10 YouTube Channels to Expand Your Mind

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I love YouTube and I could spend all day watching videos, both fun and informative. It is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care.  What I love most about YouTube is the ability to learn from people with different perspectives than my own. One of the best ways to grow as a person and to learn about yourself is to open your mind to different viewpoints.  I’ve found myself feeling frustrated, guilty, hopeful, confused, proud and a host of other emotions when watching videos from these channels. 

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Remember, “negative” emotions are not bad, and we should feel a range of emotions to fully experience life.  I hope you enjoy these YouTube channels as much as I do and that you learn something about yourself, other people, and the world around us.

If you love YouTube, you may also be interested in Twitch Prime. Twitch is a video platform that connects you to your favorite streamers in video games and the creative arts. I personally love watching streams about the Sims 4. Click here to start your FREE trial for Twitch Prime.

Tedx Talks

TEDx Talks uses a similar format to TED Talks but are produced independently from TED conferences. You can see speakers from all over the world speaking on a range of topics. I love watching these videos because they come from so many different people from different walks of life, and shows how each person can bring us new knowledge and wisdom.

The School of Life

If you’re not ready to cry or be frustrated or be upset, this channel is not for you. This YouTube channel often speaks to my very core and is essential for people who want to learn more about themselves and other people. Most of the videos are done using animation, which often makes them even more poignant. I recommend, “On Feeling Ugly” or “How to Choose a Partner Wisely“. While these videos often leave me with intense “negative” emotions, there is also always a glimmer of hope.


MadameNoire is a channel that caters to black women, but I think that anyone could benefit from watching their videos. What I really enjoy about this channel is the discussions on relationships – from cheating to who we pick as partners and everything in between.


Last Week Tonight is a weekly talk show on HBO hosted by comedian John Oliver. It goes into topics such as our current political landscape, climate change, and economics. There’s always a healthy dose of humor involved in every episode. I highly recommend this if you want to learn and laugh at the same time.

Lindsay Ellis 

I’ve talked about Lindsay Ellis previously in my blog post on self-care. Lindsay primary does video essays on popular culture topics such as movies, Youtube, and books. Some of my favorite videos of hers include her Loose Canon series which looks into how popular figures (such as Santa Claus or the Wicked Witch of the West) are portrayed in media.

Crash Course

Crash Course is your go-to YouTube channel for learning about multiple different topics such as world history, engineering, and literature. If you have children, they also have a channel just for kids: Crash Course Kids, where they cover similar topics.


AJ+ is a global news network that often speaks on topics that are not highlighted in mainstream news. For example, they’ve done a video series on Guam, which is a United States territory and it’s inhabitants live under a different set of rules than American citizens.

It’s Okay To Be Smart

It’s Okay to Be Smart is another YouTube channel that focuses sharing knowledge in many different subjects like climate change, aging, farting (yes, I said farting), and bioluminescence. If you’re interested in a range of topics, this is definitely the channel for you.


Have you ever wondered, “what if x historical event never happened?”. This channel strives to answer this question. One of my favorite videos on this channel is “What if the Internet Never Existed?“.

The Take by ScreenPrism

If you’re a lover of movies, subscribing to ScreenPrism is a must. ScreenPrism creates video essays on popular television shows and movies and analyzes them to find deeper meanings than we just see on the screen. My current favorite video from ScreenPrism is Captain America: Reinventing the Patriot, which goes into what does it mean to be a patriot and which America does Captain America represent. Other popular videos on their channel include ones on Mad Men, Disney, and Breaking Bad.

Computer with text on it saying "Do you love youtube and crave knowledge?" and then says "10 youtube channels to expand your mind"

Check out some of these YouTube channels and see what you think. Leave me a comment with your favorite YouTube channel and I’ll check it out 🙂

If you liked this post about YouTube, make sure to grab your free trial of Twitch Prime, offered by Amazon!

Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention.  Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.

Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.

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  1. Payton says:

    I love this list! I’m really into learning so this is right up my alley. I already subscribed to “Its Okay To Be Smart” (so good) and “Crash Course” looks awesome! What a great list, thanks for sharing!

    1. Briana says:

      Thank you for reading! It’s Okay To Be Smart is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve watched every video.

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