This may seem like kind of a weird fetish, but does anyone else like to listen to soothing, mellifluous voices (via radio, TV, Internet, in person, whatevs) as a cheap method of relaxation? For me it’s almost like meditation: Find a quiet spot, lie on the couch/floor/bed/yoga mat, dim the lights, and listen to the voice that calms you down you the most, for 30-60 minutes (with or without headphones). I’ve been participating in this idiosyncratic self-help behavior off-and-on since I was a kid. (Back then I favored a D.C.-area jazz/chilled-out talk radio station on the boom box in my bedroom. I believe it aired weeknights 6:30-7 p.m.) See, I told you it was a weird fetish.
But frankly, I’ve found that this odd, relaxing practice is kind of like getting a spa treatment or massage or meditation session or restorative yoga class â€“ for free. Plus, I never would’ve learned to paint “happy little clouds” had it not been for the late great Bob Ross, master hippie painter extraordinaire (with a purring whisper that still sends me into a pleasant half-hour coma). Bob used to come on our local PBS affiliate at 2 p.m. during the week. My only question: Why wasn’t I in school?
Here are five velvety voices that have put me to sleep in the best possible way over the years. So listen up, relax for a bit, and then add your own picks. (Note: I’m not proud of all of these choices. Delilah in particular is a very guilty pleasure.)
1. Bob Ross, painter
2. Nigella Lawson, chef, cookbook author, Food Network host
3. Delilah, radio host
4. Most NPR broadcasters. Melissa Block is a fave.