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27 certifiably wholesome Instagram accounts to soothe your frazzled mind

Words by Cait Emma Burke

Visual ASMR for the soul.

In light of recent global events, wholesomeness has become a quality that is extremely important to me. For a little context, I used to be someone who indulged and sometimes even actively sought out non-wholesome content. Chaotic content, if you will. 

My regular haunts were Instagram accounts like Catatonic Youths, Keep It Vague, Not My Animal, Brown Cardigan, Tommie Romola, Deadly Animal Geographic, Paulie V Vlogs, Airport Styles, Boys Who Can Cook, and most importantly, Britney Spears’ official IG

Simply put, these are the kind of Instagrams that make you feel a little bit diabolical. They make you sweat with secondhand embarrassment and scream with laughter. Some of them are the true embodiment of chaotic evil. They make you believe the world’s entirely off-kilter, and sometimes they make you legitimately queasy. Viewer discretion is advised. 

But now that the world really is entirely off-kilter, my days of indulging in visual chaos are behind me. More to the point, in the last month, I’ve become almost indistinguishable from an actual human baby.

I stay indoors all day long, unable to go anywhere of my own accord (unless you count the supermarket, which I don’t). I spend a lot of my time sleeping, lying down, and/or crying loudly, and I suddenly have a predilection for soft, comfort foods (ice cream, mashed potatoes, soup and bread). 

I’m just a pathetic, adult-sized baby. All I want is to be soothed, and wholesome Instagram content is like warm milk for my little baby mouth right now. Unfortunately, the Internet is not necessarily known for being the most wholesome of places, and a lot of the time it’s downright chaotic evil (see Keep It Vague).

So, once you’ve googled ‘coronavirus australia update’ for the fifteenth time in a day, overdosed on toxic Tiger King memes, and suddenly find yourself feeling like a frazzled pile of human mush, it’s absolutely imperative that you know where to go to get your immediate fix of that top-shelf, premium level wholesome content. 

Luckily for you, this big, dumb baby has got you covered. (That’s me, I’m the baby, just in case you forgot). I hope you enjoy this very comprehensive and very wholesome list. 

1. Sam Neill

 

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Let’s just have a chat this sunny morning …

A post shared by SamNeillTheProp (@samneilltheprop) on


Sam Neill (AKA New Zealand’s national treasure) is too precious for this cruel world and he must be protected at all costs. So far, since being in isolation he has invited us to join him for a wine tasting, held impromptu therapy sessions, read us children’s books, has sung songs, created short films, kept us updated on his farm animals, and has just generally been doing what he does best, which is being 100 per cent wholesome at all times.

2. Dogs Eating Gently 

 

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Mlem

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Dogs are great, this we know. But dogs eating gently? That’s wholesome, baby.

3. Angela Trimbur

 

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Me in day 12 of solo quarantine, to the delivery man

A post shared by Angela Trimbur (@angelatrimbur) on


Angela Trimbur is a comedian, dancer and actress, and she’s also so wholesome it hurts (a good kind of hurt, obviously). Follow her for cute photos of her pet birds and floral wallpapered house, dance videos, the occasional comedy skit, but also because she’s just really good at providing a calming perspective in these very-much-not-chill-at-all times.

4. Richard E Grant

 

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‘Don’t attempt anything without the gloves’ 🧤🧤🧤🧤🧤🧤🧤🧤🧤

A post shared by Richard E. Grant (@richard.e.grant) on

Sometimes someone is so wholesome that they unwittingly become chaotic wholesome. Actor Richard E Grant is the perfect example of this particular alignment, and I simply cannot get enough of it.

5. The Ocean

 

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One in thousands survive to adulthood. Be ocean minded for nature. – 📷 @benjhicks #Turtle #underwater #ocean

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Pretty straightforward really, just calming, serene photos of the ocean. This one’s a nice wholesome palate cleanser if you’ve just read some terrifying statistics or looked at yet another goddamned bell curve chart.

6. The Monty Don

 

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Garden path

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Monty Don is the UK’s leading gardening writer and broadcaster, and he’s also one of Instagram’s leading purveyors of wholesome content, something Wikipedia should really add to his bio. As a side note, if you’re having a particularly bad day, I suggest watching his four-part BBC series on Italian gardens and really luxuriating in the wholesome grandad vibe that he emanates.

7. Tracee Ellis Ross

 

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red lips, squirrels, lizards, birds & bugs. Sending out so much love.

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on

Tracee Ellis Ross is incredible, and watching her makes me feel like a confident, capable human being, and encourages me to exercise, sing, dance, and put on a brightly coloured lipstick, although not necessarily in that order. Honestly, watch a video or two and try to tell me you wouldn’t do anything to emulate her isolation energy.

8. Brad Leone


I, like many others in the world, have a big old crush on Bon Appétit’s test kitchen manager Brad Leone. He’s the perfect example of wholesome hot, a combination I just made up, and one that doesn’t get enough attention IMO. Follow him for delicious, heartwarming meals and for handy fermenting tips (for the uninitiated, Brad hosts It’s Alive! a very funny Bon Appétit YouTube series where he makes all sorts of fermented foods).

9. Jeff Goldblum

 

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Sending everyone everywhere infinite love! 🙏🏼🤲🏼🧼✨💙🌏🦋 @wtaetv

A post shared by Jeff Goldblum (@jeffgoldblum) on

Jeff Goldblum is somehow wholesome, chaotic and sexy, all at the same time – the elusive trifecta. He also looks excellent in a Prada shirt, but that’s beside the point.

10. Ottolenghi 

 

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My boys have not been so super interested in the nitty gritty of how cakes come into this world until the latest quarantine. Now, suddenly, thanks to Junior Bake Off, they can’t get enough. Still in pyjamas, Max helped me make my banana bread from PLENTY MORE, which he later crowned “my second-best cake ever, after lemon drizzle”. I grilled the slices for them, smothered with heaps of the best substance in the world (i.e. butter), sprinkled with Malden salt and drizzled with honey. The method cannot be any simpler (there’s a link in my bio). Adjustments are welcome! I didn’t have tahini (yes, you read right!) or a loaf tin so did without them. Swap pecans with walnuts or other nuts, not a problem. Good Sunday everyone and stay safe! #OTK #ottolenghitestkitchen

A post shared by Yotam Ottolenghi (@ottolenghi) on

Yotam Ottolenghi is an acclaimed chef, restauranteur and food writer, and I believe he’s also single-handedly responsible for everyone wanting to put pomegranate seeds in their salads in recent years. His Instagram is a veritable cornucopia of soulful food that looks incredible but is often not as difficult to make as anticipated (I own three of his recipe books, so feel somewhat qualified enough to say this).

11. Charlie McCormick

 

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Love to everyone 💛

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I look at gardener Charlie McCormick’s Instagram when things have gotten particularly out of hand; when I’ve read 16 terrifying news articles in a row, looked at seven incomprehensible yet alarming bell curve charts, have eaten nothing but beige-coloured foods, and am spiralling into an anxiety vortex of my own making. Charlie’s Instagram is full of corgis, prize-winning tulips and his incredible English countryside cottage – it’s an antidote to all that’s awful in the world.

12. Between Two Books

Did you know that Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine has a book club? Well, she does, and this is it. Whether you’re a fan of her music or not, her bookclub is really very good and very wholesome. Their current theme is ‘rebirth’, which feels pretty appropriate for today’s climate. Also, a little shameless self-promo: if you’re interested in joining a book club, we’ve just started one and would love you to be part of it. How wholesome are we?

13. Sigh Swoon 

Sigh Swoon is artist Gabi Arao’s project, a platform where she creates wholesome yet relatable wellness memes and dispenses truly invaluable life advice. It’s also one of the rare accounts that I can truly say has enhanced my life and helped me cultivate a deeper, more meaningful relationship with myself and others. Très wholesome.

14. Soap.asmr.ns

 

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😊❤️ @soap.asmr.ns

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ASMR lovers, this one’s for you. Even if you’re not into ASMR, you might surprise yourself by finding that you actually really enjoy the sweet sounds of a mysterious person’s hand hacking at a bar of soap until it’s just a pile of soapy scraps. Man, I love the Internet.

15. Bonpon511

 

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この週末、不要不急の外出自粛要請が出され、新型コロナウイルス感染拡大の事態は益々深刻になりました。 感染が一気に広がって、医療崩壊や社会混乱が生じることがないように、一人一人が対策を心掛け、落ち着いて、一日も早い収束を祈りたいと思います🙏 私達も家の中で楽しめることを見つけながら、家で過ごそうと思っています😊😊 * * 教皇フランシスコは、イタリア時間3月27日(金)18時(日本時間28日午前2時)より、バチカンの聖ペトロ大聖堂前で、無人の広場を前に、ビデオを通し祈りと教皇祝福をとり行われます。 ・ ・ #stayhome #praytogether #夫婦 #60代 #ファッション #コーディネート #リンクコーデ #夫婦コーデ #グレイヘア #白髪 #共白髪 #couple #over60 #fashion #coordinate #instafashion #instagramjapan #greyhair #bonpon511

A post shared by bon・pon (@bonpon511) on

Matching couple outfits can be super twee, but Bonpon511 get it so right. They are the most wholesome, adorable couple I’ve ever laid my eyes upon, and I hope they never stop their matchy-matchy ways.

16. Things Organised Neatly 

 

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Let’s draw! 📷: @joselourenco

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My OCD tendencies are really jumping out with this one, but you can’t deny the therapeutic power of organisation in times like these.

17. Subliming.jpg

 

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Designer Tessa Forest is behind this visually delightful account. All the quotes are taken from famous poets, authors or lyricists, but the typography and colour palettes she uses really have an undeniably positive effect on your psyche. I always have her quotes as the background on my phone and laptop, so they’re the first things I eyeball when I wake up and start working, and I think it’s improved my quality of life by at least 10 per cent.

18. Bookferretburrow

 

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Reverse Slinky Boi 🐾

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Look, I’m the first to admit that I wouldn’t automatically associate ferrets with wholesomeness, but I’ll be damned if anyone tries to convince me that these ferrets right here aren’t as wholesome as they come.

19. Posts4hope

A welcome distraction from the dumpster fire that is our current news cycle, Posts4hope shares uplifting news stories from around the world.

20. Goats Gone Grazing Acres

It’s just goats grazing acres, and that’s all it needs to be to achieve a certification of wholesomeness, as decided by me, the arbiter of all that is wholesome.

21. Nigella Lawson 

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t comforted by Nigella Lawson, the original and undisputed queen of wholesomeness, midnight snacks and indulgent cooking.

22. Jamie Oliver 

Disclaimer: I have had a raging crush on Jamie Oliver since I first saw the iconic Naked Chef television series as a child. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I still own the Naked Chef cookbook and semi-regularly leaf through it until I get to the page where he’s wearing a shark tooth necklace, muscle-back singlet and low slung jeans. Anyway, he’s a dad now – or should I say a daddy – and he’s wholesome as heck, with a big side of sexy. This one is for all the closet Jamie Oliver stans. I know you’re out there.

23. Wholesome Memes

 

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Like ariana grande said, we’ll be alright 😎 #wholesomememes

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It does what it says on the tin – provides you with your daily serving of memes that are wholesome. Just what the doctor ordered.

24. Geoffrey Walk 

 

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I am baking bread for Pauline this morning she has to have a special loaf. #ilovethatgirl

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Geoffrey Walk’s Instagram is so, so pure. It’s mainly pictures and videos of him and his wife (who he very sweetly calls ‘my girl’) doing wholesome as hell activities, like baking bread, reading children’s books, doing puzzles together and gardening. So wholesome it might make you shed a tear.

25. Louis Theroux 

Louis Theroux is a very wholesome yet chaotic man, this much we know. Unsurprisingly, his Instagram is endearingly sweet, with a small side serving of chaos. Expect lots of photos of him attempting to cook vegetarian meals and failing dramatically, and selfies of him wearing T-shirts and other merch that fans have made him (many of which have his face on them). On anyone else, this would almost certainly seem lame and narcissistic, but with him, it’s just wholesome – I don’t make the rules, it just is.

26. Naomi Shimada 

If a human being could be an actual ray of sunshine, it would be Naomi Shimada. I’ve never seen someone have such a way with colour, and if her mood altering-ly hued outfits aren’t wholesome enough for you, her joyous solo dance sessions and soft, soothing voice will be.

27. Meme Appetit 

 

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Stay safe y’all, we’ll get through this

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If you’re not acquainted with Bon Appétit, firstly, what the heck have you been doing with your free time, and secondly, there is no more perfect time to get acquainted than right now. Mainly so you can work your way through a stupidly-delicious array of recipes while enjoying the absolutely wholesome delight that is its YouTube channel. But also because you’ll then be able to understand all the very specific references that make Meme Appetit so gosh darn great.


As you’re no doubt already aware, coronavirus has well and truly taken hold in Australia, and an increasing number of us will be self-isolating or working from home. We’re living through a scary, uncertain time right now, and it’s easy to get swept up in the neverending cycle of negative news. Over the coming weeks, we hope to provide you with a little reprieve from all the heaviness, and lots of ideas for how to fill all that time you’ll be spending at home. Take care out there and don’t be a stranger. We’re all in this together. Love the FJ team xx

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