22 Reasons The Great British Baking Show Is the Only Thing I'll Watch When I'm Stressed

I can still remember following my mom around the kitchen of our tiny apartment when I was a kid, often covered in chocolate and still too short to see over the countertop as I watched her mix a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies. She taught me to bake at a young age, and my memories with her probably play a big part in why I still love baking so much today. With so much time to kill as I continue to social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I've been baking up a storm: a loaf of banana bread, a homemade lemon cake, a batch of snickerdoodles, coconut cheesecake, and more. For me, baking just warms the soul.

While I still haven't nailed the "precision" part of baking ("It's like science!" — my mom), my bakes still turn out pretty well. Sometimes, though, I just need to unwind in a different way — which is where Netflix comes in, and specifically the only cooking show I have ever deemed truly wholesome: The Great British Baking Show. Some cooking competitions, from Chopped to Masterchef Junior, involve an overwhelming (but entertaining) experience filled with yelling, swearing, crying, and harsh criticism. But The Great British Baking Show strips away the bells and whistles that are meant to make traditional cooking competitions enticing. Instead, it combines all the best elements of a baking show and adds a pinch of British charm, cooking up a fun and heartwarming series worth adding to your Netflix queue.

For anyone who hasn't had the chance to watch Mary Berry savor a rum-spiked chantilly cream, the show follows 12 home bakers of varying skill levels as they compete week after week in three challenges (the signature bake, the technical challenge, and the showstopper challenge) to determine who will be named Star Baker and who will go home. As much as it's a competition, it's also a show about creativity, friendship, bad jokes, and heartwarming moments between people who love cake. So, really, who can't relate? (I know I can.) Here are some of the reasons this show holds such a special place in my heart and helps me wind down now, when I need it most.


It takes place in the middle of summer in the English countryside — so beautiful!

Seriously, the worst thing that happens on the show is when the tent gets too hot. That's it.


The contestants are just as stressed about cake as you are about life, and it's super relatable.

It's a reminder to take a breather every now and then.


They relieve that stress by talking to their baked goods on a regular basis.

The cookies aren't going to bake any faster, but it is pretty funny.


When things go wrong, it's always a little bit hilarious.

Leaving wax paper under your cake isn't the end of the world.


It makes you wonder if you should take up baking yourself just to relieve some repressed anger.

Who knew there were so many tools involved in baking?


Honestly, just looking at these cakes makes me forget anything I was worried about that day.

They spend hours baking these and they usually look incredible.


Contestants who perform really well get a special Paul Hollywood Handshake, and it's so cute!

But a smile from Mary Berry is just as good.


While the contestants are baking, Mary and Paul eat sweets at a little tea table and laugh like cartoon villains.

Sometimes, they don't even give them a full recipe.

These people will literally worship an oven to ensure their bakes come out right . . .
Everett Collection

These people will literally worship an oven to ensure their bakes come out right . . .

. . . even though they've had days to practice the same dish.


Sometimes they just look silly.

There's a lot of rolling around on the floor and running around.


More often than not, the bakes are spectacular and make you forget about anything else.

I'm hungry just looking at this.


Watching Mary and Paul try all of the bakes is a mouthwatering experience.

Seriously, I want to try all of these pastries.


The terms they use to describe good and bad bakes are so wonderfully British.

Can't have a soggy bottom!


You can't help but feel inspired by their talent as you watch them bake.

It truly makes you admire the art of pastry making so much more.


It gets emotional, but everyone is there to support each other.

Baking is stressful, but you still get cake in the end.

Mel and Sue are not afraid to be ridiculous at times — well, all the time, really.
Everett Collection

Mel and Sue are not afraid to be ridiculous at times — well, all the time, really.

They even practice fully scripted routines.


There's a lot of time spent staring into the oven door, and honestly, it feels totally relatable.

Why won't the cake just bake faster?


It's heartwarming to see everyone so happy.

As stressful as baking gets, there's always someone around to do some cheering up.


When they make it to the final episode, they're always proud of each other.

There's an end-of-show picnic and every contestant from that season and their families are invited for fun activities and lots of cake.


Even after they fail, they find reasons to celebrate, and it kind of makes you think that maybe the day wasn't so bad after all.

Seeing them happy is always the best part.