Looking to enlarge your perspective and consume content that’s not real estate related? These channels will help you broaden your knowledge base and build your brainpower, while having fun in the process.

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I have a master’s degree in English Literature and, while I can remember a lot of the classes I took for my major, my favorite class ever was Jazz History. I took it to fulfill a Music Appreciation requirement because it was the only class with a spot available when I registered. Otherwise, I would never have thought to take it. 

The teacher was a jazz musician who taught the class while playing examples of each style and genre on a grand piano at the front of the room. Instead of attending symphony performances, we wrote reviews about the jazz combos who played at a smoky little nightclub near campus.

I can’t say that understanding and appreciating jazz history has made me a better real estate writer, but I know that the impulse to learn something totally new has done so. All too often, we find ourselves dismissing new information because it’s not relevant to real estate or to the building of our businesses.

It’s easy to get buried in content specifically related to work and forget that there’s a world out there beyond interest rates and market movements. Taking in and using new information is good for your brain’s neuroplasticity and, what’s more, it makes you a more interesting person.

If you never seem to find time to read up on topics outside of real estate, why not consume some brain-building content through videos?

What follows are some of my favorite YouTube channels on a wide variety of subjects other than home design, business and real estate — the things I read and write about all the time. Each one provides bite-sized deep dives, so you can either explore a new topic or learn more about something you were once passionate about but seem to have lost touch with. 

The best part? You may just find that being more well-rounded gives you the ability to think outside the box, making you more creative as you’re tackling challenges and building your career. In addition, you’ll always have something new and interesting to contribute to a conversation, whether it’s with clients, colleagues or friends.

General knowledge

Joe Scott

Though much of his content is science and technology-focused, Joe Scott also delves into history, true crime, sociology and more. His channel is great for keeping up with tech trends or the latest discoveries that are making news, and he breaks down complex information so that the non-science-oriented among us can understand it. Many of his videos range from 15 to 20 minutes long, so they’re perfect for learning something new while you’re on the go.

Personal finance

Money with Katie

If you start each day with the Morning Brew newsletter, you’ll probably be familiar with Katie Gatti Tassin. She offers decidedly fun and user-friendly content that goes beyond what most financial sites are thinking or talking about. From building wealth as a millennial to the commodification of self-care, Tassin’s perspective is always compelling and her information is always actionable and spot-on.

Science and technology

Physics Girl

This is another science-focused channel, hosted by MIT grad Dianna Cowern and exploring the physical sciences with experiments, field studies and commentary on recent innovations. Don’t know much about science but wish you did? Check out her Physics 101/AP Physics 1 review to learn the basics and get up to speed so that you’ll have context for some of the more complex topics she covers.

History

Townsends

If you’re looking for something that’s both brain-building and heart-warming, you’ll love this channel developed by Jas. Townsend & Son, a retailer that provides reproduction 18th and early 19th Century clothing and personal accessories for the living history community, historic sites, museums, and theatrical, motion picture, and television production companies. Here you’ll find everything from period-accurate cooking classes to log-cabin building, plus weekly livestreams with experts and storytellers from a variety of disciplines.

Fine arts

Baumgartner Restoration

Julian Baumgartner of Chicago’s Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration provides soothing commentary over fascinating video accounts of the restoration process for everything from medieval panel paintings to contemporary sculptures. You’ll learn about the artist and style as well as the complexities of rebuilding and refreshing fine works of art using industry best practices. It’s a combination of science, art and engineering that’s completely addictive — and rather amazing.

Film and entertainment

Thomas Flight

If you enjoy watching movies and wish you understood more about them, you’ll love Thomas Flight’s channel. His commentary covers a wide range of films and film genres from around the world, using them to explain the art of filmmaking. From the use of sound in The Batman and Nope to the impact of historical aesthetic movements on film styles, you’re guaranteed to learn something — and see movies in a whole new way.

A little bit of everything

Watcher

If you’re looking for a laugh and a channel where there’s always something interesting going on, Watcher is a great choice. Created by former Buzzfeed hosts Shane Madej, Ryan Bergara and Steven Lim, you’ll find videos on cooking, culture, history, pop culture and more, not to mention Madej and Bergara’s uber-popular Ghost Files show, an exploration of the supernatural featuring a skeptic (Madej) and a true believer (Bergara). 

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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