I am late to the party when it comes to podcasts. For years, people would recommend them, and I would think, “I don’t have time for that.”
But lately I’ve discovered good ways to fit them into my week and the benefits of listening. I’ve discovered the joy of podcasts.
Why Listen to Podcasts?
I keep finding myself getting pretty morose and overwhelmed between news of the world and my own challenges. I needed a way to uplift my energy and shift my perspective regularly in a short amount of time. Podcasts turned out to be perfect.
I can sample them in bite-sized doses and follow my inclinations at any given moment. The range of what is available is like a huge buffet.
If you find yourself getting down in the dumps with all the fear-mongering, divisive, infuriating, heartbreaking news that bombards us, check out these podcasts and notice how they shift your mood, stimulate your mind, inspire your creativity, and bring you back to your heart.
When to Listen to Podcasts
Some folks listen to podcasts while making dinner. My husband and I almost always make dinner together. We decompress and talk about our day then, so that doesn’t work for me.
Others listen in the car during a commute. But I work from home. I do listen while doing errands sometimes. And I love to tune in on long car rides.
Some people like to listen in the evenings. This seems like a great way to unwind before bed and more nourishing than most of what’s streaming on TV. I just haven’t gotten myself to do it yet.
Others listen while walking. I like to commune with nature and unravel my tangled thoughts on walks. But, because I have fallen in love with podcasts, I do listen on some walks or for part of the walk.
My best time: I listen while I ride the exercise bike. I’m much more inclined to ride the bike when I have something interesting to listen to, and I get to listen to twenty minutes of a podcast at a time. The hard part is stopping when it’s really engaging!
Six Podcasts to Brighten Your Day and Spark Your Mind
This is just the beginning. Part of the fun of podcasts is following the recommendations that pop up or searching for a topic or a speaker or writer I love.
None of these are going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Each of these podcasts has a distinctive flavor, and, in the case of the ones where the host interviews different subjects, they vary greatly from episode to episode.
Find the ones that appeal to you. Sip and sample them. One great thing about podcasts: you can turn them off at any point and switch to a new one. Click on the show name below to go to the podcast.
Scene On Radio
This is the podcast that got me hooked on podcasts. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I started with the series called “Seeing White,” which is about the construction of “Whiteness” and race in America (and beyond) and its present-day repercussions. It’s so good!
Scene On Radio is hosted by a White man, John Biewen, but his regular guest for the “Seeing White” series is Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, who also joined him for series 4 on democracy. Biewen also brings in myriad other riveting specialists.
There’s a season on patriarchy and sexism with co-host Celeste Headlee, which I haven’t listened to yet. The latest season is “The Repair” with co-host Amy Westervelt, which focuses on real solutions to the climate crisis. The little bit I’ve heard I loved.
On Being describes itself as “Immersive conversations and explorations into the art of living.”
This widely syndicated show is hosted by Krista Tippett, who facilitates deeply engaging, soulful conversations. She interviews a vast array of writers, teachers, and fascinating humans, who are each carrying a piece of wisdom about how to live well in these times.
The show has been going on for years, so there are tons of episodes to choose from on subjects that range far and wide.
The Slow Down
This podcast was launched by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith, who handed it off to Ada Limón, now our new U.S. Poet Laureate.
Electric Literature called it “a literary once-a-day multivitamin show.” Every single day, the host reads and discusses one poem that she loves. The episodes are about five minutes long and marvelous.
Whether you read poetry or don’t, this is a great moment to slow down in your day and nourish your soul.
This podcast is made up of short segments from live retreats by Abraham-Hicks, great for listening to on my exercise bike or while driving around doing errands.
If you don’t know about the phenomenon of Abraham-Hicks, I don’t know if this will make sense to you or not. For me, it’s a good shot in the arm of positivity and reconnection to how we can co-create our dreams.
I started listening to Abraham nearly two decades ago, stopped for a long while, and am now diving into these little segments. The message has improved and these snippets can be helpful as a reset for my mood and focus.
This podcast is all about the ups and downs and insider secrets of writing and publishing books.
Linda Sivertsen interviews an amazing cast of writers of all kinds on this show, including the likes of Brené Brown, Steven Pressfield, Ann Patchett, Terry McMillan, Joy Harjo, and even Tom Hanks. The interviews are warm and fun and full of fascinating tidbits. Great for writers and anyone interested in creativity and words.
Creative Pep Talk
“Creative Pep Talk helps creatives reach their potential” says the show description. I just discovered this one and have only listened to three episodes, but I’m really enjoying it.
Andy J. Pizza is an illustrator and storyteller with plenty of heart and experience with the ins and out of creativity. What I’ve heard him say so far is right on, helpful, smart, and encouraging. This podcast is a combination of his monologues with some interviews with other creators on what it takes to create and keep on ticking.
Over to You
What are your favorite podcasts?
Send me a sentence or two about what it is and why you love it. I’ll share some in a future post.