding to know the references the narrator is making when poking fun at other elements of the music industry. A current highlight is their dissection of Taylor Swift’s, “Look What You Made Me Do,” video.