Books, Music Lessons, and 7 Other Things You Should Be Getting For Free on the Internet
All in all, the internet can be a beautiful resource, connecting us to an endless array of knowledge with a simple click. Sure, we have to wade through a politics-related Facebook feud here and an annoying pop-up ad there, but it's safe to say the pros outweigh the cons. But are you truly taking advantage of everything the internet has to offer?
If you haven't seen this useful Reddit thread yet, then your answer to that question is probably no. The thread posed the question, "What free things on the internet should everyone be taking advantage of?", and thousands of juicy answers ensued. The compilation can be pretty overwhelming to sift through, so we did the dirty work for you. Keep reading to learn about some of the best free resources the web has to offer.
Psychiatrists and therapists can cost an arm and a leg, so if you're going through a hard time and need some help, try out one of these free alternatives.
Instead of browsing the racks of corny birthday cards at your local drugstore, check out the sites below for free printable versions of cards, coloring pages, and other paper products.
- Coloring Pages For Adults provides a stunning array of templates, from mandalas and animals to landscapes and foods.
- Greetings Island has a range of adorably designed cards for any occasion you could possibly think of — all available for free download!
- Wedding Chicks is there to soothe your wedding budget blues, offering free templates for invites, save the dates, labels, and everything in between.
Say goodbye to endless previews and overpriced movie theater popcorn! Although there are some debatably unsafe movie-streaming sites mentioned in the Reddit thread, here are a few more secure options.
- Archive.org is a non-profit library that compiles tons of free books, movies, and software. Although most of the movies are older classics, it gives you a cool chance to get a blast from the past.
- Documentary Heaven is exactly what the website title suggests: pure heaven for anyone looking for an educational documentary to watch.
- Top Documentary Films is sure to satiate your thirst for documentaries if heaven itself wasn't enough.
This separate Reddit thread compiles tons of great resources for learning the ins and outs of a new instrument, but a few of our favorite free options are below.
- MusicTheory.net will teach you everything you need to know about chords, notes, rhythm, and more without ever stepping foot in a classroom.
- How to Play Piano . . . the title of the program says it all. These interactive courses will make you a piano expert in no time.
- Ultimate Guitar provides all the tips and techniques you need to become a guitar guru.
If Photoshop isn't exactly in your budget, you can still make your pictures look like they belong in a magazine without having to spend a dime.
- Pixlr is an awesome online photo editor that has many similar features to Adobe's expensive software.
- GIMP is a free downloadable software that has gone through many updates in its lifetime to make it a worthy photo-editing option.
- Fotor gives users the ability to not only edit specific aspects of photos but also to create collages and designs with free templates.
Trust us, we're all about a good read, but books can rack up quite the hefty bill. The resources below can help penny-pinching book-lovers get lost in a story without losing a portion of their paycheck.
- Project Gutenberg offers more than 50,000 ebooks for free download — no strings attached! There are tons of classics available, from Jane Austen's Emma to Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
- Open Library is a subset of archive.org that allows users to download and read ebooks and edit any available versions.
- LibriVox uses crowdsourced narrations to offer countless books for free in audio format.
When it comes to free online music, the options are practically endless (if you're willing to put up with the occasional ad, that is). Below are a few of our favorite off-the-beaten-path options.
- 8tracks allows users to explore by artist, mood, or genre to discover playlists crafted by other users.
- Jango is a free online streaming service that enables people to make custom radio stations, just like Pandora.
- TuneIn gives listeners access to 100,000 radio stations and millions of podcasts, allowing them to stay up to date on all things music, sports, and news.
Thrift stores offer hefty discounts on cool vintage items, but why pay a dime when you can get a variety of random items for free from none other than . . .
- Craigslist! Every city's main page (which can be found by searching cityname.craigslist.org) has a semihidden "free" section under the "for sale" tab. The items vary depending on your location, but you can find some buried treasure that other users are just desperate to get rid of, from couches and lamps to shelves and even animals! Visit your city's respective site and browse away.