I’m more than sure we’ve all been finding little things to ease our minds this year. Maybe it’s throwing hours upon hours into playing adorable video games or perfecting a recipe you’ve been promising to attempt, or turning your whole house into a jungle of plants and greenery. For me, I’ve found my mind is instantly put on Bliss Mode when I chuck on ambience videos that are hours and hours of background noise. They’re like an aural valium, and I honestly can’t get enough of them.
Usually, when I’m writing or pottering around the house, I like to have music or the TV on for some kind of sound. I grew up in houses where there was always some kind of background noise, and complete silence has always felt devoid of warmth and life to me.
And sometimes I just can’t write while listening to a playlist of 90s skatepunk, you know? It simply gets me too worked up and I tend to end up strung out and singing along, and then writing the lyrics instead of what I’m trying to say.
Enter, ambience videos on YouTube.
It started with coming across an eight-hour video of “Twin Peaks Double R Diner Ambience” which was pretty much just gentle jazz with the sporadic sound of cutlery touching plates and the gentle, warm whirr of an industrial fridge.
From there, I found myself in cosy log cabins with crackling wood fires while it rains heavily outside on the daily. Which is really good for me, a person who lives in Melbourne but does not have an actual fireplace.
Or in a cosy home while there’s a blizzard outside – even though I have never experienced that in my life.
Some days, I’d wind up writing in a big, ancient library. Maybe that’s me just yearning to work from anywhere that isn’t my kitchen table.
And one day recently I was wrapping myself up in the warmth of Rural Kitchen Ambience, which is definitely because I was missing being back at my parents’ places, listening to them cook and fuss around. There’s something uniquely soothing about hearing someone cooking, and the love and care that seems to emanate from the busyness of it all.
I’ve also found that layering gentle music over the top of these ambience videos creates a really nice and cosy vibe, too. I mean I already love listening to artists like Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, FKA twigs, Julia Jacklin when I want a gentle day of writing or gardening, so chucking the sounds of rain and a comforting crackling fire underneath it just kicks that Bliss Mode up a notch.
This combined with the fact that I very unashamedly listen to ASMR videos to calm my brain down to get to sleep most nights now, I’m happy to confirm that my YouTube algorithm is extremely blissed and cursed now.Image: YouTube