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Your daily dose of levity: Neighbors meet for calisthenics, ‘Hey Jude,’ Isolation Olympics, ‘The Office’

Megan Holmes



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Today, remember, community is adaptive, resilient, creative and kind. And sometimes, it’s fit too.

The Catalyst is committed to bringing you a daily dose of levity. We’re sharing what we’re reading, watching, doing and listening to, in order to bring levity to our own lives. We’ll also share random things we’re talking about, laughing about and smiling about on social media, in pop culture and beyond. We encourage you to share your daily sources of levity with us in the comments or on social media.

What we’re listening to…

Yesterday, we mostly focused on podcasts, but today, it’s all about music. Working from home means you’re likely a bit more solitary than you’re used to. What you’re listening to can change your mood, boost your productivity, or provide a distraction when you need it.

The Beatles. “For me,” Culture Editor Bill DeYoung says, “it always comes back to the Beatles. That music has been soothing me, salving me and saving me since I was a little kid (and the records were brand-new then!) “Hey Jude,” to this day, is such an uplifting experience.”

Brittany Howard’s debut solo album, Jaime. Alabama Shakes front woman, Brittany Howard delivers with this one. The album is best listened to through high quality headphones. It is so layered. The lyrics read like slam poetry, but it’s just abstract enough to listen while working.

Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You. This isn’t exactly work music, but it’s great for lounging around the house, doing chores or cooking.

Chill Beats Weekly playlist on Spotify. This one is clutch for working from home. Need to drown out your partner, roommate, kids or animals while you get some deep work in? This is your playlist.

What we’re reading…

The New Yorker

Remember when you said you’d read that book when you have more time? Well, I hate to say it, but that time is now. Below are book and light reading recommendations from our team.

  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles a young doctor’s journey from literature student to promising neurosurgeon and finally to a patient in his own hospital after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It’s available both in print and as an audiobook.
  • My Failed Attempt To Hoard Anything At All, a short essay from David Sedaris that appeared in The New Yorker this week.
  • Time Magazine’s reading list: “30 Books and Series to Read While Social Distancing.” Some favorites on the list include: Love in the Time of Cholera, The Road, Wild, Walden, Beloved, The Harry Potter Series.
  • The New Yorker‘s humor piece Isolation Olympics. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll say, “Awe, me too.”

What we’re watching…

What you’re consuming can really change your mood. Today, we recommend comedy and escapism.

  • The Office. If you can’t go to your own office, you might as well go to theirs. It’s full of soothing humor and Dwight is very welcome comedic relief.
  • Schitt’s Creek. Because, it’s fun to watch a family (that isn’t yours) get through into a life-altering situation… and become better people for it. Ew, David. 
  • Sailing La Vagabonde. This YouTube channel follows an Australian couple with the dream of circumnavigating the globe by sail boat … initially having no clue of how to sail. So as you can imagine, this is picturesque escapism at its finest.
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