I’ve mentioned this before here on Lexical Abandon. Now I’m saying it again: I’m obsessed with podcasts.
What are Podcasts?
Podcasts are audio shows. They can be narrative, fiction, non-fiction, news, quiz shows, science, education, comedy… the list goes on. They’re like TV but only for your ears. Or radio shows that you can download for free and take anywhere. You can listen to them anytime, and you can save favourite episodes. You can use your phone’s dedicated Podcasts app, such as “Podcasts” on iPhones. Other options are third-party apps like Overcast, Audible, or Stitcher. Usually podcasts run in seasons, with a new episode being released either weekly or bi-weekly for a certain period. You can even set up your phone to auto-download new episodes, so you don’t have to go searching for new stuff or memorize when things come out.
Why do You Like Them so Much?
I started listening to podcasts around February of 2018, about 14 months ago. It quickly became an obsession that is only continuing to grow. Listening to podcasts is almost akin to meditation for me. I most often listen to them while driving, running, showering, doing chores, and playing mindless games on my phone. Listening to music is something I used to do while doing these activities. However, I love getting to give my brain some extra simulation. Podcasts have taught me and introduced me to so many things over the last year or so. I hate to waste time, so I love to feel like I’m doing two tasks at once.
It’s great to be able to listen to podcasts while also getting stuff done or while doing an activity like running or driving. Those are times when I can’t actually do anything else, so it’s awesome. I also find really inspiring. They really help me feel motivated to write, journal, be introspective, and work on my blogs.
So, What are Your Favourites?
So glad you asked. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but I’ve narrowed down my top 20 podcasts. I also added a couple of honourable mentions for specific categories. Considering I now subscribe to 166 podcasts, this was no small feat.
In no particular order…
- Homecoming, by Gimlet Media. Written by Eli Horowitz and starring Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer. This is a fictional narrative about a rehabilitation project run by the US Department of Defense.
- Reply All, by Gimlet Media. Hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. A podcast about all things weird and interesting on the Internet.
- The Pitch, by Gimlet Media. Hosted by Josh Muccio. Startup founders pitch their companies to real investors.
- Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, by NPR. Hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis. A weekly, hilarious news quiz show.
- Not by Accident, by Sophie & Astrid Harper. A non-fiction narrative about choosing to be a single mother.
- Science VS, by Gimlet Media. Hosted by Wendy Zukerman. The podcast version of mythbusters, Science VS determines the validity of various topics.
- Nancy, by WNYC Studios. Hosted by Tobin Low and Kathy Tu. A podcast about all things LGBTQ+.
- Modern Love, a WBUR Podcast. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti. Public figures read essays published in New York Times “Modern Love” column, and Chakrabarti has conversations with the authors.
- Conversations with People who Hate Me, a Night Vale Podcast. Hosted by Dylan Marron. Dylan has phone conversations with people who have said hateful things to him on the Internet.
- Endless Thread, a podcast by WBUR and Reddit. Hosted by Ben Brock Johnson. It explores compelling Internet stories found on Reddit.
Phew, That’s 10! So here are 10 More…
- Ear Hustle, a Radiotopia Podcast. Hosted by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods. A podcast about life inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison.
- Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, hosted by Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile. The hosts discuss Harry Potter chapter by chapter as if it were a sacred text.
- Vancouver is Awesome, by Glacier Media. Hosted by Bob Kronbauer and Lindsay William-Ross. An outlet of the Vancouver is Awesome website, the two hosts talk about all things Vancity.
- Warm Regards, hosted by Eric Holthaus. Co-hosted by Jacquelyn Gill and Andy Revkin. A podcast talking about global warming.
- WorkLife, a TED Podcast. Hosted by Adam Grant. The host is an organizational psychologist who is working to find out what makes work better.
- Caught, an NPR podcast. Hosted by Kai Wright. A deep dive into children’s experiences with the juvenile justice system.
- The Chasing Joy Podcast, hosted by Georgie Morley. Georgie interviews awesome people to get to the root of joy.
- Sounds Good with Branden Harvey. Part of Branden’s “Good Good Good” company, Branden interviews all kinds of inspiring people creating positive change in the world.
- Slightly Problematic, hosted by Bailey Carlin and Erica Esper. Two friends who talk about some “slightly problematic” topics in hilarious fashion.
- Self-Care Sunday with Kayley Reed. A minimalist media project that comes out only on Sundays and interviews awesome people about self-care.
These podcasts don’t necessarily make my top 20, but they’re really great. They also fit into categories that are pretty saturated. So I think it’s impressive that they’re favourites for me.
Best True-Crime Podcast: They Walk Among Us, by Benjamin and Rosie (last names not provided). This podcast tells stories of UK true-crime.
Best Limited-Episode Podcast: Unburnable: The People vs. Arctic Oil, a RadioWolfgang podcast. Narrated by Cormac McAuliffe (9 episodes). It covers a court case against the Norwegian government. The people want to stop drilling of new oil in the Arctic.
Best Historical Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada, hosted by Leah Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson. This podcast is fairly new. It features untold (and gruesome) stories of Canada’s colonial history.
See you in October!
I’ve decided I’ll do this every 6 months or so. I discover new podcasts all the time and love to share my obsession, because they’re so awesome!
Peace and love,