Looking to escape from the news, the everyday grind, and maybe even those who are (too) close to you? Think of these podcasts and audiobooks as the perfect (virtual) getaway car.
An audiobook that pays tribute to a Rutgers legend
Rutgers English professor Cheryl A. Wall was an expert on Zora Neale Hurston, and edited the two Library of America volumes of Hurston’s writings as well as several books of literary analysis on her. Those saddened by Wall’s untimely death last week may find listening to Hurston’s book Their Eyes Were Watching God the perfect way to pay homage. Right now, it’s free from Audible (with a 30-day trial). Want extra credit? Watch Wall’s hour-long video presentation, “Go there tuh know there”: Zora Neale Hurston’s Journeys, from the 25th Chicago Humanities Festival.
A playlist that offers an extravaganza of entertainment
Radio personality Ed Kalegi developed his on-air persona while helping create Rutgers’ student-run radio station WLBS Radio (now 90.3 RLC-WVPH FM). Perhaps thanks to his résumé of TV and movie appearances, he manages to interview A-listers from all avenues of pop culture on The Weekend with Ed Kalegi. To date, he has posted more than 630 Soundcloud tracks. In a recent post, best-selling author Dean Koontz explains the inspiration for his new book, Devoted, which is available on Audible, too.
An app that helps cultivate compassion
One of the anxiety-reducing tips offered by Elissa Kozlov, an instructor at Rutgers’ School of Public Health, is to try mindfulness meditation using a mobile app. One called Simple Habit includes two recordings from clinical psychologist and Rutgers alumnus Philippe Goldin GSNB’98,’02. Their titles are, appropriately, Compassion for Self and Compassion for Others.
A podcast on building new brain cells
Getting started is easy: Take 10 minutes to listen to Episode 28: Keeping Your Brain Fit, from the podcast Speaking of Psychology, produced by the American Psychological Association. In it, Rutgers professor and behavioral neuroscientist Tracey J. Shors breaks down the healthy habits that can help create new brain cells and help them survive indefinitely. Spoiler alert: One of the tips is meditation, but we won’t give away the ending.
And a podcast to nourish your soul
With 13 binge-worthy episodes on dance, theater, art and design, music, and filmmaking, Work of Art: The Mason Gross Podcast is the perfect salve for the weary soul. Interestingly, the most recent episode from March 31 features dancer Ariana Speight and flute performance major Sana Colter, who recently formed a new student group called C.R.E.A.T.E. (Cultural Rhythm Expressing Art To Empower), which aims to unify all of these art forms, while bringing black and Latinx artistic influences to the fore.
Support During Crisis
Many students are experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.