Wellbeing in lockdown

Wellbeing in lockdown

The library has produced this resource list to help you with your emotional and physical wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak and assist you in overcoming the spatial and social isolation of lockdown. 

Digital Resources for Libraries, Scottish Library & Information Council 

Further to the resources below, the Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) have created an online database of free resources for children, adults and vulnerable groups to use during the coronavirus outbreak. Access SLIC's database of lockdown resources.

Mental health

The university's Wellbeing Team have created a webpage of resources, including details of mental health support helplines. Access GCU Wellbeing Team's coronavirus webpage.


Reading reduces stress by providing an escape from the real world. It also develops literacy (keeping the brain active) and prevents memory loss.  

Public Libraries

In the UK, you can sign up for free local library membership and get access to thousands of free ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines. Sign up for Glasgow public library membership.  

Project Gutenberg 

Project Gutenberg is an online collection of over 60,000 ebooks that are free to read as they are in the public domain. The collection includes audio versions of some ebooks too. Access Project Gutenberg ebooks.

Audible Stories

Audible Stories is an Amazon audiobook collection that is primarily aimed at kids, but there are some classic titles adults can enjoy too, as well as foreign language books. Access Audible Stories ebooks.   

100 Novels that Shaped Our World, BBC 

In 2019, leading writers, curators and critics were asked by the BBC to choose 100 novels that had a significant impact on their lives. The webpage 100 Novels that Shaped Our World thematically lists the results. This webpage doesn't provide access to the texts but you should be able to access many of the titles as ebooks through local library membership or through Project Gutenberg. 

Cultural entertainment

Break lockdown boredom by enjoying cultural entertainment across the world from the comfort of your sofa. You could even make a night of it by having friends or family on video call as you explore these resources together. 

National Theatre  

The National Theatre is making one stage production freely available each week. Access the National Theatre at Home webpage to see what's on this week.

Royal Albert Hall 

The Royal Albert Hall is bringing exclusive sessions from artists’ homes to yours for free. View Royal Albert Home, programme of events.

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House has made a range of its productions available online in full. Visit the Royal Opera House’s YouTube channel to watch their productions. 

The Metropolitan Opera 

One full production is made freely available each day. Visit Metropolitan Opera's website to watch productions.

The Shows Must Go On! 

This YouTube channel releases full-length performances of musicals every Friday evening which are available to watch for 48hrs. Visit The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel to watch their musicals at weekends.

Boiler Room 

If you’re missing nights out, then why not check out Boiler Room’s ‘Streaming from Isolation’ series where you can watch world-famous DJs let loose on the decks at their own homes.  Visit Boiler Room's YouTube channel to watch the series.

Box of Broadcasts

You can access over 2.2 million academically focused TV broadcasts for free by logging into the Box of Broadcasts database with your university credentials. Access Box of Broadcasts database.

Arte, The European Culture Channel 

This free television network promotes cultural programming. Its collections consist mainly of documentaries and feature films, but there are some news and performing arts recordings too. Programmes are free to watch but you do need to create an account. Most programmes are in French and German, but some are in English, and all have the option to use English subtitles. Visit Arte, the European culture channel.

Google Arts & Culture

You can explore museums, art galleries and heritage sites around the world from the comfort of your sofa using Google street view. You can also explore and creatively engage with famous artworks in high definition and print an activity and colouring book. Many museums are also hosting digital exhibitions on their own websites too, so look out for these. Access Google Arts & Culture homepage


Tabletopia is an online site where you can play board games with friends. You do need to create a free account through and please note a small minority of the content is behind a paywall. Access Tabletopia's homepage.

Exercising at home

Physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy and improves mental health, focus, sleep and energy levels. There are many fantastic resources online to help you exercise at home, here are a few of our top picks:

NHS Fitness Studio

This National Health Service webpage has 24 video classes covering aerobics, strength and resistance, yoga and pilates you can follow from home. Visit the NHS Fitness Studio webpage.

The Body Coach TV

Joe Wicks, famous for his ‘PE at Home’ lockdown series, leads a variety of exercise classes online for all levels. Visit The Body Coach TV YouTube channel to view classes.

Heather Robertson

Heather Robertson leads high intensity interval training sessions and longer workouts online, many of which you can do from home. Visit Heather Robertson's YouTube channel to view her classes.

Yoga with Adriene

Adriene Mishler leads online yoga and meditation classes for all levels and needs. Visit Adriene's YouTube channel to view her classes.

Get creative

Creative activity (even just colouring!) improves brain function and mental health as a mindful activity. Here are some resources which should hopefully inspire you to get creative.

Colour our collections

In February 2020, libraries and archives around the world shared colouring sheets based on their collections for you to enjoy. Access and print colouring sheets.

The Joy of Painting, Bob Ross

403 episodes of Bob Ross’ painting series 'The Joy of Painting', originally shown on TV, have been uploaded to YouTube so you can listen to Bob’s soothing voice as you paint happy little clouds, mountains and trees together for free. Visit Bob Ross' YouTube channel

How to Sketch, Cartooning Club

Learn how to draw cartoons by following the classes hosted on this YouTube channel. Visit Cartooning Club's YouTube channel.

Stuck at Home Ideas, Red Ted Art

This YouTube channel is packed full of craft tutorials. The ‘Stuck at Home Ideas’ series of videos, in particular, focuses on fun and easy crafts you can make with basic supplies you probably already have at home. Visit Red Ted Art, Stuck at Home Ideas YouTube playlist.


Learn how to create art in a range of different styles through DoodleDrawArt's video tutorials. Visit DoodleDrawArt YouTube channel.


David Jansen's YouTube channel teaches people how to paint natural subjects in a fine art style through video tutorials. Visit JansenArtEducation YouTube channel.

Old Book Illustrations

You can browse the Old Book Illustration database for creative inspiration. Visit the Old Book Illustrations database.

Learn something new

Research shows that learning improves mental health; by boosting self-confidence and engendering a sense of purpose. Many of us find we have extra time on our hands during lockdown and self-isolation – the perfect opportunity to learn something new.

In Our Time

In Our Time is a BBC Radio 4 programme where Melvyn Bragg and panels of guests cover the history of ideas across a wide variety of disciplines.

Browse the In Our Time podcast archive.

TED Talks

These short online talks aim to spread powerful ideas and motivate listeners.

Visit the TED Talks webpage to find podcasts.

Future Learn

Run by the Open University and SEEK, the Future Learn website has online courses of different lengths covering many different subjects. Please note not all content is free.

Browse Future Learn courses.

Learn My Way, Good Things Foundation

This website offers online courses that help people develop their digital skills.

Browse Learn My Way courses.

OpenLearn, Open University

The Open University, which specialises in running remote courses and degrees, has many short-form and free online courses.

View the Open University free course catalogue.


Duolingo is a popular, interactive language learning platform with over 94 different language courses in 23 different languages. Enjoy learning a small amount of a language each day so you’ll be prepared for when we can holiday again! 

Access Duolingo online learning platform

Explore nature

Escape the confines of your home and locality by exploring nature across the world.

Underwater Earth

Take a dive and explore the world’s oceans using Google’s underwater street view. Access Google Underwater Street View.


Live nature webcam network showing scenes from all across the world. Browse Explore.org nature webcams.

Zoos and Conservation Centres

Many zoos and conservation centres have live webcams you can view, such as Monterey Bay Aquarium webcams and Edinburgh Zoo webcams

The Language of Birds, British Library

Take a moment to unwind by exploring the British Library’s birdsong collection. Browse the British Library's Birdsong Collection.

Caring for children

These resources are for those currently looking after children at home and need ideas to keep them entertained. 

The Scouts, The Great Indoors

The Scouts have compiled over 200 indoor activity ideas to keep kids (and adults!) healthy during lockdown. View The Scouts, The Great Indoors activities.

Coronavirus: A Book for Children

Axel Scheffler, the illustrator of The Gruffalo, has created a digital ebook for primary school children, free for anyone to read about Covid-19 and the measures being undertaken to control it. Read Coronavirus: A Book for Children

BBC Scotland, Learning in Lockdown

This BBC Scotland website links to a range of different external sites that have fun learning activities to keep children busy during lockdown. View BBC Scotland, Learning in Lockdown website.

The Wilderness Foundation

The Wilderness Foundation has produced guides packed full of ideas to keep adults and children mindful during lockdown. Visit The Wilderness Foundation's website.

Home is Good, National Geographic

National Geographic's Home is Good webpage has activity ideas for keeping children entertained at home. The webpage also has online quizzes, videos and games for children to enjoy. Visit National Geographic's Home is Good webpage.

Craft for Home School, Crafts Council

The Crafts Council's website has lots of fun crafts ideas to do with kids of all ages at home. View the Crafts Council's Craft at Home webpage.