Coldplay's Chris Martin held a super casual—and surprisingly calming—mini-concert online
Coldplay/Facebook, John Legend/Twitter

In a time when normalcy has flown out the window, we're all desperate for ways to keep calm and carry on from a socially safe distance.

Since performers have suddenly found themselves without audiences, many artists are taking to social media to touch base with fans. And the result is a remarkably human connection that art and music tend to create—especially when the performer is as delightfully unassuming and down-to-earth as Coldplay's Chris Martin.


Seriously, I like Coldplay's music, but I had no idea that Chris Martin was so freaking lovable.

From the moment he started his live video last night, I found myself calmed by Martin's infectious smile and undeniably likable personality. He spoke about all of us being part of one human family, but in a totally sincere and unpretentious way. He called out the countries represented in the comments with love and solidarity, especially hard hit areas like Italy and Iran. He played parts of songs that people requested in a raw, unfiltered performance with little mistakes and the vocal strain of the morning (it was early in the U.K.).

The whole video served as a healing balm and a sweet, authentic reminder that we're all just human beings experiencing this weird new reality together.

Using the hashtag #TogetherAtHome, Martin invited other artists to pick up where he left off and create their own live mini-concerts from home for everyone stuck in isolation. John Legend picked up the torch and will be doing a concert from home at 1pm Pacific today.

The Indigo Girls have also announced a live concert for this coming Thursday, and I'm sure more artists are lining up to keep us entertained and keep our spirits up as well.

If the world is going to go all topsy turvy, at least we have artists to help us reorient ourselves.


Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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via Amelia J / Twitter

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

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Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

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