Everyone needs a break, especially now, with COVID-19 pressing us into homestays, pivoting our businesses, and watching to the 24-hour news cycle unfold.
Let's be real: now's the time to take a break. If you're going to waste some time, you might as well be wasting it on fun, stress-reducing websites that won't break your pocketbook.
A few time-wasting tips:
- Be mindful and present — acknowledge you're taking a break
- Set a timer so you're not falling down a 4-hour rabbit hole
- Make it treat (or a reward for achieving a goal) so you look forward to it (and enjoy it more!)
- If you think you might be wasting too much time download our Social Media Detox 7-day reflective journal
The criteria I used to develop this list:
- Free to use
- Fun, or engaging, or both
- Unique experiences (that's why you won't find Lifehacker, Mashable, Oatmeal or the Onion on this list)
Here are my top 10 websites worth wasting time on:
1. Are you a Schitt's Creek fan? Dress David Rose!
If you are, then you know that David Rose wears the most ridiculous (and fun!) outfits. All. The. Time.
Where do they find those clothes, anyway?
Now you can dress David in your favorite Schitt's Creek outfit.
Lynn Fisher built a site where you can dress David in your favorite outfit(s) from every season/episode.
Caution: may consume several hours.
2. Track Flipper, Jaws, Yurtle, & Willy Online
Wouldn't it be cool if you could track dolphins, sharks, turtles, and whales online? Well, now you can.
OCEARCH is an online tracker of sea life. According to OCEARCH, their mission is "to accelerate the ocean's return to balance and abundance, through fearless innovations in scientific research, education, outreach, and policy, using unique collaborations of individuals and organizations in the U.S. and abroad."
I don't know precisely how they do it, but OCEARCH allows you to track the movements of sea life and learn amazing details such as the type of shark, it's gender, length, and weight.
Seriously, a whole website devoted to tracking sea life? YES PLEASE.
3. Hit the Oregon Trail — Yes, THAT Game is Available on Your Browser
Hands-down one of the most popular educational video games from the 1980s and '90s was The Oregon Trail.
It's even in the video game hall of fame.
The basic premise of the game is that you're in a covered wagon traveling from Missouri to the Willamette Valley. Along the way, you answer questions and make decisions to determine your fate.
Will you reach your final destination?
It's free, and you don't need to download anything. You're welcome.
If you can't get enough of the '90s, head over to My 90s TV, your one-stop-shop for TV clips from the 1990s. You'll find cartoons, game shows, commercials, music — you name it — a fun romp down memory lane. Poolside.fm will quench your '80s cravings.
4. The Useless Web. Someone who's done all the work for you.
The Useless Web is what it sounds like, a website devoted to directing you to the most indescribably useless and head-scratching (and fun!) websites you've never seen.
I appreciate it. And, I wonder who has the time for this?
The Useless Web appears to have a sister site called Sell Me Something Weird or Confusing. I clicked the PLEASE button and went to an eBay site selling "Play Visions 450 Nose Aerobics Basketball Glasses Game." Yeah. So there's that.
5. Rave Worm
You move your mouse, the worm moves with you.
There's not much to it.
Seriously, that's it.
And yet, somehow it grabs your attention.
Warning: This page does include flashing images, so be careful!
6. When Cute Animals Attack! (Warning: Cuteness Overload)
Attack of the Cute will give you your fill of amazingly cute animals.
Pages and pages of photos of cute animals — so much stress relief in one place you might not ever leave. (At some point ya gotta because a girl has to eat!)
For a ridiculous break, try Cat Bounce (spice it up by clicking on 'make it rain').
If you want to see pictures of specific animals (e.g., Boston terriers), head over to Cutest Paw, it doesn't disappoint.
7. Book-Lovers Paradise
Book nerds, I got you (probably because I'm one of you!).
OnRead. Get access to 1,500,000 free books, includes book exchanges and uploads.
Project Gutenberg offers 61,575 free ebooks to download.
Don't forget your local libraries also offer ebooks now.
If you want to read fascinating, unique articles, head over to Brain Pickings. Nothing will kill your boredom quicker than the fact-filled stories on this blog.
8. Did Your Favorite Band Break-up? Find Similar Tunes
One of the biggest bummers is when your favorite band breaks up or retires — especially if you're like me and tend to listen to off-the-wall bands.
Enter LivePlasma. Enter the name of the band and click search. You'll see a map of related groups. Click on the artist(s) you're interested in learning more about, and you can listen to a sample track.
This site is a great way to learn about music you likely wouldn't have come into contact with before.
9. This Website Might Help You *Save* Time Streaming Movies
If you're like me, you spend a lot of time searching for good movies to watch — on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.
I think my phone has "new movies on Netflix [month] [year]" permanently etched into its history.
Then, we spend God knows how long trying to figure out if those websites are accurate.
Next time you're looking for an excellent movie to watch, go to, you guessed it, A Good Movie to Watch.
Sort by the channels you have (e.g., Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Apple, etc.), and then read through synopses and ratings to find the film that matches your interests.
You *could* get lost in all the titles, unless your husband is waiting impatiently (that happens over here All. The. Time.).
10. Make a Great Meal with What You Have At Home
Do you ever open the fridge and think, "I have a lot of food, but nothing I can make with it all?" I found just the thing for you.
When you're stuck at home and can't get out, Supercook provides you with recipes using the ingredients you already have at home.