Yes! You can use Genymotion, this is one of the easiest to set up. In the end it gives you the screen of an Android phone that looks and behaves exactly like a real Android phone. You control it with your mouse, instead of your finger, and type messages with your regular keyboard. You can use pretty much all the apps of a regular Android phone on this virtual phone. There are other Android emulators, Genymotion is just simple to install.
There is one other option: The browser Chrome allows you to run Android apps, it is called the ‘Android runtime for Chrome.’ It does not run all apps and it is more complicated to set up. But if you can confirm the compatibility of the apps you need beforehand, and if you already use Chrome anyway, you might prefer that instead of running an additional program.
I’d rather not have a mobile phone myself, but there are colleagues who mostly write regular text messages, so neither an app nor the landline is enough for that… and then there is work. I get calls very rarely, but nevertheless it’s absolutely shameful when someone asks you for your mobile phone number (just in case!) and you have to say that you don’t have a mobile phone at all. In private it wouldn’t be a problem, but with work I can’t always choose who I have to talk to.
Then one great thing about modern mobile phones is that they serve as a gateway to the internet for my laptop. If you need a phone contract and a mobile modem anyway, you might as well get a phone and have the additional ability to call people with it.