What You Should Be Listening to During Lockdown

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Last week, I averaged 7h 42m of screen time per day. It was a 15% decrease from the week prior.

Do you ever find yourself putting your phone/laptop down for the night – not because you want to, but because the blue light is finally drying your eyes out to the point where you can’t ignore it anymore? Same. It’s been worse since the stay at home orders were dropped. The frustrating part is when you’re getting ready to doze off and realize you don’t even remember what you were doing on your phone that entire time. Googling, YouTubing, and Netflix binging can all be ways to pass time, but it’s very easy to slip into a rabbit hole of conspiracies and add to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.

Here’s our list of who we believe you should be listening to while on lockdown, a list we hope fills the void we often feel after mindlessly consuming online content:


  1. “Small Doses” with Amanda SealesWith the slogan “potent truths for everyday use,” comedian Amanda Seales is able to tackle a range of sensitive topics like politics, friendships, and money. We’re really missing the deep discussions with our friends, and Amanda really comes through as your virtual homegirl with all the candor.
  2. “The Friend Zone” with Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey, and AssanteThis podcast is an exploration of mental health, mental wealth, and mental hygiene in a way that’s relatable and, at times, even comical. Although some random topics are sprinkled in once in a while, these friends offer diverse perspectives on a variety of issues and can help stretch your mind with new ideas on self-care.
  3. “Rap Radar” by TidalJournalists Elliot Watson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller host hip hop’s most revealing interviews. Their reach is global, with interviews featuring Stormzy and Burna Boy, to Nipsey Hussle, Drake, and even fashion designer Dapper Dan – underscoring just how influential hip hop is throughout the entire world. If you’re at all interested in learning the backstories of the radio’s greatest hits, this is the podcast for you! (There are also YouTube clips as well!)



  1. CHILOMBO by Jhene AikoAn album that experiments with sound healing and wellness, this tape incorporates crystal alchemy sound bowls (also known as “singing bowls”) into the beat of every single track. Sound bowls are typically used to promote chakra balancing and stress reduction, something that Jhene wanted to introduce to her audience. However you meditate or heal from the triggers of everyday life, we feel this album can be a great addition in the practice of maintaining stillness, especially now. Bonus: check out Jhene’s meditation track “Trigger Protection Mantra” for a clearer listen of the singing bowls.
  2. SOUNDMAN Vol. 1 by StarboyWe’re diving back into the end of 2019 with this one – we know, we know… The nostalgia! Wizkid dropped this EP under his alternate stage name, Starboy. This 7-track EP is a blend of Afrobeats, offering the ultimate sonic “vibe,” and even includes an intro feature with reggae artist, Chronixx. Throw this on your speakers and use it as a soundtrack to start your day! We promise it’ll do wonders for your mood.
  3. ISOLATION TAPES by Mahalia – With a title that is extremely on brand in the time of global isolation, British singer Mahalia released a short EP of songs she created while on lockdown. She stated that her time at home has allowed her the focus to continue honing her craft, explaining that, “In these uncertain times, when we have so little control over what is going to happen next, I think we have to focus on what we can control. Music is where I feel that most.” Get inspired by Mahalia’s tunes and use it as motivation to work on your passion projects!


  1. More Than Enough by Elaine WelterothEveryone is aware of Teen Vogue’s rebranding towards social consciousness, but who was the revolutionary editor behind the shift? Elaine Welteroth discusses her professional, personal and spiritual life and opens up about her struggle with race in the magazine/beauty industry. This is a great read if you’re looking for something that speaks to the young and Black professional experience.
  2. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor NoahThis audible story follows Trevor Noah’s coming of age during apartheid South Africa. If you’re already a fan of Trevor’s Daily Show and comedy specials, you’ll definitely enjoy getting to know a more candid side to his upbringing.
  3. F*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me by Chloe HilliardComedian Chloe Hilliard opens up about her struggles with her weight growing up and understanding how external factors – like the way you are raised, government policies, etc. – can guide your relationship with food. This essay collection mixes cultural, societal, and racial commentary with comedic stories of Chloe’s journey towards self-acceptance.

There’s something to be said about focusing on distracting yourself from what’s really going on in the world. Most of us are in precarious situations at the moment and it can be hard to deal with it all, especially when you feel everything is out of your control. Being mindful of what you’re consuming is definitely a habit that takes time to form. But we feel it’s doable – and we hope that for the things we can control, we remain cognizant and steadfast of what we feed ourselves; literally and figuratively.

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Ellen Haile
Ellen Haile

My hair falls between the 4A to 4C category, so I’m always looking for the best manageable styles. I live for big, stretched hair, so I often keep it blow dried and call it a day.

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