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If you’re like us, over the past few weeks your social media feeds and email inbox have been filled with people offering advice on how to make the most out of the time so many of us are spending at home right now.

We’re all constantly being bombarded with reminders that this is a great time to start the novel you’ve been putting off, start a side-hustle, learn to meditate, hone your skills, reach out to family and friends, paint your cupboards, or any number of other ways to keep yourself busy, useful, and productive.

And for some people, that’s great advice. But what if you’re just not feeling it?

If you find yourself feeling down, withdrawn, or easily distracted — you’re not alone.

There are a lot of people struggling with the new normal of working from home or dealing with the stress of not working at all, and the idea of piling on one more thing feels like too much. There are countless parents homeschooling their kids for the first time who see those regimented daily schedules online and just want to give up.

If you’re just getting by right now, that’s OK. Getting by is enough. And if you needed to hear it from someone, we’re here to tell you that it’s OK to slow down. You don’t need to do it all.

And if you want to be a couch potato, be a couch potato.

A lot of us on the Fracture team have been feeling this way, and we’ve found ourselves consuming more media than usual to lift our mood and pass the time. Some of us are leaning into escapism, traveling to different worlds, while others prefer shows and podcasts that will bring a laugh or keep the brain active.

We’ve been sharing what we’ve been enjoying with each other, and we thought we’d share it with all of you, as well. However you decide to spend your time on the couch, here are some suggestions to pass the time.

Books

For the bibliophiles wanting to connect online, watch Sir Patrick Stewart read sonnets every day or practice daily silent reading with other book lovers via Zoom. Have young bookworms? The Brooklyn Public Library and Save With Stories offer virtual storytimes for kids. For those wanting fewer social interactions and more pages read, we’ve also got you covered. Revisit old favorites, escape to alternate realities, or prepare for upcoming book-to-movie adaptations.

Indistractable by Nir Eyal
“This book is ONLY life-changing if you happen to work on a computer or own a smartphone.” – Drew A.

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book by Jomny Sun
“And I promise that’s the spelling. It’s an absolutely adorable book with illustrations that seems to be a book for kids, but touches on some really heavy philosophical topics. Throughout the story, our protagonist is an alien sent to study earth( really the other aliens just wanted to get rid of Jomny). He always felt left out, even among the aliens, but for the first time feels at home among the creatures of earth. This adorable story teaches you about individuality, feelings, relating to others, etc. This book was so much fun for me to read, and it was a real roller coaster of emotions. At some points I was like, how dare you make me feel/face that! But over all this book made me so happy.” – Kristin S.

Shazam Comics and G.I. Joe Comics
“The latest Shazam series is very entertaining. My old favorite, which I am getting back into is G.I. Joe.” – Ben K.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
“ It’s full of insightful stories and statistics I otherwise would probably never hear about.” – Justin K.

The Witch Elm by Tana French
“I highly recommend her works for those who like their mystery novels dark and deeply personal.”  – Amanda C.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
“Have read a few times, and always find something new! Fans of Doctor Who will love it!” – Amanda C.

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas
“A critical view of runaway capitalism and what can be done about it.” – Steve P.

Rocket Men by Robert Kurson
“A fascinating look at what NASA, the astronauts, and their families were going through for the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. It’s also a comforting reminder that difficult times are never a permanent state of being; we can and we will get through this.” – Emily M.

Ninth Step Station (Various)
“A series style sci-fi novel that takes place in Japan. “In the future, two mismatched cops must work together to solve crimes in a divided Tokyo. Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Together, they must race to solve a series of murders that test their relationship and threaten to overturn the balance of global power. And amid the chaos, they each need to decide what they are willing to do for peace.”” – Stacy B.

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
“Third book in a trilogy that spans over 400 years in England. Excellent read and well researched. Highly recommend the entire trilogy.” – Stacy B.

The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
“My friend loaned me this series, so I’m powering through this one so we can both read the final book in the trilogy when it’s released at the end of June.” – Hannah G.

What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
“Great book about company culture and weathering through the good times and the bad times.” – Ann N.

Dune by Frank Herbert
“Rereading in preparation for the December movie release!” – Herb J.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (180 AD)
“I first read this collection in June of 2006 when the recession first started. My position in advertising was eliminated, I parted ways with my first girlfriend, my parents were becoming increasingly ill, and it was the month of my 21st birthday. Having given everything and lost it all, It was also the first time I experienced a true sense of being empty. I went to the library to research resources on ‘meditating’ when I came across this book, it was kismet. It was the tome of truth and wisdom that helped me understand the world around me and myself. Written almost 2000 years ago, Marcus embodied the Fracture motto: “Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary?”’ – Adam R.

 

Shows and Movies

Whether you’re a diehard DVD collector, a streaming pro, or something in-between, there are a wide variety of genres and mediums to choose from. Binge your way through cult classics or catch up on shows that just premiered. Some movie studios are actually hosting live streams of classic movies with cast or crew members there to chat through the films.

Tiger King
“Crazy.” – Most of the Fracture Team

Steven Universe
“If you like deep story plots in a cute kids cartoon this is for you. The creator goes into detail about childhood trauma and what it means to be a family, whether blood related or not. The deep story plot just gets deeper and more sad the more you get into the show. Also the songs are to die for.” – Page P.
“I love animation, and the show has many great themes such as friendship, mental health, and diversity. Also the music is awesome.” – Liz R.

Uncut Gems
“My favorite movie of last year. It’s fascinating and pulse-pounding and devastating and outrageously funny. “ – Paul M.

Attack on Titan
“I love it because it makes me realize how much worse it could really be right now. (If you’ve never seen the show this wouldn’t make any sense).” – Amber P.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
“It’s an odd show and very funny. She sees people singing and dancing but to the outsider nothing changes. Also, the music is pretty good.” – Ben K.

The Women of Brewster Place
“I love it because I like to see women involved in bringing the community together.” – Quinisha L.

This Is Us
“My wife got me started on it and it’s very well done from a production and story-telling stand-point which I appreciate.” – Justin K.

Fortitude
“A very different take on the classic detective story!” – Amanda C.

The Wire
“It’s honestly the best show I’ve ever seen.” – Steve P.
“One of the best shows period.” – Stacy B.

Mamma Mia!
“How can you resist people randomly bursting into song (and a very loose plot)? I’m a real sucker for musicals. I’ve been listening, dancing, and jiving to ABBA while working and then watching Mamma Mia! in the evenings. After all, without a song or a dance, what are we?” – Emily M.

Altered Carbon
“I love the futuristic concept of the series and the action.” – Tomi O.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan (1980)
“During this time of self-quarantining, I feel it’s important for everyone to reflect inwards and outwards. The Cosmos miniseries is a great look at just how big the universe actually is and poses deep questions about what our role is in the inter-galactic ecosystem with music by Vangelis.” – Adam R.

The Sopranos
“I love watching shows that focus on the bad guys. If the movie/show has mobsters waving around guns while talking in funny accents, I’m hooked. Anything directed by Scorsese scratches that itch movie-wise.” – Tyler S.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
“The slow, deliberate pacing of the majority of the film makes the climax really jarring (in a good way) when it all reaches a crescendo.” – Hannah G.

Jack Ryan
“All about seeing other parts of the world with a little bit of mystery and adventure included.” – Ann N.

Ozark (Season 3)
“It’s as good and might even be better than Breaking Bad.” – Karen O.

 

Music

There’s no overstating the power of music. It can transport you to a specific time and place, evoke memories of childhood, and help you make sense of difficult times. Here are the albums we’ve been listening to on repeat.

Black Focus by Yussef Kamaal
“This is taking me to heaven.” – Drew A.

Rapture by Koffee
“Koffee’s EP just won a Grammy for best reggae album and she is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.” – Liz R.

1988 by Knxwledge
“A very relaxing new Knxwledge album that’s very good for working/studying/chilling.” – Liz R.

Changes by Justin Bieber
“”Changes” is the pop redemption we needed right now.” – Liz R.

My Turn by Lil Baby
“I like the album because the artist is speaking of his hard times and how now he lives a better life.” – Quinisha L.

Amidst the Chaos by Sara Bareilles
“Sara Bareilles’s latest album came out last year, but this mix of soul, R&B, pop, and folk resonates even more now.” Don’t stop trying to find me here amidst the chaos//Though I know it’s blinding there’s a way out – Emily M.

The Wall by Pink Floyd
“I’ve been going through and listening to a bunch of old classic rock albums. I’ve really been enjoying albums where the songs all mesh together.” – Tyler S.

The HU – The Gereg (2019)
“Featuring themes of mounted archery, falconry, and nomadic life sung in Mongolian, this album transports you to a completely different world.” – Cory M.

The Time for Peace is Now
“The music is just amazing and the guy who compiled it is really great collector. The message in the songs is the best part especially in these times. Its seventies-era gospel but… “they focus not on Jesus or God, but instead on ourselves, and how we exist with each other.” It’s a good listen if you get time.” – Cory M.

 

Podcasts

There’s something comforting about podcasts. With thousands upon thousands available, finding one that you love can feel like a real “needle in a haystack.” Podcasts are also one of the only mediums coming out with regular content right now, making them even more important than ever. We’ve rounded up our favorite podcasts spanning a wide variety of topics including mythology, history, movies, and even riddles.

Hey Riddle Riddle
“A riddle podcast with a side of improv comedy! I have replayed episodes over and over because it’s just fun.” – Kristin S.

Mythology
“A podcast where stories of mythology are narrated and acted out by a cast of voice actors.” – Kristin S.

Myths and Legends
“A podcast where he tells stories of myths from cultures and people all over the world. The narrator kinda paraphrases a lot of parts into modern speech, which kind of works in its own way.” – Kristin S.

The Rich Roll Podcast
“I find his perspective enlightening.” – Justin K.

The Big Picture
“I’m a huge movie buff, and it’s devastating for me to see theaters closed. The hosts do a great job of mixing “serious film analysis with pop-culture fun.”” – Paul M.

Noble Blood 
“History with a flair for the macabre. I’m a history buff and it’s fun to explore the dark side of events!” – Amanda C.

The Rewatchables 
“Deep-dive into popular movies that you can’t stop rewatching. What I love most is that this is more than just a “recap” podcast; they also debate the best quote, who should win the “Overacting Award,” and who won the movie. Recent episodes include The Karate Kid, Edge of Tomorrow, and Cast Away, three of my faves!” – Emily M.

Behind the Bliss 
“It’s encouraging and deeply relatable/needed during a time like this.” – EllieClaire S.

Hostile Work Environment 
“Geeky HR podcast but super fun with great HR peeps.” – Karen O.

The Chasing Joy Podcast with Georgie Morley
“My go to because she focuses on mental health and wellness which is even more crucial as we face such uncertainity. I feel like I am right there sitting in the conversation.” – Ann N.

Pivot with Kara Swisher & Scott Galloway
“It’s a great podcast that you have to experience while understanding the background of both hosts (Kara Swisher is a formidable Tech Journalist and Scott Galloway is a Marketing Professor at NYU).” – Steve P.

Freakonomics Radio
“Very insightful about why we do what we do. Explores the hidden side of everything.” – Stacy B.

 

Video Games

Video games are a tried-and-true source of entertainment. Even better, it allows players to hang out and talk with friends, family, and people around the world while exploring new worlds, playing basketball, or building empires. Here are some of the games our team has been enjoying.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
“It’s an absolutely beautiful RPG, with a Viking setting. As you play through the story, you’re also subconsciously learning how to push through your anxiety and depression. The game developers did this intentionally to help people with mental illness, even taking time to research and interview patients and medical professionals in the industry. In relation to my experience with anxiety, they got it so perfectly accurate. Even just watching the trailer gives me chills. There are all these voices and whispers that are constantly surrounding you as you play through. None of the voices are consistent, but most are negative in some way. Some are trying to help, usually a quieter voice, while some mock you and laugh at you when you can’t figure something out. The fighting is awesome, and there’s plenty of puzzles throughout to keep you busy. At $30, I can not recommend it enough, and I believe it’s available across all platforms.” – Kristin S.

Super Mario 3D World
“You play with 4 characters. My son (7) also loves when I beat levels for him after he goes to sleep for the night, so that’s a bonus.” – Liz R.

Animal Crossing
“This game kills time, I have played every day since it’s come out and it’s honestly the most fun I’ve had playing a video game in a really long time. It’s definitely worth buying.” – Page P.

Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
“A wildly addicting and endearingly goofy medieval combat simulator.” – Paul M.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild
“The vast openness of BotW allows for new adventures at every turn – even just following a path opens up a whole new area to explore.” – Steve P.
“The girls and I will gather in our tv room and someone will play while the rest of us cheer them on and help them solve the puzzles/quests. Most importantly the rest of the house is quiet so that Mom has time to focus on work.”  – Herb J.

Overcooked
“Great for couples stuck together.” – Kiki W.

NBA 2K18
“Because if we can’t watch sports, we can pretend they’re still around somewhat.” – EllieClaire S.

Dragon Age: Inquisition
“It was a nice long playthrough that had a great story and was never too difficult or frustrating.” – Drew A.

Borderlands 3
“It’s great so far! Real solid Co-op game.” – Tyler S.

Crown of the Gods
“I love nothing more than to log in, build an empire, smoosh castles and troops and run/play with other amazing gamers; some of which I have known for over +12 years.” – Karen O.

Dungeons of Dredmor
“You can wear a road cone for a helmet and master the art of Veganism and Necronomiconomics. It’s a roguelike that doesn’t take itself too seriously, or anything at all for that matter. Everything is a parody and nothing is spared. Eating lutefisk restores 1HP.” – Adam R.

Sports

A lot of sports are in flux right now. Here’s a quick breakdown of original and classic content professional sports leagues are offering, plus a few sports you might not have heard of or played in a few decades.

The NFL and NBA, are offering extended free trials for their respective streaming services. The NBA is also streaming classic games online. Relive incredible feats, heartbreaking disappointments, and hear what NBA players have to say about iconic moments throughout the decades.

Similarly, the NHL is launching The NHL Pause Binge, which will include full-length games, behind-the-scenes, and content from the 1950s to the present. Baseball fans can check out MLB The Show, where players from all 30 teams will compete in 29 games on Twitch to win the World Series. Tennis aficionados can check out Tennis United, a weekly show that covers everything going on in the tennis world, from interviews to highlights to social media updates.

ESPN has been active in creating unique content, especially for NBA fans right now. Their Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, was moved up and now premieres April 19. They’ve also been hosting an NBA 2K Players Tournament where you can watch NBA players compete to become the ultimate NBA 2K20 champion. They also have an NBA HORSE Challenge beginning April 12. NBA and WNBA favorites from today and yesteryear will be taking shots from their homes in this virtual competition.

World Chase Tag 
This is no elementary school game of tag. Professional competitive tag has been around for years, but we recently stumbled across this and we can’t stop talking about it. This intriguing mix of parkour and tag comes with rules, an official court, and is timed. Try it out — we guarantee you’ll be hooked.

“This is kind of addicting. It’s tag with world-class athletes.” – Abhi L.

MARBULA ONE 
If you’ve finished both seasons of Formula One on Netflix and are just itching for more, our CEO suggests you checking out Marbula One. Similar to Formula One, there are several tracks and venues each team’s car — or, marble in this case — must race through before claiming a spot on the podium. This is one that needs to be seen to be believed.

“Some classic ESPN Ocho material.” – Abhi L.
“Never doubt the power of the O’rangers.” – Emily M.

Hopefully, these provide a little inspiration for things to watch or check out. We’d also love to hear what you’ve been watching, listening to, or reading right now. Share what you’ve been up to in the comments — we’re always looking for more recommendations.

For more activities to keep you connected and stay focused on what matters during these challenging times, head on over to our Stay Focused page

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The Author

Drew Allen

Drew Allen

Besides being the managing editor of this blog, I'm also a drummer, a husband, and a father, not necessarily in that order. I love good stories, and great design, and I probably quote the Office more than I should but less than I could.