Listen up! If you find yourself feeling a little isolated right now, why not try incorporating some more music, radio and podcast listening into your day. Here are some of our tips for how you can connect and why it can help lift your spirits.

If you’re here because you’re feeling lonely, that’s no surprise to us. It’s a very common experience. One factor that can hugely contribute to loneliness is physical isolation – whether that’s from your family and friends, from your workmates, or from the “tyranny of distance”. And this year, we’ve been more physically isolated from each other than ever before.

As humans, we feel better when we’re able to connect closely with others and share experiences that bring us closer together. That doesn’t have to be in person, though – you can get that sense of connection from listening to a podcast about a topic you love, or watching a live concert from a band you know. To that end, we’ve got a few suggestions for music, podcasts and performances to lift your mood.

Spotify: Music and podcasts

Whether you’re waking up or singing in the shower to some upbeat tunes, getting through your workday with a motivational playlist or sweating it out to your favourite throwback tracks, music has a unique ability to elevate our mood and even trigger feelings of social connection. And with today’s music streaming apps like Spotify, that sense of connection – even when listening on your own – is further amplified by in-built social features such as playlist subscriptions (basically the modern equivalent to sharing your own mix tape with millions of other users), collaborative playlists and even group sessions allowing you to listen together with friends and family in real time, no matter how far apart you might be right now.

Another great way to boost that feeling of social closeness is listening to podcasts – basically, talk radio for the 21st century. Perfect for your morning stroll, while driving in the car or when winding down for bed, there are podcasts on a virtually limitless number of topics – many of them particularly amusing, entertaining and informative. Hosted by all manner of celebrities, journalists, comedians and average everyday people, their conversational tone and episodic format makes them feel like a regular catch-up with friends who just happen to share all of your interests.

Available on: iOS | Android | Windows | Mac | Smart speakers | Telstra TV

iHeartRadio: Live radio stations, news and podcasts

The great thing about good old-fashioned radio is that everyone listening is hearing the same thing, at the same time. But what if you don’t have a “wireless” handy to tune in? No problem! With the modern marvel of internet connected devices, you can now listen to traditional over-the-air radio stations on the go with the iHeartRadio app on your mobile phone or tablet, and at home on your Google or Alexa smart speakers as well as on Telstra TV.

Stream thousands of live radio stations from across Australia, New Zealand and the US, with everything from Top 40 pop, through to rock, dance, country, golden oldies, kids, classical, and more – as well as news, sport and talk radio to keep you up-to-date on everything going on in the world. And with many of your favourite podcasts also available within the app, iHeartRadio is a great way to stay connected with the things you enjoy listening to.

Available on: iOS | Android | Smart speakers | Telstra TV

Vevo: Music videos and live performances

For many fans out there, the music is just part of what we connect with when it comes to our favourite musicians. Music videos and live performances also play an important role in helping artists share with us their overall creative vision – one that helps us as fans further connect with them emotionally, and socially with other like-minded followers. Whenever a new music video or live performance is published, users across social networks spring to life, ready to discuss the details, meaning and artistry that has gone into the work – and defend the choices the artist has made to any critics who might emerge. The Vevo app provides users of streaming TV devices, such as Telstra TV, a great way to devour this immense creativity on the largest screens in our home – filling our living rooms and bedrooms with gloriously high-definition visuals to accompany the music we love.

Available on: Telstra TV

Live concert films and stage shows

If you’re missing the buzz and excitement of attending live gigs, then there are plenty of concert films you can stream from the comfort of your couch on Telstra TV – with recorded shows from Beyonce, Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and more on Netflix; Jennifer Lopez and Pink Floyd on Telstra TV Box Office; Jonas Brothers, Alanis Morissette, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Phil Collins on Amazon Prime Video; Midnight Oil and Crowded House on Stan; and Madonna’s Madame X Tour coming to Paramount+ from 8 October.

And for the theatre-goers among us, you can stream the Tony award-winning smash hit Hamilton on Disney+; current Broadway show Diana The Musical on Netflix from 1 October; Billy Elliot, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon on Telstra TV Box Office; the National Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet on ABC iview until 23 October, as well as a number of Australian Ballet productions on ABC iview.

If you need help, mental health support services are available through:

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800

Telstra TV: Requires a compatible TV with HDMI port. A minimum internet speed of 3.5mbps is recommended. Antenna required to access free to air channels in your area. Subscription and data charges apply. Search not available across all apps.