This election season has been stressful. Women (and sexual assault survivors in particular) have reported leaning on their therapists during this trying time, with many patients’ anxieties being tied to a potential Donald Trump presidency. In fact, the American Psychological Association came forward to outline some tips for those women ― and men ― coping with the very real Election Stress Disorder. Avoid political discussions, limit your media consumption, vote.
Since advice like, “Turn off the news feed. Stop reading everything if it just gets you more stressed,” isn’t always entirely helpful, we’d like to propose an alternative, or more accurately, supplementary treatment for those finding it increasingly difficult to deal with all this bullshit: Watch. Bob. Ross. And lots of him.
Now, our suggested remedy for Election Stress Disorder is by no means a cure. Allowing Bob Ross, host of the epic PBS series “The Joy of Painting,” to guide you through a Majestic Mountain tutorial is akin to listening to arbitrarily soothing ambient noises thanks to a random YouTube channel. The science behind ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos ― intended to lull their audience into a tingly state of momentary pleasure ― is slim.
But anecdotally speaking, watching Bob Ross helps. At no point during his less-than-30-minute segments does he ever broach the subject of politics. Instead, he paints sunsets and mountains and happy little trees. His voice feels like an aural epsom salt bath, candles and everything.
Tending to your own mental health is hard ― and complex. Therapy is essential, and the APA’s guidelines are helpful. But sometimes you need Bob Ross. And in those times, these 17 extremely calming episodes will help. Let’s get through this damn election together. In the words of Ross himself: “That’s a crooked tree. We’ll send him to Washington.” “Every day is a good day when you paint.”
Bonus: You can watch Bob Ross’ other show, “Beauty Is Everywhere,” on Netflix.