If you are just joining me on this topic or personally getting into podcasts, here’s my first post on their surge in popularity, plus the ones I was then listening to. A few are repeated in this list; a few I dropped quickly.
The intimate conversation. The implication of direct connection.
I’ve become so accustomed to the sound of their voices. I will genuinely miss a few when they cease recording. One of the main reasons I find tv loathsome are commercials. Therefore, I also exhaust the fast forward button on my phone during most bumper music and all advertisements. I’ve come to know exactly when and where they fall. I say this as a preface and tip. While I enjoy ALL these podcasts I am about to mention, I highly recommend getting adept at the f.f. button too. Use the time efficiently.
Short and Intelligent
The Way I Heard it With Mike Rowe. He is the Dirty Jobs guy. Hard work, work ethic, rustic and real. Genuine. Good soul. ‘Good People’ as I say. His voice is made for radio ladies… These are all under 9 minutes including the adverts. His premise is in the vein of Paul Harvey: the great, the original radio history teacher. If you miss Paul Harvey and the stories he told, this is your new man.
The Memory Palace Similarly, I love these because you learn a bit of history behind the scenes. All under 5 minutes, no kidding! Not as great as a Mike Rowe story, but worthy.
Question of The Day. LOVE. If I could only pick 3, this is in my top 3. The friendly banter is genuine and familiar. The episodes are under 20 minutes. While the premise is answering a question, like all friendly conversations, they go of the handle too, which is also part of its charm. And they are charming, like fat cheeks you wanna squeeze. It’s the Freakonomics guy and another business-life skills blogger I read. I’ve been with them since the beginning via Freakonomics.
Longform Interview Style
The Tim Ferris Show This guy is BOSS. He is #1 for a reason. Get on this if you aren’t already. The variety, the depth…you lose nothing spending time here.
Tim Ferris recently interviewed Mike Rowe, which is how I found out about The Dirty Jobs podcast. To date, two separate favorites were Kevin Costner and Jamie Foxx. Freakonomics just interviewed Tim Ferris. It’s getting hot in here.
If you make time for only ONE podcast, this is it. Even the books recommended…
Educational and Entertaining
Whatever you want to learn: If there is a How-To Youtube video, there is bound to be a podcast talk about it. Gardening springs to mind. I lean towards foreign language practice. But my favorite Saturday morning ones are America’s Test Kitchen and The Splendid Table. Foodstuffs, yeah. Both offer product reviews on tools for the kitchen and recipe advice. ATK usually has a more longform story, such as a recent exposé on the farm-to-table scam in the restaurant industry. I especially love Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s voice from TST.
I won’t make or eat a number of the things discussed, but there are skills to learn, products to know about and culture to familiarize with. I did live vicariously through the Food Network once upon a time; this is the reincarnation of that I suppose.
Health and Wellness
Kimberly Snyder She is an ultimate gem, both literally glowing and for offering up such a great healthy lifestyle example. She has been plant-based for over a decade and has 3 best selling books, and is now in a 7 year program to become an Ayurvedic practitioner, so her insight is ever-growing.
The Bright Side This is a radio program which is then uploaded as a podcast, led by a pharmacist. I judiciously use the fast forward button during adverts and goofy call-in guest. I zone-out all marketing actually. Otherwise this guy is super smart and super positive. His diet is very dissimilar to Kim’s, as he is about staying in ketosis with healthy proteins and fats. He is also a pro-cholesterol guy -which I like! He’s a wealth of knowledge and cognizant about the power of the mind, too, in healing the body.
Since my diet is a mixture of these two, I really get a lot of banging info here! Their personalities are joyous to listen to as well.
Pick your poison. I still infrequently listen to both Commentary and Decode DC if the topic strikes me. The latest I’ve been introduced to is The Axe Files by David Axelrod. I spent some time going back through his repertoire and found a few gems. I didn’t care for him in his original incarnation as Chief Strategist for Obama’s presidential campaign. But at least I know his leanings; and he’s fairly straight-forward in his interviews. He most recently interviewed Katie Couric. The next day she was all over the news, with the news of her manipulating the news! And the recent interview with Eric Holder is now in the news over Eric Holder’s comments regarding Edward Snowden. Quite coincidental. To the day.
I bring Katie Couric up first, because as I’ve repeatedly noted, people aren’t one dimensional. But, I went from feeling empathetic to her personal story, to being pissed off over her unprofessionalism. I’m not naive about any journalist being agenda-less anymore. It’s just sad. And so obvious now, everywhere.
What Is Necessary?
There is so much to learn, and I find the podcasts medium so accessible and easy to incorporate into daily life. A trick I have is starting one up as soon as I’m moving around in the morning: as background noise to bed making, teeth brushing, getting ready for the day. As soon as you get hooked on a couple, you’ll find a way.
Another thing I’ve come to recognize about my love for podcasts: they healthily keep me out of my own head, any broken record thoughts. I absolutely love and require silence, but sometimes I need background noise too.
Most importantly, I’ve found it crucial to objectively consume as much information as possible from all angles. The discrepancies in how history is told, how politics are shared, and what behaviors a healthy diet or lifestyle looks like have become very obvious in all this listening I’ve been doing. And I feel better for it.
You’ll have to pick and choose for yourself. I do love recommendations.