Resources for the Soul: Podcasts, Playlists, Books, & Resources

~ posted by Maria

These are some of the resources I have found useful and/or comforting during the pandemic. I hope you’ll discover something here that helps you, too.

Jump to resources for: Well-Being | Exercise | News that Doesn’t Overwhelm | Dance Music | WCS Online Lessons

For well-being


You can search for these in your podcast app of choice. These are links to the podcasts on the web:

  • Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson including the episode, “Coping with Quarantine
  • The Happiness Lab, science-based well-being, including recent episodes focused on the pandemic context
  • The Adult Chair, an empowering and effective method for self-help (start with the first four episodes, then jump around and choose topics of need)
  • JP Sears (a humorous approach to wellness)



Some relaxing music playlists:


For exercise

Even if your space is small, there’s a lot you can do to exercise at home. These are my favourite FREE YouTube resources for at-home workouts:

  • Fitness Blender (preferred for cardio workouts and HIIT (high intensity interval training)
  • HAS Fit (preferred for weight/strength workouts, kickboxing cardio workouts, resistance-band workouts, and chair (seated) workouts)
  • Heather Robertson (best for those who are experienced at working out on their own–her workouts have few cues, fast transitions between exercises, and lots of reps)
  • MovNat (for those who dislike traditional workouts; also good for functional mobility)
  • SarahBethYoga, including beginner yoga videos
  • Yoga With Adriene

If you’d rather just be told what to do, you can try following along with my Weekly Workout Mixes, which curate the resources above into daily workouts that combine strength, cardio, and yoga/stretching, as well as restoration.

News that doesn’t overwhelm

I stopped consuming news media some years ago, but recently, I’ve wanted good information about the pandemic. These are news sources I find balanced and helpful; they focus on ONE story per day and the episodes are usually less than 20 minutes long

The official COVID-19 government websites:

West Coast Swing & Hustle music

Our Daniela has put together a library of resources where you can keep up with music for West Coast Swing.

Circuit DJs on Spotify

Profile: Ruby Lair

Profile: Katie Fallon

Profile: Stacy Kay

Profile: justinpetersen

Ottawa DJs on Spotify

Profile: Brad Blashko

Profile: Thomas Clyde

  • Playlist: WCS – BLUES ALL SONGS (over 31 hours of music)
  • Also, check out one of Tom’s many playlists divided out by speed and genre

Profile: emariaf (Maria Ford)

Profile: Daniela Bajtos

Profile: Todd Coulthard

Profile: Christian CG

  • Playlist: WCS (over 23 hours of music)
  • Playlist: Hustle (6 hours of music)

Music Playlists on YouTube

Note that these may no longer be regularly curated or maintained. YouTube isn’t an ideal place for creating playlists for listening to music.

West Coast Swing:

Daniela Bajtos (269 videos):

Christian Gagne (293 videos):

Maria Ford’s WCS Practice Playlist (33 videos):

Weekly Playlists from the Virtual Event: several on the Smoothstyle channel:


Daniela Bajtos (66 videos):

Christian Gagne (43 videos):

dv delvalle (40 videos):


To stay updated on upcoming virtual events or any other virtual thing being done right now, become a member of the Facebook group Online West Coast Swing Opportunities.

For learning West Coast Swing

These are my top recommendations online instructional resources that do not require social media. It’s not an exhaustive list, but these are instructors I can vouch for.

Virtual Private Lessons

Most professionals offer the option of online/virtual private lessons, including Maria. Just find them on Westie Pro, visit their websites, or contact them via social media.

If you’re solo, a VPL is best for working on technique, drills, quality of movement, and video reviews. If you have a partner, you can work on nearly anything in a VPL.

FREE WCS classes online

PAID WCS classes online (no social media required)

And it’s always good to support local! These pros are in Montreal:

One of the professionals also created a calendar to capture as many of these online learning opportunities as possible.

WCS Knowledge

If you have more time now, you can learn about the history, champions, and issues in the West Coast Swing world. These resources will help with that: