With the advent of COVID-19 and many people across the world practicing social distancing and working from home, we’re examining some of the things folks can do to step away from their computers and avoid cabin fever. As someone who has a soundtrack to just about everything I do, allow me to share some ideas for activities you can do to step away, and my recommended tunes for each!

Going for a Walk – “Buttercup” by Hippo Campus

In the time of telework, it’s so easy for work and home life to blend into each other because there is no boundary between workspace and your living space. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to get up and go for a walk to get your blood and creativity flowing again. When I go for a walk around my neighborhood, I love to listen to a group from the Twin Cities called Hippo Campus. If you’re more of a runner, I’d suggest listening to Catfish and the Bottlemen, the pace of their music is more suitable for that speed.

Riding a Bike – “You Might Die Trying (Live)” by Dave Matthews Band

Staying on the topic of physical exercise and getting out of your domicile, I love to hop on a bike and cover some extra ground. Now, everyone that knows me knows that I have an absolute obsession with a group from the ‘90s called the Dave Matthews Band – you may have heard of them? Say what you want about Dave and the band, but there’s just something about their musicianship and his lyrics that have kept me coming back all these years. DMB is famous for their incredible live performances and have released plenty of live albums that I like to take full advantage of during my ride. This is a great upbeat song that I love to listen to when I ride.

Reading a Book – “Shine a Light” by The Rolling Stones

When I’m reading a book, there is nothing better than a good accompanying soundtrack to add that perfect touch to the reading experience. I’m currently reading Keith Richards’s memoir and pairing that with Exile on Main Street, his masterpiece. It has some excellent tracks and has been absolutely wonderful as a supplement to my reading experience.

Cooking a Meal – “Column II” by Column

Obviously, cooking is something many of us do on a daily basis, but when I take to the kitchen, I like to throw on a record for some background sounds while doing it. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Column, a supergroup made up of some local indie rock musicians in Chicago. They’ve only put out two songs thus far but they’re fantastic and easy listening while honing your culinary skills.

Spring Cleaning – “Hope Downs” by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

What better time for spring cleaning than when you’re already going to be spending so much time in your home? I’m a big fan of listening to albums in full—as that is the way the artist intended for it to be heard—and for this activity, I submit a record from the Australian band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing more activities, soundtracks, and other content that can be useful while we’re living our lives at home. Let us know what your soundtrack sounds like and keep checking back for more content!