Tired of TV? PEOPLE's Favorite Music, Podcasts and Audiobooks to Enjoy Listening to While Social Distancing

If you’re practicing social distancing, self-isolation, quarantining or just working from home because you would be anyway, here’s a list of fun and interesting things to listen to as the coronavirus pandemic develops. PEOPLE staffers from senior editors on the West coast to editorial interns on the East have shared their recommendations for music for your ears, podcasts for the mind and audiobooks… for those that don’t like turning pages. Either way, our list is sure to keep you entertained.

Music Recommendations 

Ellis – “Fall Apart” (YouTube, Spotify
“The coronavirus outbreak has seemingly halted live music performances around the world, while musicians who largely depend on touring for their income have been left to figure out new, unconventional ways to make up that financial ground. I’ve been focused on trying to listen and support artists who have had to put their jobs on hold. One example: Canadian pop band Ellis, who had to cancel a full United States tour and multiple festival performances surrounding the release of their debut album. Most artists don’t make much income through streaming services like Spotify, but making full-time musicians who have had their lives unexpectedly uprooted because of the outbreak part of your daily soundtrack is one way to help out some artists scrambling to make up for lost ground. Plus, it’s a great way to discover new music!” — Sean Neumann, Politics Writer

 

Harry Styles’ NPR Tiny Desk Concert (NPR
“There’s something very comforting about Harry Styles’ casual presence in the cozy NPR office. His live renditions of “Cherry,” “Watermelon Sugar,” “Adore You” and “To Be So Lonely” — along with his adorable sweater — help me forget what social distancing is for 20 minutes. When I get tired of listening the concert video multiple times a day, I’ll switch to streaming Fine Line on repeat.” — Ally Mauch, Editorial Intern

Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, Lovage (Spotify, Amazon Music)
“This little known 2001 album is an aural cornucopia of succulent sound, all orchestrated by producer Dan the Automator, known for his work with Gorillaz and Kasabian. Featuring vocals from Faith No More frontman Mike Patton and Elysian Fields chanteuse Jennifer Charles, this sultry LP just might propel the eventual baby boom they’re predicting will come from this impossible outbreak. If you’re in the mood for something soothing, soulful, and hard-to-define, check out Lovage.” — Chris Harris, Senior True Crime Reporter

“Thunder on the Mountain,” Bob Dylan (YouTube)
“R.E.M.’s classic “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” has re-entered the charts, but Bob Dylan is the one I listen to when it feels like everything is falling down around my ears (this week, for instance). His songs are jeremiads, prophesying doom and catastrophe, but they’re also very funny and nonsensical – which is healthy, I think.  My favorite is “Thunder on the Mountain,” which for some reason includes the lyric: “I got the porkchops, she’s got the pie.” This is rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson’s cover.” — Tom Gliatto, Editor, Picks

Chilombo, Jhené Aiko (Apple Music, Spotify)
“Chilombo debuted earlier this month, as if Jhené Aiko knew fans would need her soothing vocals in a matter of days. Whether you call it social distancing, self-isolating or quarantining, there’s bound to be bouts of loneliness and anxiety as society pushes through the pandemic. This latest album from Aiko, luckily, packs her signature cool vibes and calming vocals to persist while trapped at home. “It ain’t perfect but everything’s beautiful,” she sings on “Magic Hour.” And for those in need of a meditative, relaxing song, let Aiko remind you to “calm down” for seven minutes on her 2019 single ‘Trigger Protection Mantra.'” — Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

“I’m listening to Jhené Aiko’s new album, Chilombo, on repeat. Her voice is so soft and soothing, which helps me stay calm during this stressful situation. Also, Chilombo is one of those rare albums that I can listen to all the way through (because every track is good!) so I don’t have to pause my work to skip a song.” — Hanna Flanagan, Style + Beauty Editorial Assistant 

K Bye For Now (SWT Live), Ariana Grande (YouTube)
“Low-key stressed you don’t know when you’ll get to see live music next? Same. The best cure for my concert FOMO has been Grande’s live compilation from her Sweetener World Tour. Her stunning vocals are here to soothe us all — but especially the Grande stans, who will notice every impressive new high note and extra “yuh” she added on stages around the world. Plus, the crowd singing in the background makes it feel like you’re not so alone after all.” — Carly Breit, Digital Platforms Editorial Assistant 

“Gaslighter,” The Dixie Chicks (Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube)
“If the world is going up in flames, I want the Dixie Chicks to lead me through the fire. “Gaslighter” marks the trio’s first single in 13 years, and if it’s any indication of what to expect from their album dropping May 1, the future is looking bright. Download the song on Apple Music, Spotify for just play the music video on repeat on YouTube. It will lead to a full on dance party.” — Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor

After Laughter, Paramore (YouTube, Spotify)
“A little bit rock, a little bit pop, and a whole lotta emotion, Paramore’s fifth studio album is a vibrant, ’80s-vibing masterpiece that’s seemingly made for blasting through your speakers at full volume. “Hard Times” will be the soundtrack to deep cleaning — and dancing around — your home. (And it’s a total mood.)” — Maggie Dickman, Associate Audience Editor

Homecoming: The Live Album, Beyoncé (Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL)
“Although I’ve listened to Beyoncé’s live album that went hand in hand with her Netflix documentary on repeat just about every day for the past year, I’ve found it extra comforting to listen to while social isolating myself these past couple of weeks. Beyoncé is my all-time favorite artist and this compilation album has Queen Bey at her very best. Showcasing songs from her 2018 record-breaking Coachella performance, the album has songs from her early days (Say My Name, Crazy in Love) to more recent hits (Formation, Partition) while other tracks are sprinkled in throughout that perfectly showcase one of the world’s greatest performers at the height of her career. There’s something for everyone on this album and the way Beyoncé transforms her vocals on songs we’ve known and loved for years sets this live album apart from all others. It is a fun, provocative and outstanding piece of work that deserved an Album of the Year nomination at last year’s Grammy Awards ceremony (YES! I’m still bitter) and is perfect for listening to whether you’re out for a quick jog or just trying to tune out any outside noise while working from home. And hey, at least if I’m stuck at home so is Beyoncé. We now finally have something in common.” — Nicholas Rice, Editorial Intern

“Stupid Love,” Lady Gaga (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube)
“Lady Gaga’s infectious, uplifting “Stupid Love” sonically harks back to the days of her meteoric pop rise in the early aughts, which is helpful when you’re trying to transport yourself to a different time in human history during a solo dance party in isolation.” — Nick Maslow, Senior News Editor 

Solo Harmony Playlist by Tomás Mier (Spotify)
“With Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” going viral as people socially isolate and, well, work from home, why not listen to the group members’ solo music? As I type away, I’ve been tuning into Ally Brooke, Normani, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane’s newest tracks. (Dinah and Lauren have songs coming this Friday!)” Here’s a Spotify playlist titled “Solo Harmony,” curated by yours truly. — Tomás Mier, Editorial Intern

WFUV, (WFUV.org, “or tell a device like Alexa or Google Home to “play WFUV on TuneIn”)
“I HIGHLY recommend WFUV for any alternative music-lovers. It’s a commercial-free, member-supported station in NYC and they play a huge range of alternative artists—everyone from Bowie to Spoon to the Pretenders to Janelle Monáe. I love that it’s a huge mix, like having your iPod on shuffle back in the day, so you never get sick of hearing the same artists over and over. I’ll be reminded of old favorites and introduced to new musicians all in the same hour. I fully credit them for introducing me to artists like Soccer Mommy, Caroline Rose and so many more.” — Julie Mazziotta, Associate Health Editor

Spotify’s This Is Lizzo Playlist (Spotify)
“I only need to hear one voice to lift my spirits: Lizzo. Seriously, every single Lizzo song is a bad mood-busting bop – it’s hard to stay stressed about the state of the world when someone’s reminding you that you look “Good as Hell.” And while, yes, the This Is Lizzo playlist is all songs by just one artist, it delves back into some of her early tracks (I love 2016’s “Phone”) in addition to her songs that absolutely ruled 2019. So just like Jerome, COVID-19, you can take your ass home.” — Lindsay Kimble, Senior News Editor

Fine Line, Harry Styles (All music streaming services — Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)
“I’ve had the former One Direction singer’s sophomore solo album pretty much on repeat since its release in December. Packed with Styles’ signature charm, the album is the perfect blend of new and old as it keeps a psychedelic, ’70s-inspired vibe all throughout. “Cherry” and “Canyon Moon” make me want to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway with my windows down, plus the song “Treat People with Kindness” has a message we could all listen to right about now.” — Brianne Tracy, Writer/Reporter

PEOPLE People’s Ultimate WFH Playlist (Spotify
“From quarantine references like Britney Spears’ “E-Mail My Heart,” Brandy’s “Sittin’ Up In My Room” and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor to some modern bops such as “Sunflower, Vol. 6” by Harry Styles and “Supalonely” by BENEE, check out PEOPLE people’s Ultimate WFH Playlist, brought to you by the West Coast (best coast) team. These are some of the songs we’ve been bopping to as we socially isolate ourselves and continue to keep our fabulous readers informed. There’s something here for everyone: Prince, Mariah Carey, Lana Del Rey, you name it!” — PEOPLE’s West Coast Bureau

Apple Music’s Lady Gaga Essentials, (Apple Music)
“To prepare for Lady Gaga’s new album Chromatica (out April 10), I’ve been listening to Mother Monster on loop. Apple Music’s “Lady Gaga Essentials” playlist has a great mix of both deep cuts and hits, including her new disco romp “Stupid Love.” And I’ve also been spending a lot of time with her 2011 album Born This Way. It’s classic, imperial phase Gaga at her best: bonkers bangers (see: “Americano,” a techno-mariachi tune about…Prop 8?!); sexy synth-pop (“Government Hooker,” “Heavy Metal Lover”); ’80s rock throwbacks (“Yoü and I,” “The Edge of Glory”) — and of course, the euphoric, titular equality anthem.” — Jeff Nelson, Staff Editor 

Emily Keating – “NO” (Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify)
I’ve been listening to my sis Emily Keating‘s new song, “NO,” on repeat all day. It’s really for anyone who has said yes one too many times in relationships (so, basically everyone)— and is finally ready to say no. Her soothing, sultry voice makes you want to belt out with her that you’re ready to yes to what you want — and deserve. You’ll smile, dance, and rethink who should really be on your phone’s ‘favorite’ list while we’re all hibernating these days. This modern day Joni Mitchell who also sounds like a combination of Regina Spektor, Lorde, and Florence and the Machine, is dropping her EP, HEART,  in April. For more on this emerging artist, check her out on Instagram @emilykeatingmusic.  — Caitlin Keating, Writer

Six (Spotify)
“Who knew there was an intersection at Royals Ave. and Broadway? As someone obsessed with both, I was thrilled when Six — a musical where the wives of King Henry VIII perform as pop divas with songs inspired by the likes of Adele, Ariana Grande and Beyonce — came across the pond to New York. Although the lights on Broadway are dark, the studio recording will give you both musical entertainment and an in-depth history lesson. (There’s even a sing-along edition for anyone looking to channel Anne Boleyn with her excellently ironic song “Don’t Lose Your Head.”)” — Stephanie Petit, Writer/Reporter

Podcast Recommendations

Nick Viall’s Viall Files (iTunes, Spotify, etc.)
“For a guy who is famously single, he sure gives some great dating advice. The podcast is broken up into two episodes per week: one to take caller questions and give advice and the other a traditional interview format with a guest. His witty sense of humor and blunt honesty makes him surprisingly relatable as he answers dating and relationship questions that all of us faced at one point or another. He definitely doesn’t hold back. And of course, there are plenty of Bachelor secrets sprinkled in there to keep Bachelor Nation fans satisfied.” — Jodi Guglielmi, Writer/Reporter

Rivals (iHeartRadio)
“Co-host Jordan Runtagh may be a former PEOPLE music editor, but I’m not biased at all when I say this is the perfect podcast to have on while you’re working from home. We’ve all heard of these iconic celebrity feuds, but the show is so well-researched and packed with surprising tidbits that you’ll realize you really didn’t know all that much before. From The Beatles to Taylor Swift, there’s something for everyone. Each episode is about an hour, and during a time when Mondays feel like they should be Fridays anything that helps the time fly by is a godsend.” — Melody Chiu, Deputy West Coast News Editor

NYPD’s Break in the Case (Spotify, Apple) 
“For anyone who loves a good crime podcast, this is one you probably haven’t heard but should. It opens with the case about Baby Hope, the 1991 story of a girl whose body was discovered inside a cooler and the mystery surrounding her death, which united the city for decades. The second story focuses on an ongoing unsolved case from 2015 after body parts started washing ashore in South Brooklyn. You will be hooked from the moment you hit play. Yes, it’s from the police point-of-view, but it’s a fascinating peek behind the blue curtain into how they investigate some of the city’s most famous crimes. The project is directed by Jill Bauerle and Edward Conlon, a former detective who became a best-selling author.” — Elaine Aradillas, Crime Writer

Monica and Jess Love Boys (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher)
“After listening to just five minutes of their playful banter, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Monica Padman (co-host of Dax Shepard’s hugely popular Armchair Expert podcast) and her BFF, comedian and actor Jess Rowland. Ironically enough, they can’t find love for themselves. Jess dates too much (which at times means a daily Grinder hook-up), and Monica doesn’t date at all (she had a on-air breakdown when she had to fill out her Raya profile). Together, the engaging, smart and hilarious duo unpack what their dating styles say about them with the help of famous friends (Shepard and Kristen Bell) and experts (Dr. Drew Pinksy and the Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger). There really isn’t a better way to escape the news cycle than by listening to someone else’s dating woes. (P.S: Monica if you’re reading this, my Josh Hartnett magazine cutout collection is > than yours.)” — Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor

Who? Weekly (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify)
“This reliably funny and smart pop culture podcast is always something I turn to when I want to temporarily escape the stress of everyday life — or when I’ve just over-binged on YouTube/Netflix and need something else to fill the content void. It offers just the right mix of substance and escapism and is a must-listen for any pop culture junkie or Rita Ora stan.” — Maria Pasquini, Associate News Editor

Over My Dead Body, Matt Shaer (Apple) — Gillian Telling, Senior Editor

The Clearing, Josh Dean (“my hubs!”) (Apple, Spotify)
“Based on the daughter of a serial killer who turned him in. PEOPLE did a cover on the same subject.” — Gillian Telling, Senior Editor

Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump by Vanessa Grigoriadis (Luminary) — Gillian Telling, Senior Editor

Fake Deep (Apple Podcasts, Sound Cloud, Spotify)
“A podcast run by two Howard University students who tackle topics like self-worth, self-fulfillment and self-love. I always feel inspired and motivated after listening.” — Robyn Merrett, Writer/Reporter

Gloss Angeles (Apple Podcasts, Spotify) “A beauty podcast that gives amazing tips on makeup/skincare products, treatments, spas — basically all things wellness with an emphasis on self-care. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, they have also been giving advice on things to do while working from home. I’ve learned a lot from them!” — Robyn Merrett, Writer/Reporter

Second Life (Apple Podcasts)
“Run by the founder of Who What Wear, the Second Life interviews influential and entrepreneurial women in fashion, beauty, tech and wellness on how they got started in their field. It’s super insightful!” — Robyn Merrett, Writer/Reporter

The Hottest Take (Spotify)
“I’m obsessed with the Hottest Take. They’re mini podcast episodes from the editors of the Ringer, available on Spotify. One person presents a hot take — snooze button duration should be universally the same or bridesmaids are a scam— and then they debate it for 6-8 minutes. It’s funny, insightful, and bingeable.” — Mackenzie Schmidt, Home + Travel Editor

Too Scary; Didn’t Watch (Spotify)
“It’s scary out in the real-world, y’all! Don’t make it worse by watching scary movies. Instead, have three very funny women tell you about them from start to finish. Being a self-identified scaredy-cat makes it hard to discuss the movies everyone seems to have watched. I mean, how many times is someone going to ask me, “Have you seen Midsommar?” while talking about Florence Pugh? Enter: Too Scary; Didn’t Watch, hosted by comedians and real-life friends Emily Gonzalez, Henley Cox and Sammy Smart. It’s a horror movie recap podcast where, each week one of the three hilarious hosts (and sometimes a guest!) goes through a scary movie of the watcher’s choice, scene by scene, and tells the story for the two hosts who didn’t watch and those of us who are also too afraid. You know how those videos of people jumping out of closets to scare their friends make you laugh? It’s like that, in podcast form.” — Andrea Wurzburger, Features Writer

Audiobook Recommendations 

Library books on Kindle or audiobook (Free Libby app
“I love reading but haven’t had time to do it much lately, and since I started using the Libby library app I’ve become a big reader again! I usually try and check out one audiobook and one Kindle book simultaneously, and that keeps me busy. It’s amazing how much you can listen to even in the little pockets of time you’re getting ready in the morning or making lunch or dinner. You can add multiple library cards from different counties, giving you access to lots of databases. You can put holds on multiple books at a time, too, and it’s a great way to finally read that book you’ve been meaning to get around to (hello, the entire Stephen King catalog!) while you’re waiting for newer or more popular titles to become available.” — Jen Juneau, Parents Writer

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know, Malcolm Gladwell (Audible)
“If you’ve read any of Gladwell’s books, you know they have a way of making you think. And his latest work of non-fiction is definitely brain food. It puts forth a thought-provoking look at how we interact with people we don’t know by unpacking some of the most headline-making events over the past decades – from the trial of Amanda Knox, to the betrayals committed by Bernie Madoff and Penn State’s harrowing sexual abuse scandal. For the book, Gladwell interviewed many of the key players involved in the real-life cases. Bonus: Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout” is the theme song.” — Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor 

View this post on Instagram #TalkingToStrangers is the #1 audiobook in America with over 5000 5-star reviews on @audible. Thank you for listening!

A post shared by Malcolm Gladwell (@malcolmgladwell) on Oct 7, 2019 at 8:57am PDT

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Harry Potter series (Audible)
“I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books on audiobook on Audible. Even though I’ve read the books and watched the movies a thousand times, listening to Jim Dale narrate the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione at Hogwarts is like catching up with an old friend — and reminds me that ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.'” — Ashley Boucher, Digital News Writer

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.



Source: People.com (https://people.com/music/what-to-listen-to-coronavirus-social-distancing/)

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