It’s hard to believe that 2021 is coming to an end. After 2020 (we won’t even get into it), 2021 was a year filled with adjustments - getting comfortable with the hybrid work situation, finding remedies for mask-cne, longing for or even (for the lucky ones) preparing to travel again, and, for all those that made it through 2020 without TikTok, 2021 was all about coming to terms with downloading the app.
It’s safe to say that just about everyone had an “I need a break to just catch my breath” moment (or two) this year and depended on quality content to turn to during those happy, difficult, or confusing times.
We asked the ThoughtLeaders team to reflect on the YouTuber that consistently helped them, guided them, or simply gave them a much-needed laugh in 2021.
Without further ado, here are the YouTubers we are thankful for in 2021.
Thankful for: Mark Wiens
Over the last year, Dan could only dream about leaving Europe. But he found a way to quench his thirst of traveling around the world by binging Mark Wiens’ videos - specifically the ones where he travels around Thailand and eats all the mouthwatering cuisines.
For a long time, Mark Wiens was unable to travel outside of Thailand due to the current climate so, he decided to take his viewers on the most epic Thailand adventure - from tourist destinations to lesser-known regions, Mark got Dan through this hard time by letting him vicariously experience eating spicy food while sweat seeps through your clothes via YouTube.
Thankful for: Yoginimelbourne
While everyone has their own way to deal with pregnancy, many turn to YouTube for guidance - whether that’s for tips and tricks, baby essentials or, in Michal’s case, prenatal yoga. When asked which YouTube channel got her through 2021, Michal quickly answered - yoginimelbourne, explaining that “she helped me handle my body and its changes during this time”.
Especially in a time when many yoga studios were forced to close or yogi’s didn’t feel comfortable training in a closed space with others around, YouTube was a great way to continue doing what you love in the comfort of your own home.
Thankful for: Lunch Break Heroes
You’re crazy if you thought that one of the YouTube channels Max is most grateful for isn’t D&D related. According to Max, “For the past year, I've been running a Dungeons and Dragons module called Curse of Strahd, with my friends, and it's one of the things I'm most excited for every week. The module is insanely daunting with tons of things to memorize, random sprawling lore that can be hard to keep track of, and a million different NPC (non-player characters) that I need to keep track of. Lunch Break Heroes breaks down every chapter of the Curse of Strahd book and gives TONS of additional ideas and insights that make the game better for everyone. Before every session, I sit down and watch his 10-minute breakdown of the chapter and see how I can tie in some of his ideas as well as mine.
Max also added that he respects this channel so much that he actually pays for Lunch Break Heroes’ Patreon in order to get physical copies of his notes - “I just want to support them in any way that I can”.
Thankful for: Nick Lewis
Earlier this year, Shoshana moved house - after almost 7 years in her old apartment! As Shoshana puts it - “the move made me rethink all kinds of design decisions” and that’s where Nick Lewis came in. His snappy videos helped explain all the head-scratching design buzzwords that were sprinkled across Pinterest.
Shoshana emphasized that she was grateful for Nick’s guidance and the strong opinions he wasn’t shy to share with the world: “his videos inspired many design purchases and I’d like to think he’d approve the results”.
Thankful for: More Plates More Dates
When asked to name the YouTuber that he was most grateful for in 2021, Ariel immediately answered - “Derek from More Plates More Dates because he is saving the fitness YouTube world”.
More Plates More Dates has carved out a unique niche - creating science-based content on the topics of body building, supplementation, & diet. He has managed to stand out on the platform by sharing his journey and personal experiences, while integrating a lot of research.
Thankful for: Milena Ciciotti
Giving birth at the end of 2020 - 2021 was all about adjusting to my new role in life - motherhood. Although nothing can fully prepare you for this new role, it felt like Milena Ciciotti was holding my hand through my darkest, most difficult moments because she showed a real, raw look into life as a young mother.
From a real look into a night routine with a newborn (believe it or not - it’s normal for babies to not sleep through the night) to the importance of making time for you and your partner, Milena touched on so many sensitive, but truly important topics and helped me get through 2021 much more confident as a mother.
Thankful for: Pyrocynical
Pyrocynical’s YouTube videos, which range from 11 minutes to over an hour-long, commentate on video games and bad movies. As Emir puts it, “his humor hits the spot for me and is one of the rare YouTubers that make 1+ hour videos and keeps them consistently funny throughout the entire video”.
At a single glance of his channel, it's clear to see that Emir is not alone. Pyrocynical’s videos receive millions of views and a sentiment score (likes divided by the sum of likes and dislikes) of 99.6%.
Thankful for: Corridor Crew
When Elsie isn’t closing sales, she is keeping up with the Marvel world. So, it was no surprise when she immediately answered ‘Corridor Crew’ when asked which YouTube channel she is most thankful for in 2021. According to Elsie, “they do insane breakdowns of all the Marvel movies and CGI effects, it’s a happy place…”
Thankful for: Andrew Huang
The best YouTubers are the ones who add value in each video they make! Tom has mentioned a few times that his favorite YouTuber is Andrew Huang because he touches on many issues producers deal with. His 2.2M subscribers definitely enjoy his extra touch of adding personal experiences and real-life scenarios.
Thankful for: NasDaily
There were two types of people in 2021 - those who couldn’t wait any longer and travelled wherever they could, and those who traveled vicariously through the first bunch. Pauline, who is located in the Philippines, has always dreamt of traveling the world and she thanks NasDaily, a travel vlogger, for “taking me places through 1-minute videos”.
Thankful for: Hooper Highlights
Eitan is a huge basketball fan and he loves keeping up with his Toronto Raptors. Hooper Highlights’ videos helps him stay up-to-date all the way from Israel with their post full-game NBA highlights.
With Hooper Highlights’ clips, Eitan can keep up with the sports smalltalk around the Thanksgiving table.
Thankful for: Rose and Rosie
Rose and Rosie started making videos together as a hobby as soon as they started dating. Fast forward to 2021, the pair are happily married and recently welcomed a son. According to Rose, “We never put ourselves out there as LGBT role models...we were like ‘let’s just be ourselves and have fun and that will normalize it”.
That’s exactly why Jenny is extremely thankful for this unfiltered duo - for showing what it's really like, especially when it came to the whole process of becoming mothers. Jenny said that “it was huge for me and my significant other” to have such a relatable figure to watch on YouTube.
Thankful for: Dannydinosaur
When asked which YouTuber he was most grateful for in 2021, Utkarsh immediately answered - Dannydinosaur, because “he makes gaming videos and it's refreshingly hilarious”. YouTube is saturated with gaming content, but it was interesting to see Dannydinosaur’s description: “I’m just a bad gamer making bad gaming videos. Do I know how to edit? No. Am I good at games? Not really.” Despite this introduction, this gamer/creator receives over thousands of views.
Thankful for: Mikey Chen
Flora loves traveling and trying new food, but when exploring the world became almost impossible, Mikey Chen helped settle her wanderlust (and gurgling stomach) while also giving her destinations to add to her bucket list.
If Flora could choose any YouTuber to invite to her Thanksgiving feast, Mikey Chen would be at the top of her list. According to her, “[Chen] is super fun and I would seriously love to spend a day with him eating my face off”.
Thankful for: Epicurious
What better way to learn new cooking techniques than by watching home chefs face off professional chefs! Throughout the year, Amit found himself keeping up with Epicurious’ videos because “as someone who likes to cook (and eat), it’s fun to see and learn about the science behind the food.
Thankful for: Goodful
Throughout the year, Jenny has really focused on putting her physical and mental health first. So, it's no surprise that when asked which YouTube channel she was most grateful for in 2021, she answered: Goodful.
From ‘4 Easy Low-Carb Snacks in 15 Minutes or Less’ to ‘Yoga Everyday for 30 Days’, Goodful caught Jenny’s attention while she was looking for meditation videos but she ultimately fell down the Goodful rabbit hole because of its ability to focus on a variety of different topics in a very interesting way.
Thankful for: Daniel Greene
Fantasy lovers, this is the YouTube channel for you! Uri is thankful for this YouTuber in 2021 because he “really likes his takes on fantasy and sci-fi, plus [he] generally finds his explanations for difficult concepts in a book series very helpful”.
Thankful for: John Moyer
Throughout this crazy year filled with lockdowns, vaccinations, borders opening and closing, and just a feeling of uncertainty, Natalie turned to John Moyer’s channel for help to clear her mind. John Moyer, a professional hypnotist, shares his sleep hypnosis techniques and guided meditations on YouTube.
Next time you struggle to fall asleep or are interested in taking a deep dive into the wonderful world of sleep meditation, definitely check out his channel.
Thankful for: Ludwig
This is a great example of Twitch content making its way to YouTube! Ludwig is primarily known on Twitch but he uploads videos daily to his YouTube channel (which has 2.05M subscribers!). Misho noted that he prefers watching Ludwig’s content on YouTube because he can “catch up on the best moments from the Twitch stream”.
Thankful for: Anna x Sitar
When asked which YouTuber she was most thankful for in 2021, Isabelle immediately answered - Anna x Sitar. You have probably seen her super relatable videos on TikTok but Anna is also well-loved on YouTube. As Isabelle puts it, “she is just a normal person who is awesome at YouTube. I love keeping up with her daily life - breakups, Starbucks recommendations, mental health, and just typical adult hardships. She’s inspirational!
Thankful for: Linus Tech Tips
Although Jakub isn’t much of a YouTube-viewer, he found himself returning to Linus Tech Tips’ channel as “it’s the closest channel to my interests”. With over 14M subscribers, it’s safe to say that Linus Tech Tips is the Tech channel on YouTube.
According to its description, “Linus Tech Tips is a passionate team of ‘professionally curious’ experts in consumer technology and video production which aims to inform and educate people of all ages through our entertaining videos”. What’s for sure, if you run out of things to talk about at your Thanksgiving feast - definitely whip out one of their videos!
Thankful for: Corey Gil-Shuster
Corey Gil-Shuster has definitely found a great way to stand out on YouTube - creating videos based on audience-driven questions. Each video focuses on a different (burning) question - such as, ‘Israelis: Do you listen to modern Arabic music?’ or ‘Palestinians: Is your beard for religious or fashion reasons?’. Blake noted that Corey’s videos “break through social norms. Putting a face on conflict is refreshing and I learn something new with every video upload”.
Thankful for: Try Guys
During a year filled with adjustments and uncertainty, Try Guys brought Maika a little bit of positivity and entertainment, she felt “as if their energy and positivity passed on to me”. She explained “I liked how their friendship blossomed into a channel where they try and do a lot of things together. But aside from their friendship, they have been very positive and entertaining. They’re fun, quirky, and authentic. I also love how they advocate for things and use their platform to voice out their advocacies.”
There is something on their channel for just about anyone - food lovers, gamers, those who love online challenges, and even those looking for a channel that stands up for social issues.
Thankful for: Birchpunk
Birchpunk’s description says it all - “They say that Russia is a technically backward country...Birchpunk is a daring futuristic dystopian project that ironically shows the Russian future”. When asked which YouTuber he was most thankful for in 2021, Alex answered “Birchpunk”, adding “bit insane, but funny”.
Clearly, YouTube is filled with videos for just about everyone. At some point or another in 2021, each member of our ThoughtLeaders team turned to YouTube for a breather (whether that was in the form of guidance, humor, extra knowledge or simply as a way to escape - even just for a few minutes). So, to the mentioned YouTubers, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!