Do You Podcast? If You Don’t, You Should
Alright people, this is serious. I’m actually telling you what to do here, something I don’t often do. Sure, I offer advice, sure I make suggestions, but to flat out give orders? That’s just not me.
Unless it’s something that will improve your life…then I have to do it.
If you don’t already listen to podcasts or have an app on which to access podcasts, you should get one.
My friend introduced me to Stitcher radio a couple of years ago and not a week has gone by that I haven’t used it. Stitcher is an app you can download on your phone that enables you to listen to and access hundreds of podcasts. I’m sure there’s many other apps out there as well, Stitcher is simply the one I like, one that has more than enough podcasts to appeal to a vast plethora of tastes and interests, and it’s easy to use.
Oh…and it’s free. Did I mention that? Yup. Free.
Which means you have access to countless interesting, funny, scary, creepy, captivating, nerdy, sportsy, educational, inspirational and more, podcasts – FOR FREE!
But I don’t like listening to podcasts, you say? Not another podcast, you say? (Oh wait, that’s what my children say…)
I’m not suggesting you listen to them all the time. I’m not saying you have to give up music forever. I’m just saying that incorporating a podcast or two into your week could seriously enhance your life.
Take, for instance, that god awful boring drive that you’re forced to take, either to work or to children’s activities or to your inlaws for supper (the supper and the inlaws part is not bad, lets establish that. The drive is what sucks, they live in the middle of nowhere, a 45-60 minute drive through nothingness – well, some decent scenery, yes, but there’s a point where the same scenery on the same drive gets boring when you’re in no man’s land…until you have podcasts that have honestly, truthfully, made that unbearable drive mush more bearable.) And not only that, but if you listen to the right podcast, something captivating or educational, lets say, when you get to where you’re going, you now have a fantastic conversation starter. For instance, “Did you know that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths? Which may suggest every child has a sociopath in their classroom…” Or, “Did you know that the creator of Wonder Woman lived with two other women in some secret arrangement he made with his super feminist, scholarly wife and his super feminist, scholarly pupil who also happened to be his lover? Who then remained together for forty three years after he died despite being thrown together by an ultimatum?”
Things I learned from podcasts, and things that, when you have nothing in common with those you are with, you can use to seem like a contributing member of wherever you happen to be.
Or, do you need to exercise? Like me, do you sit on your ass all. day. long and find it’s hard to get off that ever-widening ass and go for a walk? Well, if you have a new installment of one of your favorite podcasts, walking is transformed into an inspirational or funny or interesting event.
Even my children, who argue that they hate podcasts, have learned so much about the brain, about triumph and struggle, about success, about…yes, motocross, movies, and the latest Game of Thrones Episode. No, wait, they’re not allowed to listen to those. But even they have found podcasts that they also like, or find that something they thought would be rather boring, can be quite interesting, like how animal crematoriums actually rarely give you back your animal but burn whatever they have on hand and charge you for it while giving you back a box that weighs as much as your beloved pet’s ashes should weigh but may only contain a tiny percentage of that precious family member.
But you don’t know what to listen to, you say? Well, here comes my portion of the blog where I give you helpful suggestions on which to get you started.
Podcasts that I enjoy, and that you probably will as well. A list that I realized is very, very long so I will give them to you over the course of several posts. To start, however, I will mention two blogs that have definitely made my live better.
The Tim Ferris Show
This is probably my most favorite podcast at the moment. If you don’t know who Tim Ferris is, he’s the author of books like, The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, and Tools for Titans (a book which I will hopefully get my shit together and review later on as it’s also one of those essential books to have in your library or on your bookshelf/nightstand/coffee table/kitchen table/desk). In this podcast, and Tools for Titans that came as a result of it, he interviews the top people in their fields. No, I did not state that wrong, he is not partial to any field, really. He interviews those who are at the top of their game, no matter the game, and has them tell us how they got there. What tools and tricks did they use to get where they are, what lessons have they learned, what discoveries have they made. If you have any desire to do better in any aspect of your life, listen to his podcast, you’re guaranteed to get something that can help you.
The one drawback with this podcast is that it takes him a while to get going. Which is why the handy 30sec fast forward button comes into play. Stitcher allows you to jump forward 30seconds at a time, which is about as long as a “word from our sponsor,” and so forth. So feel free to hit that fwd button a few times, sometimes up to 5 minutes of it.
And they’re long. Most of his podcasts are over an hour, often closer to two-hours, which is nice because it will alst over two walks, or a drive to and from work, or for a significant amount of a long trip.
Podcasts to start with:
#245: The Magic, Misdirection and Mindset of David Blaine.
- David Blaine’s drive to overcome, to endure, is absolutely fascinating and can easily be used by others when working on “mind over matter.” I am making my children listen to this one so they can understand that they have control of their world and their thoughts.
#243: How to Fear Less – Vince Vaughn
- I found myself laughing out loud a few times during this one, something that would look really odd while walking alone on the side of the road, but hey, who cares, right? Fear less! Also, this is a good one for anyone trying to make it in face of constant rejection. His focusing on that which he can control vs that which he cannot is a life-changing tool.
#242: Phil Keoghan: The magic of Bucket Lists and Amazing Races
- Another one where I laughed and was also inspired. He has a beautiful, amazing lesson for parents to learn, or, something he does as a parent from which we could all benefit, and the story of his going back into a dive after nearly dying in a ship wreck is incredible.
#241: The Relationship Episode with Esther Perel
- I’ve listened to Esther Perel on other podcasts (Ted Radio Hour) and she is the most amazing woman I have ever heard. Her story of growing up the daughter of holocaust survivors, and how the survivors lived versus those who may have survived but never actually lived, is so beautiful. Actually, everything she says is beautiful. Her words are so carefully chosen, her understanding of couples and marriage and love is so thorough, that anyone, absolutely anyone, who is or ever will be in a relationship, should absolutely listen to this podcast over and over and over again. After listening to this I also went and bought her book, Mating in Captivity, that I am so excited to read.
There are more podcasts, ones with Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, and more that are worth listening to. The nice thing about this is that he interviews such a wide variety of people that you’re bound to find someone who inspires you and makes you want to hear more.
2. The Ted Radio Hour
This is a podcast where they take several ted talks which share a common theme and put them together in an hour-long show. The nice thing is, Guy Raz (the host and one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard), interviews the speakers. So you get bits of background information along with bits of their ted talks, which you can listen to in their entirety on ted.com if you want more.
Podcasts to listen to:
All of them, really. But the one they have on repeat right now, Success, is really good. As is the one on Screen Time, if you are a parent with kids who use their screens. Also, The Food We Eat is really good as it’s not a show on the evils of food but on food itself, so you can still eat gluten and dairy when you’re done listening to it. Failure is an Option is also worth a listen, and somewhere there’s one about choices, which will definitely have you rethinking the choices you make, or what you think about making them.
But as there as so many more podcasts that are really, really good, I am going to end this one here, and throughout the weeks add more and more, to save you a very, very long blog. So keep an eye out for more, and also, if there are some podcasts you really enjoy, by all means, post them here! I’d love to hear about them.