What to Read, Watch, Cook, Learn, and Do Right Now
Your daily routine may have drastically changed over the course of the last few weeks. What once was a mad dash from breakfast to school-drop-off to your morning commute to the office, may now look like a leisurely stroll to the couch while trying to entertain your kids and also get some work done. If you’ve felt bored, uncertain, unproductive—here is a list of Blue Zones-approved activities and recommendations for how to downshift, find your purpose, and learn something new during this time we are confined to our homes.
As we at the Blue Zones team work remotely, we also recognize and are grateful for the privilege of being able to work from home. We feel thankful to still have jobs and to still be able to impact people’s health and well-being; we think of the doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, janitors, grocery workers, delivery people, transit workers, police force, and all other essential workers who are still suiting up and going to work. We recognize both the privilege and the duty we have to stay home as much as possible for the people that don’t have one second to be bored right now.
Reading can be educational, fun, or even escapist—and what better time than while you’re confined to your home to check off a few books from your reading list. For a limited time, Apple is offering free books and audiobooks, but if you’re a hardcore hardcover hoarder, support local bookshops by purchasing through IndieBound.
The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell (Try this in Audiobook — it combines original recordings from his interviews.)
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living (The Happiness Institute Series) by Meik Wiking
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, MD, FACLM
I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver
Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely
Wellth: How to Build a Life, Not a Résumé by Jason Wachob
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt
The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better by Richard J. Leider
Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World by Jeff Gordinier
We typically don’t recommend sitting on the couch and watching endless hours of television, but if you have found the current news cycle to be stressful and you need to unwind and get your mind off of the state of the world, we do have a few favorite shows we like to stream that are educational, entertaining, and sometimes both!
American Factory (Netflix)
Period. End of Sentence (Netflix)
Forks Over Knives (Netflix)
100 Humans (Netflix)
Big Dreams, Small Spaces (BBC Two)
Trouble the Water (Prime)
Art Classic Stories Series (Amazon Prime)
Children of the World (Amazon Prime)
The Disney Nature Collection (Disney+)
National Geographic Animals (Disney+)
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Netflix)
Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
Call the Midwife (Netflix)
Parks and Recreation (Start at Season 2 on Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
Kim’s Convenience (Netflix, Amazon Prime)
The Repair Shop (Netflix)
Try baking some of our popular recipes from the Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook or one of the free recipes available at bluezones.com like Ikarian-Style Sourdough or Plant-Slant Banana Bread.
Sign up for the Blue Zones Meal Planner for meal ideas, recipes, grocery delivery, etc.
Anything by Minimalist Baker
Anything by Oh She Glows
Anything by Thug Kitchen
The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family: A Cookbook by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt
The Book of Veganish: The Ultimate Guide to Easing into a Plant-Based, Cruelty-Free, Awesomely Delicious Way to Eat with 70 Easy Recipes Anyone Can Make by Kathy Freston and Rachel Cohn
The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes by Joe Yonan
Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
Boost your art history knowledge and creativity with free coloring pages from 113 museums.
Yale’s most popular course The Science of Well Being is free for everyone right now.
NPR’s Ari Shapiro created a YouTube channel called Shapiro School to help breakdown current events for young viewers.
Take a free class on anything from calligraphy to acrylic painting.
Scholastic has launched a program for families and teachers to help shift students to online learning. Their resources span from PreK and Kindergarten through 9th-grade level.
Mystery Science is offering free science lessons on a variety of topics for Kindergarten through 5th-grade levels.
TedEd has launched an “at-home” series to help keep young learners engaged while learning virtually.
Take the Blue Zones True Vitality Test to learn how your habits may be impacting your lifespan.
Take the Blue Zones True Happiness Test to get your happiness grade and receive personalized happiness recommendations.
Use the Blue Zones Home, Kitchen, Tribe, Bedroom Checklists to set up your Life Radius so that health will ensue rather than having it be something you have to pursue.
Take the Purpose Checkup and see how your lifestyle stacks up. If your situation has changed recently, perhaps it is time to find a new purpose and unlock new opportunities that utilize your unique talents.
Virtually visit the National Portrait Museum for an exclusive tour.
Stream a free performance from the Met.
Watch a Broadway musical, play or ballet with BroadwayHD.
Join the Blue Zones Life Facebook Group because we need each other more than ever.
Find solace in nature with a virtual tour of one of the country’s national parks.
Download the Down Dog app for free yoga classes.
Express your creativity or just get doodling with The Kennedy Center’s Lunch Doodle Studio (bonus—there’s a game at the end!).
Enjoy some live virtual storytelling with your kids.
Use the free Calm Youtube Channel for Mindfulness Meditations.