After our 48 hours on the road to and from Florida this spring, both my husband and I owe our sanity to Podcasts. If you’re new to Podcasts, let me introduce you to this life saver!
I work from home, and TV is a distraction for me (The Mindy Project = productivity killer, you’ve been warned), but I do like something to provide a little background noise. My husband – who has a 1+ hour commute each way – suggested podcasts a few months ago, and since then, I’ve been hooked.
I feel like Podcasts are this generations ‘radio programs’. They’re informative and entertaining, but portable, and run on your schedule. When you want the entertainment of television, but don’t want to get sucked into a show, Podcasts are the way to go. To get started, you need to download an app that corresponds with your phone OS, and there are few to choose from.
Here are some Podcasts I recommend, as well as a few top rated shows, and some that are little out there, but still rank high in my repertoire.
Stuff You Should Know – This podcast is rated #1 for a reason. I truly feel like I come away a wee bit smarter after listening to it. The hosts make you feel like you’re talking to your two super smart buddies, and they covered a crazy wide range of topics. Their podcasts go all the way back to 2008, so you’re sure to never run out of material. Clearly, I love this one. Just ask me about the history of soda, living without a bank account, revisionist history, artificial sweeteners, and my newest favourite – Hookworm.
How I Built This is essential listening for the small business owner / entrepreneur, but also for anyone who has ever wondered how a business or brand came to be. The host, Guy Raz, is a dream to listen to, and he asks the best questions of his subjects, making everyone completely accessible, from the guy who created Zappos even though he doesn’t really like shoes, or those Warby Parker creators, or, my personal fave, the making of Melissa and Doug.
Serial is the Podcast that started it all for me (Thanks Matt!). There are 2 seasons to watch, and I devoured the first season like it was cake. It follows the crime and sentencing of Adnan Syed, a highschooler accused of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee. True crime is a passion of mine, and following along through this process had me hooked from Episode 1. Season 2 investigates Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier that was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years. He was a fairly big news story upon his release, and this behind the scenes look into the situation was eye opening.
From the makers of Serial (above) comes S-Town. The main character had me intrigued from the intro, again with the crime aspect, but also his offbeat personality. This one is a little more for the true crime / drama fan, but like Serial, I was powerless to binge-listening. It’s an insiders view of a small town rife with corruption and crime, and what one man will do to right the wrongs in his town.
Did you read the book Freakonomics when it was released a few years ago? The Podcast follows the same premise, asking questions that we think we already know the answers to. Questions like “Why Is My Life So Hard?” and “Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?” which I just listened to today. No matter what episodes you listen to, remember, not everything they say about females named “Amber” is accurate 😉
Ted Talks are probably the most well-known podcasts, and they’re perfect if you want to be inspired, motivated, and enlightened on a wide range of topics. Podcasts can be intriguing, like this one of secret US prisons, or this one to inspire your summer fun. Or jump right in with their Top Rated talks.
Manic Rambling Spiral is the podcast baby of Heather B. Armstrong & John R. Bray, and aside from them making me want to use my middle initial, their podcast is an insight into single parenting, without being too “parenting”. It’s not giving you tips or recipes, just honest insight and support for parents doing it solo. Armstrong is the mom behind dooce.com, commonly referred to as the original mommy-blog.
Canadian true-crime aficionados will love Someone Knows Something. From CBC Radio, our host, David Ridgen takes listeners back to the 1972 disappearance of 5 year old Adrien McNaughton in Arnprior, Ontario. Season 2 delves into the case of Sheryl Sheppard, missing from Hamilton since 1997.
My Favourite Murder is not for everyone, but this crime buff is smitten. It’s 2 women (Georgia and Karen) who come together to discuss a murder of their choosing weekly. They’ve discussed famous scumbags like Ted Bundy, all the way to the obscure (to me, anyhoo) like the Moors murders. If you’re a true crime fan, who doesn’t require their reporting too serious, this is a Podcast to try.
Already down with the cool kids who listen to Podcasts? I’d love to know what you recommend, so please share it in the comments. And while you’re at it, please share this post and help someone else discover the wide world of Podcasts.