The Best Mix Playlist For A Lonely Friend In Quarantine


This quarantine is affecting everyone differently. Some people have become highly skilled at Fortnite, others have learned how to make macaroni necklaces for their entire family, and some have become professional bounty hunters in search of Carol Baskin’s missing husband. But others have struggled with anxiety, depression, and losing loved ones. It’s a bizarre and surreal time in human history. But as we all know, music has a profound way of affecting people. So if you know someone who may be struggling (let’s be honest, everyone is struggling in one way or another) pay some good juju forward and make them a playlist.

Check out some of our recommendations for a playlist to lift your loved one’s spirits.

Through The Glass - Nina Storey- Sometimes a little validation goes a long way. And knowing you’re not alone in how you’re feeling is a big deal. But so is a double shot of hope. Check out this new single that will have you singing along to this love note to humanity.

The Middle- Jimmy Eat World- Proving we all don’t have to get naked at parties to find our soulmate. Or better yet, if you’re alone, in quarantine, startup that nudist colony with passion.

Rise Up- Andra Day- Feel the movement of mountains in this powerful piece. Sing along and channel your inner soul singer.

Hold On-Good Charlotte- A powerful, poignant, and a heart-felt anthem about loneliness and getting through it to see better times.

Bishop’s Knife Trick-Fall Out Boy- This is a great song for thinking about a finish line. Dig in for the duration but know there is a light at the end of this masked tunnel.

I Wanna Get Better-Bleachers- What a great honest song about being broken, vulnerable, and ready for life to get better. This song lives in an anthemic ethos.

Soldier-Gavin Degraw- You can’t help but just start swaying when you listen to this song. Plus the music video features people who are doing good things. Real stories always feel good.

Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen- I mean, come on. If you don’t enjoy listening to this song, you might be a drone from another universe. And if that’s the case, can you please share your technology for curing all that ails us. 

2020 MTV VMA's Recap

This year's VMA's may have been sans the screaming crowd contingent, but they certainly didn't lack the glitter and gusto that you've come to expect from one of the flashiest awards ceremonies around. From Lady Gaga's variety of high fashion face masks to Miley Cyrus' disco wrecking ball ride, there was still plenty of glamor and glitter for the homebound audience.

Keke Palmer gracefully hosted the night, sharing the importance of ending systemic racism and honoring the frontline workers in the COVID fight. There was grace and class as the night saw awards given to BTS, Ariana Grande, and Lady Gaga who came away with four awards.

The show also paid an honorable tribute to Chadwick Boseman, the highly accomplished and revered actor who famously played Black Panther, and who recently passed away from a 4 year battle with colon cancer.

The music industry may still be in the throes of change from COVID, but night's like this, serve as a happy little escape and a reminder to everyone of just how much music can connect, heal, and inspire people beyond all boundaries.

Taylor Swift Wins Best Director

Swift stars in the video, playing a white male of extreme privilege. It follows her around as she boldly tramples through the day. The tone is both funny and charming and she successfully captures a day in the life of an entitled wealthy white man. She gave her acceptance speech via video as did the other performers and made a point to thank both her industry peers as well as her devoted fans.

Swift is the first woman to win this award as well. This just goes to show you, all it takes is a global pandemic for women to be acknowledged as great directors by MTV.

Animals Help Us Cope With Covid

The loss of our daily routines as we knew them—and the threat of more serious casualties to come from COVID-19—has put a serious emotional strain on all of us. So perhaps it should come as no surprise to see social media feeds flooded with photos and videos of cats, dogs, and other companion animals rising to the occasion.

Pets are serving as our companions in coping throughout the U.S., from suburban kitties taking over “office” chairs and keyboards to rural dogs hunkering down at home. Even celebrities have gotten in on the act—with Anthony Hopkins serenading his cat, and Arnold Schwarzenegger delivering a stay-at-home video PSA starring his pet donkey and miniature horse in his kitchen.

This instinct to turn to our pets during this pandemic is supported by science, said Megan Mueller, A08, G10, G13, the Elizabeth Arnold Stevens Junior Professor at Cummings School and a researcher studying how pets help people.

Pets provide nonjudgmental emotional support, she said, and studies show that “contact with pets help reduces stress and anxiety, particularly when you are experiencing a stressful situation.”

Research also has shown that animals help older adults cope better with social isolation—that is, being physically separated from others—and with loneliness, said Mueller, who is also co-director of Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction and a senior fellow at Tisch College.

In day-to-day life, seniors tend to more at risk of social isolation and loneliness because of factors related to that stage of life, including spouses and friends passing away, being stuck at home due to health or transportation issues, or children being occupied with work and raising their own families.

Now, though, “everyone is truly physically isolated,” said Mueller, who is curious whether the same benefits seen in seniors apply to the general population during COVID-19.

Mueller said that people these days should consider spending extra time with their pet—it could provide a much-needed boost.

“A lot of us are connecting remotely with other people right now, and that’s great,” she said. “But pets are physically present in a way that other forms of social and emotional support aren’t these days for many people, and there’s really something to having that tactile component of petting or touching a pet.”

How Music Affects Your Mood

Not that it should come as a shock to anyone ever, but music in case you had any doubt that music has the ability to make you feel better, read on for some scienc-y facts that will make you feel even better about indulging in music immersion when you need a little pick-me-up.

You know it feels good to shake your hips to your favorite jam, but did you also know it can help lift your mood, reduce anxiety, and decrease stress hormones in your body? Yep, from the earliest drum rhythms played around a fire, till now, music has served as an integral and vital part of the collective human experience.

It has also been linked to better overall physical health by helping to manage stress, enhance memory, and even help alleviate pain. So much so that many hospitals play music of the patient’s choice before undergoing surgery. Further, it can help as an effective treatment with mood disorders, dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, and stroke.

So keep up the listening and know you’re doing your body some good.

Music Finds Ways To Thrive During Covid



How and why do artists do what they do? Is it for the money? Fame? The unlimited supply of green m&m's? Well, it might be a combination of all of these things.  However, in times of crisis, like the one we are all currently experiencing, artists, have been known to tap into a deeper zeitgeist that has become the here and now. This time its one which involves reflection, authenticity, and a questioning of the status quo.

For many musicians, the existential crises and epiphanies go hand in hand. And while this time in human history has been riddled with tragedy, cruelty, and unjustified heartache, it's also been a time for everyone to take stock in asking the question, "How can I become my highest self?"

And artists all over the world have been quite vocal in answering this. For musicians specifically, it remains to be seen when, where, and how they will return to their worlds of live performance, but the act of creating new music is surely seeing a new renaissance. While it may not be a source of lucrative monetization, it is one that brings a deep fulfillment.

So the next time you see your favorite musician going live on Instagram, maybe stop the scroll for just a few moments and take a listen to what they have to share. It might just become the new soundtrack to your life.


Celeb Musicians Doing Good Things During Quarantine


It’s nice to see celebs doing good works during this incredibly difficult time in our global history. There’s nothing better than seeing someone who you dig as a musician who also happens to be a decent human being paying it forward. Here are some good people doing good things who also happen to be celebs.


Post Malone- The rapper's Shaboink brand has partnered with Direct Relief to donate 40,000 N95 masks to help keep front-line workers safer during the global crisis.

Miley Cyrus has created a daily talk show on her Instagram called, “Bright Minded” which focuses on positive ways to cope with quarantine. She speaks with mental health experts, fellow musicians, and those on the front lines. She’s spotlighting a lot of great causes with the intent of “staying positive and engaged”. 

Watsky The rapper and poet raised over $140,000  for Sweet Relief's COVID-19 Fund, which provides financial assistance for musicians and industry workers affected by the pandemic. Watsky is raising money by performing non-stop, rapping over 33 hours, which earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest continuous rap. Glad he’s doing it and not us.

Ariana Grande has a slew of organizations that she has been supporting during the crisis, including Fund For Families, The Bail Project, The Mental Health Fund, and more.

Billy Ray Cyrus, another Cyrus doing good, has created with Native American communities, donating 20,000 masks to use for their protection against the virus. The announcement came during the Native Americans & Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall.

Madonna has teamed up with REFORM Alliance to donate 100,000 masks to jails and prisons with the hope of curbing the spread of the coronavirus behind bars. REFORM has donated 100,000 masks to those at Rikers Island in NYC.

Willie Nelson-He’s no stranger to helping those in need. He’s been successfully raising money for others for thirty plus years. His virtual Farm Aid concert on April 11 raised more than $500,000 for family farmers and ranchers who have been impacted during the crisis. "The coronavirus has disrupted our entire country and is a grave threat to all of us. One of its many impacts is that it has helped us to better see the value of essential people like healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, delivery truck drivers, and farmers and ranchers," Nelson said in a statement.

Healthier Snacks To Binge While In Quarantine


So you're alone in your apartment and it's day one hundred and twenty badzookas of quarantine. Don't worry, no one knows or cares what day it is anymore. And you've been trying to go on daily walks, stopping to smell the roses and smile at your relatively friendly neighbors. You're reading more (albeit while on the can), and even turning off your phone before you go to bed at night.

However, there is one area where you're not quite winning while in quarantine, and that is what you are putting in your mouth every day. Some days it's a bowl of pasta the size of your steering wheel, other days it's a pizza the size of your steering wheel, and other days, you find yourself gnawing on your actual steering wheel. Maybe you're washing everything down with a beer or a refreshing bubbly glass of Fanta. Suffice it to say, your intake of healthy foods could use some improvement.

Below are some great snacking substitutions to get your body on as good a track as the rest of you:

  1. Replace those salty, high fat, and cholesterol chips with some seaweed snacks. They're crunchy and full of antioxidants to help boost your immune system.
  2. Switch out those sugary sodas for carbonated water. You can still get your fizz on, but without all the sugar and artificial flavorings. Or better yet, take the leap and drink the OG of beverages, plain 'ol drinking water.
  3. Instead of your favorite ice cream, try freezing fruit and chomping on that during your late-night Netflix binge. Full of antioxidants and easier on the teeth and waistline, frozen grapes, bananas, and berries make a satisfying and savory late-night treat.
  4. Buttery popcorn can get a facelift with replacing butter for Himalayan salt and nutritional yeast flakes. They are rich in B vitamins and protein and add a savory, nutty flavor to your favorite movie snack.
  5. Feeling like you're hopped up on too much caffeine during the day? Try replacing that fourth cup of coffee with green tea or a warm chicory drink. Green tea is filled with antioxidants and has loads of research showing it's health benefits. Or if you're craving that coffee vibe, chicory drinks like Pero, have that warm soothing flavor, minus the caffeine and rabbit-like jitters that come with too many cups.

Try swapping out these little snacks and drinks and see if doesn't put just a little more spring in your step, even if you're just springing to the other room.




Things To Do On The Fourth Of July During Quarantine


Ok, it's the beginning of July and we are still under lockdown for good reason. So what does that mean for the best holiday of the summer? Well, more of the same as far as quarantine is concerned. But that doesn't mean you still can't take the day to celebrate some special things.

  • How about instead of a large BBQ- try making something unique for you or the people you are in isolation with.
  • Maybe take the day to watch a historical program on Harriet Tubman, or Lincoln.
  • Or perhaps make a gratitude list for everything you're grateful for on this day of privilege.
  • Lastly, make a donation, big or small to a non-profit doing good works in the world.
  • And if you want to throw a hot dog into the mix somewhere, that's not such a terrible idea either.

In a time when everything is upside down, re-thinking a holiday about freedom never seemed more appropriate. Pass on some good juju and bring new traditions to this Fourth of July.

Rock/Metal Documentaries, Movies + Shows to Binge While In Quarantine




  • Gone Too Soon (Netflix) the so-called “27 Club” an exclusive group of famous musicians who died at 27, explores the untimely passing of six musicians, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Kobain, and Amy Winehouse.
  • Alice Cooper-Good To See You Again (Amazon Prime)- one of the most electrifying stage shows in rock history, was one put on by Alice Cooper. They had a shocking reputation that garnered them millions of fans who loved to watch their unique brand of theatrical rock.
  • Death By Metal (Amazon Prime) this doc celebrates the life and legacy of the godfather of death metal, Chuck Schuldiner.
  • Devil At The Crossroads: A Robert Johnson Story (Netflix)- not a lot is known about the blues legend, Robert Johnson who died at the age of 27 in 1938. But this Mississippi native had a lasting and profound effect on music and is considered one of the fathers of rock and roll. This documentary peels back all the layers to find out all there was to know about this legendary musician.
  • Hired Gun (Amazon Prime)- Session musicians never get the proper acknowledgment or even the residual payment of their essential musical contribution to a recording. But this story is about Jason Hook who went from side-man to front-man of his own band, Five Finger Death Punch, and what happened along the way.