Everything is terrible. You know this as well as anyone because, like the rest of the world, you have spent the past few years pummelled by waves of awful historical events, each more debilitating than the last. The only thing that would make everything even worse is dunking your head into the furious, screaming world of social media.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In times of enormous crisis, one way to find temporary respite is to dilute your feeds with goodness. Below, I – along with some wonderful Guardian readers – have tracked down 50 feelgood social media accounts. Some are on Twitter, some on Instagram, some on TikTok. Some are uplifting, some are funny, some are weird, many have dogs in them. Sprinkle your accounts into your scrolling and you should end up in a much better frame of mind.
Bananner Joe, TikTok For the most part, this is simply a meme account. But it warrants inclusion here for its “shampoo prank” videos, in which a bodybuilder’s attempts to rinse shampoo out of his hair are perpetually thwarted by a hidden stranger. Maybe the hardest I have laughed at anything ever.
Abraham Bunga, TikTok Abraham Bunga only really has one joke – showing how people from different parts of London react to various circumstances – but luckily it’s a good one. The more of his videos you watch, the more you anticipate the punchline. And, since the punchline always dunks on people from west London, it’s always delightful.
Scott Seiss, TikTok Nobody on the internet has ever quite captured the hell of retail work like Seiss, who spends his videos talking back to a succession of awful unseen customers. If you have ever worked in a shop, getting to live vicariously through Seiss is joyful.
Alistair Green, Twitter Comedian Alistair Green is notorious for his neatly observed one-man videos that skewer politicians, male feminists, artificially woke brands and, increasingly, himself.
Rosie Holt, Twitter In Holt’s videos she poses as rightwing figures outraged about whatever happens to be in the news. Recently she went viral for pretending to be an MP so convincingly she tricked actual MPs.
Stevie Martin, Twitter Martin makes videos with Lola-Rose Maxwell, in which she becomes increasingly bewildered by various aspects of the modern world. Funnier than I’ve made it sound.
Good News Network, Twitter If, like me, your Twitter feed feels perfectly calibrated to ruin your emotional resilience, the Good News Network exists to counter that. It only posts happy, fun news stories. None of them are essential, but doesn’t the idea of non-essential news sound great?
Goodable, Twitter (submitted by Ben Marshall, Australia)
A great companion account to the Good News Network, delivering happy news only. Particularly great at finding the chinks of light in times of war.
Happy Eco News, Instagram Every day for the past four years, Happy Eco News has posted five hopeful, uplifting stories about the environment. They’re not all topical (one recent example was just a description of cassowaries), but it’s good, wholesome content nonetheless.
Heroic Girls, Twitter (submitted by James Vallance, Oxfordshire)
James says: “Highlighting strong role models for girls, particularly in comics. It’s great to scroll through their tweets to get ideas for my daughter and me to read up on.”
Dr Radha Modgil, Instagram During the pandemic, Dr Radha took to writing short, helpful posts listing tiny steps that people can take to ease the burden of everything. This practice has continued since the end of lockdown, and Radha remains an undefeated well of useful positivity.
Good Good Good Co, Instagram Like the good news Twitter accounts, except the stories are boiled down to their essentials and spread through Instagram, which makes it better somehow.
Wholesome Memes, Twitter Try to imagine a joke book where all the punchlines are happy endings. This is Wholesome Memes. There’s still a fighting chance that the whole thing is a big sarcastic joke at our expense, but it feels good anyway.
Peter Lovatt, Twitter Author of The Dance Cure, Lovatt is an academic who regularly posts videos of himself dancing with wild abandon. I follow Peter, and the ease with which his dancing can cheer me up is frightening.
Tommy Winkler, TikTok There are plenty of food accounts on TikTok, but none radiate the same level of slapdash joy as Winkler’s. None of his food looks particularly nice, and all of it is bad for you. Nevertheless, his sheer infectiousness makes him an instant go-to.
Mr Forge, TikTok Everyone loves a TikTok account with a purpose, and Mr Forge has the best purpose of all time: can he cook food with superheated molten metal? Spoiler: not really, no.
Adventures in Jelly, Instagram (submitted by Jennifer Cranmer, Dumfries)
Jennifer says: “Caroline collects vintage jelly moulds and makes the most fantastical jellies. She videos them with music sometimes, which is hilarious – these incredible creations jiggling on a plate make me smile every time.”
Satisfying Soap ASMR, Instagram In which a woman with a very sharp knife gently slices through various bars of soap. Honestly, one of the most profoundly satisfying things on the internet.
Salvage Rebuilds UK, Instagram (submitted by Chris Shea, Godalming)
Chris says: “Two guys (Rob and Chris) from Kent who buy old cars and fix them up. They love what they do, and it’s just very soothing watching them pottering about, having cups of tea and enjoying their work.”
Kitpbs, Instagram (submitted by Peter Stubbs, London)
Peter says this account “does micrographics of kit that runners wore to commemorate personal bests. There’s no judgment or sneeriness – everyone is celebrated equally, whether a super fast 5k runner or someone who just completed their first marathon.”
Francis Bourgeois, TikTok Currently the world’s most famous trainspotter, Bourgeois enjoys tracking down rare rolling stock and then, with the help of a GoPro attached to his head, records his own infectious delight.
Enbiggen, TikTok The effort that goes into maintaining the Enbiggen TikTok must be phenomenal. It’s a series of beautifully constructed Rube Goldberg machines that, as they unfold, play note-perfect recreations of famous songs. Staggering.
The Object, TikTok If you ever wanted to see closeup what a blueberry looks like when it’s cut with a hot knife, this account of compelling, satisfying macro videos is for you.
Beautiful Abandoned Places, Instagram Exactly what it sounds like – objects and buildings that have outlived human use are revisited and photographed. Eerie and beautiful.
Tatsuya Tanaka, Instagram A miniaturist who makes entire worlds from everyday objects. A recent favourite is the escalator made from a sandwich.
Stanley Chow, Instagram One of the world’s most instantly identifiable illustrators displays his wares – and occasionally fan-submitted pictures of him holding a picture of himself for some reason.
Yuki Kawae, Instagram A still, meditative account, where a Zen-inspired artist makes shapes in sand. Instant mindfulness.
Phoebe the Doodle, Instagram (submitted by Ellen, London)
Unsurprisingly, animals were an enormous hit with readers. Of Phoebe, a photogenic dog, Ellen says: “Have you seen her doing a handstand? It’s hilarious!”
Foxes in Love, Instagram (submitted by Shelley Thomas, Manchester)
Shelley says: “The creator produces cartoons of two foxes, which represent him and his partner. It is relatable, wholesome and feelgood and brings a smile to the face every morning it is published.”
Second Chance Animal Rescue, Facebook (submitted by Alan Grieve, Dunfermline)
A rare diversion to Facebook, for an animal rescue centre. Alan says: “Ena and Frank Conyon, who run the kennels, are the administrators of this joyous page, which celebrates the stories of all the dogs and their new owners.”
The Asher House, Facebook (submitted by Lynette Coleman, Canterbury)
Lynette says: “Lee Asher rescues all sorts of animals, giving them a wonderful life at his beautiful estate sanctuary in Oregon. He’s an amazing guy with a genuine love for the animals, a huge personality and a sense of humour. And he’s a real good-looking hunk!”
Woof Woof TV, Instagram Billing itself as “your one and only source for doggo posts” (legal disclaimer: it is far from the only source), Woof Woof TV is just loads of pictures of dogs. Cute dogs, silly dogs, big dogs, tiny dogs, dogs dressed as vegetables. Please, go crazy.
Seal Rescue Ireland, Instagram The official page of a centre that saves, heals and releases sick and injured seals. However cute you think this account might be, triple it and you still won’t be close.
Anne Louise Avery, Twitter (submitted by Chris Murphy, Chesterfield)
Chris says: “Anne’s beautifully written, daily Old Fox short stories touch on current events, but also provide some welcome escapism and brightness in otherwise gloomy times.”
Dogs Working From Home, Instagram If you like looking at photos of dogs looking at laptops, some of them while wearing glasses, then this Instagram account will give you what you want to an almost scary degree of accuracy. The account doesn’t update frequently, but it’s usually a doozy when it does.
Nature and travel
Old Time Hawkey, TikTok If you have ever dreamed of running away from this hellish world and starting again with nothing, Old Time Hawkey is basically an instruction manual. He cooks food on open fires. He goes ice fishing. He walks through snowy woodlands with his dog. Instantly relaxing.
Cabins in the Woods, Instagram Incidentally, while you’re planning to run away, here is an Instagram account full of the most beautifully designed woodland cabins you will ever find. You could lose hours here, in both admiration and jealousy.
Asa Steinars, Instagram Some of you might find that this account is a little too influencer-y – Steinars does like to position herself in the centre of most of her photos – but the appeal lies in all the spectacular Icelandic landscapes. This is where we should all run away to.
Tulips in Holland, Instagram During the winter months, Tulips in Holland is a haven of springtime. You’ll find loads and loads of pictures of tulips here; some closeup, some in formation, all beautiful.
Anne Par Avion, Instagram Photos of landscapes and architecture so well framed they occasionally threaten to stray into Wes Anderson territory, in the sense that Wes Anderson movies make you want to go on holiday.
Victor Cheng, Instagram More Wes Anderson-y photography, except Cheng lives in Hong Kong. All his shots are of teeming cities, with a speciality in absurdly tall residential skyscrapers. Beautiful.
Mondo Mascots, Instagram (submitted by Jay, Cardiff)
Jay says: “An almost-daily venture into the many absurd, bizarre or downright adorable Japanese mascots out there. For example, meet Tokitama, a hairy-legged egg wearing a fried egg on its head – a mascot for a shopping street.”
One Minute Briefs, Twitter (submitted by Ciaran McKeon, Dublin)
Ciaran says: “Each day, they post a daily ‘brief’ for anything, from paperclips to dog food. You are then challenged to post your idea to advertise that item, and it should take you only one minute.”
Spurs Trophies, Twitter (submitted by Tim, Hertfordshire)
Tim says: “Who wouldn’t want to wake up every day to a reminder of how long it is since Spurs won a trophy? Currently 5,132 days.”
Retronaut, Twitter Just a bunch of fascinating old pictures. A woman on a stove. A man with a cat in his beard. The shark from Jaws. Tina Turner. A tilted bus. There’s no pattern to them, but they’re all excellent.
Postcard from the Past, Twitter A series of old postcards. What makes this account brilliant is that each card is accompanied by some of the messages on the back. My favourite? A Dartmoor postcard, with the message: “Uncle Tony’s A NAUGHTY BOY.”
70s Dinner Party, Twitter A collection of genuinely monstrous food photographs from 1970s recipe books, including Frankfurter stew, illuminated gelatine, and something called “celery-stuffed celery”. It is amazing we’re not all dead.
Hydraulic Press Channel, Instagram An account where a mysterious user destroys things with his hydraulic press: a pumpkin; a Minion; a tub of glitter. Not only is it immensely fun, but it also feels suitably nihilistic for 2022.
Actual Heathcliff Comics, Twitter All this account does is post real Heathcliff comic strips, in a bid to show the world what an absurdly inward-looking receptacle for bizarre anti-jokes the character has become. It is astonishing.
Moldogaa, TikTok The greatest person on the entire internet, this woman spent months attempting to sing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World one letter at a time, to the obvious detriment of her mental health. She must be celebrated by everyone.