How online learning websites help me combat my anxiety

Like many other people that suffer from mental health issues, I find myself in bed a lot. Even when I’m awake, my bed is a sanctuary that is difficult to leave. Some days, I stay in bed into the mid-afternoon, even if I’ve been awake for hours. Other times, I jump in bed before I’m even tired. It’s a habit that’s hard to kick, but I try not to beat myself up about it. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, life can come to us even when it’s hard to leave our rooms.

I’ve always been an eager learner, picking up random skills and acquiring new bits of information. Even when I feel extremely unmotivated, I keep my mind active with educational websites and apps.

They help me get through dark days, because these resources make learning easy from the comfort of my bedside. It gives me some sense of accomplishment, even when I haven’t really tackled my to-do list.

For example, every morning, I wake up and complete a quick five-minute Spanish lesson on Duolingo (it helps that I have notifications on my phone reminding me each morning). Before reaching for a glass of water, I’ve already done something I can talk about.

Some other (and also free) resources that I use include the following.


As I mentioned earlier, this app works best when you do small lessons over a long period. If you’re ready for a challenge, you can skip ahead and quiz yourself on multiple lessons at a time to get ahead. In addition to Spanish, you can learn French, Russian, German, and more languages.

2Encode for Android

In short bursts, you can learn basic how-tos about programming with practical explanations. Plus, the app can be used offline if you find yourself without an Internet connection. If you have an iPhone, you can also check out Codecademy: Hour of Code on the App Store.

3Open Yale Courses

Sometimes, I want something a little more complex than a documentary on Netflix. Right now, I’m working on an African American History lecture series, and there are tons of other subjects you can study. You should also check out this list of over 250 Ivy League courses you can take for free to get an idea of other universities doing the same thing.

4Crash Course

Along with his high school history teacher, author John Greene tackles a series of topics including world history, economics, and more in this energetic YouTube series. Many of the videos act as a refresher, but the series also helps contextualize events with vibrant animations. Consider this channel to be a bit more on the entertainment side.

It might seem silly to be stoked about such a simple thing, but over time, it feels awesome.

If you’re like me — a person with anxiety — it’s easy to feel down about your own lack of productivity.

It’s easy to talk yourself into feeling like you should’ve-could’ve-would’ve done something — but by taking advantage of these sites and apps, at the end of the day, you can say that you did these small things.

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