Browsing a well-curated Twitter account is like being plugged directly into an outlet of Internet awesome. Next time you need a break, a chuckle, or a quick jolt of wonderful, start with our list below. To make this list (which, by the way, appears in no particular order), we went looking for feeds that offer a pick-me-up, a laugh, or an inspiring message. Feeds that made the list tweet relatively frequently, have at least a couple thousand followers, and contribute mostly light, safe-for-work fare. We share the best of what we found below — here’s hoping they give you a happiness boost!
Funny Famous People
1. Steve Martin, @SteveMartinToGo
Longtime funnyman Steve Martin sure knows how to compose a joke in tweet form. Recently, when most people were talking about Sunday football, he tweeted, “Enjoying watching the Oklahoma CatchAsCatchCans playing the Algonquin Well-Groomed Hucklebucks” and then live-tweeted a few plays from the fictitious match. And his photo-tweets are pretty great too.
3. Kat Dennings, @OfficialKat
The actress and star of Two Broke Girls was once a prolific blogger, so it’s no surprise that she shines in 140 characters (or even less). Dennings’ feed is a regular stream of funny observations about movies, pop culture, and her life, with both earnest and heartwarming-but-still-goofy tweets thrown in every once in a while for good measure.
4. Al Yankovic, @AlYankovic
You know him as Weird Al, and his tweets are as goofy-smart as his song parodies. Take this one for example: “I’ve memorized all the digits of pi. Just not in the right order.”
5. Conan O’Brien, @ConanOBrien
The late-night host and television funnyman is often topical ("When the phone rings at Meryl Streep’s house, do you think she says, 'Don’t answer it, it’s just another one of those Oscar nominations?'"), sometimes a bit more random ("When someone calls me pretentious, the white gloves come off."), but almost always funny.
6. Pour Me Coffee, @pourmecoffee
According to his Twitter bio, Pour Me Coffee’s goal is to be “Funny and/or interesting.” And that’s just what he delivers — in the form of political satire, interesting facts, images, and wry takes on current events and sports — to 150,000 followers. Despite his popularity, no one knows who is behind the account.
7. Stephen Colbert, @StephenAtHome
It’s difficult not to be amused by Stephen Colbert’s goofy, throwaway takes on just about anything. His humor is mostly topical, so when you have current events burnout, pop over to his timeline for a humorous spin on the news. (“I didn't win a Golden Globe, but it's an honor just to assume I must have been nominated.”)
8. Ken Jennings, @KenJennings
The holder of the longest-ever Jeopardy winning streak also happens to be darn hilarious on Twitter. Jennings’ tweets are almost exclusively jokes — typically punny dad humor (“I don't know anything about dogs but someday I want to own a whippet named Devo.”) and, well, topical, punny dad humor (“Are your teeth ch-ch-ch-chattering from the polar vortex? TRY MOLAR GORE-TEX”).
9. Safiyyah Nawaz, @safiyyahn
On New Year’s Eve 2013, when Safiyyah Nawaz marveled that the planet was turning 2,014 years old (a joke that’s been retweeted 16,155 times and counting), she went from an average teen Twitter user with about 100 followers to a social media sensation with more than 4,000 followers. Follow Nawaz for delightfully funny tweets about everything from “Lenny Dicaps” to Pecan Pie Pringles.
Fake Folks, Real Hilarity
11. God, @TheTweetOfGod
As long as you don’t mind not-entirely-reverent religious satire, tweets like “I'm damning things. Any requests?” and “To all the people praying to Me for world peace: you are ADORABLE” prove that social media really can be divine(ly) funny.
12. Every Tweet Ever, @EveryTweet_Ever
With more than just a dash of snark, Every Tweet Ever sends up its very own medium and the users who all kind of share the same observations, especially during popular televised events like football games and awards shows. Case in point: “I love making fun of the people who contribute to the TV and movies that entertain me, a far less impressive person. #GoldenGlobes.”
13. Chuck Norris, @chuck_facts
This account parodies the tough guy action movie hero Chuck Norris, with tweet after tweet detailing his supposed superhuman abilities. For example: “When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.”
14. Lord Voldemort, @Lord_Voldemort7
You’ve read all the books two million times, give or take a million. And you’ve watched each movie. Repeatedly. With audio commentary. Yet the void won’t fill! Inoculate yourself against Harry Potter withdrawal by following He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself. “Q: Why did Barty Crouch Jr. quit drinking? A: Because it was making him Moody.” Enough said.
15. Big Ben, @big_ben_clock
More than 400,000 people follow this account, which simply tweets on the hour every hour one “BONG” for the time of day. Sample tweet at 7 o’clock: “BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG”
16. ‘80’s Don Draper, @80sDonDraper
If Mad Men’s creative director were living in the 1980s, he’d be pitching the products and fads of the time with his signature compelling ultra-earnestness. See: “There are new kids on the block. They could be the loves of your life, or they could be serial killers. You don’t know, and it excites you.”
17. Bronx Zoo Cobra, @BronxZooCobra
If a cobra snake could tweet, he’d make wry observations about living the zoo life. For example, “The polar bears won't shut up about this polar vortex.”
18. Feminist Taylor Swift, @feministtswift
Take a line or two from a Taylor Swift song, throw in some much-needed feminist perspective, and you’ve got yourself a runaway pop sensation that isn’t afraid to call out the patriarchy: “This is me swallowing my pride / Standing in front of you / Saying I'm sorry for marginalizing your gender identity.”
Like chocolate and peanut butter, Batman and Robin, and other dynamic duos, this Twitter feed is more than the sum of its parts. These tweets mash up the sensibilities of the Danish theologian and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard with the superficial banality we associate with mega-famous reality stars like Kim Kardashian. For example, “You exist. You are a human being. The sun shines for you, and your eyebrows are thick, natural and amazing.”
20. Seinfeld Today, @SeinfeldToday
If Seinfeld were on today, this account predicts that the show would feature storylines like “A homeless man refuses Elaine's offer of a used first-gen iPad. George carries an empty Starbucks cup so he can use WiFi at any location."
21. Your Away Message, @YourAwayMessage
Back when AOL Instant Messenger was a thing, your “away” message almost functioned like a Facebook status update. If you were an AIM user, you either posted away messages like these or knew someone(s) who did: For example, “Literally everyone is rude and I couldn't be more over it."
22. Honest Toddler, @HonestToddler
If toddlers could articulate the absurdity of their circumstances the way adults can, they might say things like, “Funny how the same people trying to get me to sleep alone bunk together EVERY NIGHT.”
23. Museum Nerd, @museumnerd
Art-geeks and museum-enthusiasts, look no further than this feed for more-than-daily tweets highlighting must-see exhibits, cool art, and museum and gallery news.
24. Byron Katie, @ByronKatie
Speaker and author Byron Katie believes in self-inquiry as a path to finding true happiness. Her Twitter feed is a constant stream of messages to inspire, challenge, and motivate. For example: "When you are confused, hurt, or angry, question what you’re believing in the moment and return yourself to sanity. Or not."
25. EveryWord, @EveryWord
Let’s hear it for truth in advertising! @EveryWord is on a mission to tweet every word in the English language. Hurry up and follow, because the project will be complete in 2014 and it’s downright delightful to see a random word (supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!) appear in your timeline with no context or definition. Don’t forget to check and see how fellow followers are interacting with the account. (“Sex” got more than 2,300 retweets, obviously.)
26. Willy Shakes, @IAM_Shakespeare
The creator of @IAM_Shakespeare started the account with the modest goal of tweeting the complete works of William Shakespeare, line by line. Having tweeted all 112,000+ lines not once, but twice (ending most recently on December 24, 2013 with the final line of the narrative poem “A Lover's Complaint”), the account is on hiatus. Scroll back through the timeline and consider following in time to catch the bard (er, the bard bot) kick off round three.
27. Maria Popova, @brainpicker
Maria Popova is an “interestingness hunter-gatherer” and the creator of Brain Pickings, a blog that showcases interesting and curious cultural tidbits. Her Twitter account links to the fascinating content on her site with just enough of a tease to pique your curiosity. For example, “How coffee conquered the world” and “Only the best thing ever: Vintage illustrations for the fairy tales E. E. Cummings wrote for his only daughter.”
28. Random Facts, @factsandtrivia
“According to Kellogg's, all fruit loops are the same flavor. The flavor is called "Froot," which is a blend of fruit flavors.” In other words, follow @factsandtrivia as soon as you can (And then join a Trivia team, because you are going to be unbeatable.).
29. Word of the day, @thewordoftheday
Follow this account for a new word each day, along with a definition, pronunciation, and its part of speech. It might just help you become a “usageaster” (a self-styled authority on language usage).
30. Brilliant Ads, @Brilliant_Ads
Brilliant Ads shares interesting signs, advertisements, and marketing campaigns from around the world. The feed features a variety of content from the thought-provoking to the cool-to-look-at.
31. Life Pro Tips, @LifeProTips
With Life Pro Tips, you’ll get a steady stream of stuff that will “improve your life in one way or another,” from motivational quotes to a lesson on how to walk on ice without slipping.
32. Qikipedia, @Qikipedia
“Before the 12th century, noon was 3pm,” “A group of kittens is called a kindle,” and “There is a floating cat sanctuary in Amsterdam called De Poezenboot.” For fascinating and strange fact-tweets, follow this Twitter feed of Quite Interesting, the BBC comedy game show.
33. NASA, @NASA
It’s kind of sci-fi that our government has a space agency, right? If you’re even a little curious about space exploration or the feats of engineering that go into each mission, follow NASA!
34. Letters of Note, @LettersOfNote
Letters of Note is a blog that features correspondence of celebrities and historical figures — often a scan of the original document and a transcription. The Twitter account shares a link to each one. Don’t miss the letter from Conan O’Brien to a fan who asked him to be her prom date.
35. Preschool Gems, @Preschoolgems
This Twitter feed is curated by a preschool teacher who shares delightful tidbits she overhears throughout the day. This feed is as likely to be hilarious, weird, and nonsensical (“The mailman brings texts.”) as it is to be strangely touching (“When you die you take your body off.”).
37. Charmin, @Charmin
I’m here to tell you that Charmin — yep, the toilet paper company — is great at Twitter. As if the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat weren’t awesome enough, the account shares a constant stream of funny Vines, pictures, and jokey tweets.
38. ThinkGeek, @ThinkGeek
This online purveyor of geeky toys, gadgets, and games tweets milestones in geek history (such as anniversaries of geek mainstays like Wikipedia, Mythbusters, and the DeLorean) and assorted geek-related fun.
39. The Times is On It, @NYTOnIt
This parody account pokes fun at the New York Times’ tendency to cover trends that are more obvious than they are newsworthy, like the return of logos to clothing ("GUYS, some pieces of clothing have logos on them, and The Times is ON IT") and how much great television there is to watch on Sunday nights (“GUYS, there's too much TV to watch on Sunday night, and The Times, in a front page story, is ON IT”). Follow along for top shelf tongue-in-cheek snark.
40. Night Vale Podcast, @NightValeRadio
Even if you’re not a regular listener of the sublimely awesome podcast, Welcome to Night Vale (which broadcasts from a fictitious city overrun by paranormal phenomena), lovers of the darkly absurd will dig this feed, which often tweets familiar sayings or sentiment and bends them in surprisingly strange and wonderful ways (e.g., “Let’s call it a night. It’s actually ash clouds blocking out all sunlight, but metaphors are helpful and fun rhetorical devices”).
41. The Onion, @TheOnion
The Onion’s headlines (and tweets) are so relatable and hilarious because they’re not just parodying newspapers; they’re parodying all of us all the time (e.g., “Best, Most Original Idea Man’s Ever Had Returns 114,000 Google Search Results.”).
42. Mental Floss, @mental_floss
For top-notch edutainment, follow the online magazine Mental Floss, which bills itself as “an intelligent read, but not too intelligent.” Its Twitter feed links followers to articles on a diverse array of interesting stuff, like odd town welcome signs, why Hollywood movies cost a lot to make, whether blowing in Nintendo cartridges actually makes them work better, and the like.
43. The World’s Best Ever, @WorldsBestEver
Though this account’s posts are relatively short and not very descriptive, each link shared reliably takes you to something amazing on WorldsBestEver.com, such as a step-by-step guide to making an igloo.
44. Tweets of Old, @TweetsOfOld
“According to many of the rising generation, a young man should learn to despise religion, dress like a dude, and wear pointed shoes” is, like every tweet from this account — an actual line from a newspaper of yesteryear. Follow along for similar gems.
45. Pundamentalism, @Pundamentalism
Love puns so much you’d be content if one punned you down in broad daylight? Then do we have a Twitter account for you!
Photos Worth a Thousand Words (or 7.14 Tweets)
46. National Geographic Photography, @NatGeoPhotos
Every single day, @NatGeoPhotos tweets a link to a stunning photo. Follow this account for breathtaking visuals of owls, snow cats, beautiful landscapes, and people doing incredible things.
48. Emergency kittens, @EmrgencyKittens
For those moments when you need an infusion of cute to get through the day, Emergency Kittens, which simply tweets photos of the tiniest, furriest, sweetest baby cats imaginable, is like an IV drip of adorable.
51. Science Porn, @SciencePorn
Stunning photos to blow your mind, science-y jokes, fun facts (“Scientists in Brazil have discovered the first new river dolphin species since the end of World War One”), and lots more.
54. Slate Behold, @beholdphotos
Slate’s photo blog is home to beautiful and brilliant photo essays and collections. Follow their Twitter feed for direct links to collections like “The Changing Faces of a Brooklyn Neighborhood” and photos of stuffed animals that will make you miss childhood.
55. Shrampton, @ShramptonTheCat
Named “THE cat Instagram to follow in 2014” by Buzzfeed, Shrampton is a butterscotch Scottish Fold whose Twitter feed offers cat-related content and Shrampton pics that will make your day.
What are your favorite must-follow Twitter accounts? Share them in the comments below or get in touch with us on Twitter @Greatist.