Bored with your daily commute?
Even if you answered no to both of the above questions, I have the perfect solution for you! Podcasts are the modern radio show and are great for listening to while working out (or so I've heard. I avoid the gym like I owe it money), commuting to work, or passing time while driving home for the holidays (aka my life in a couple days).
But with hundreds of podcast available (most of them for free!) on iTunes, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Which is why I have six of my favorite podcasts to recommend to you! I've even broken them down into handy categories to help you decide which to start first.
- Dear Hank and John
- "A comedy podcast about death."
- John and Hank Green are YouTube celebrities. Every time I met someone who doesn't know who they are, I spend like five minutes trying to convince them otherwise. "They make YouTube videos? They run VidCon? DFTBA? Nerd fighters? Brotherhood 2.0? One of them wrote The Fault in Our Stars? They run Crash Course? He's the guy who played Grand Theft Auto with his morals? Really? None of that rings a bell?" And then I'm convinced they live under a rock (no, not really, I just have an exaggerated sense of the Green brothers' stardom). However, I was so excited when I found out that they were doing a talk show podcast. Every week they publish a podcast where they answer submitted questions, give out (freely admitted) dubious advice, and update the listeners on the latest news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon (a second tier English soccer team which is owned 100% by its fans, chief among them John Green). As the quote suggests, the topic of death invariably comes up in almost every single podcast, but mostly to hilarious effects.
- Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig
- Grace Helbig is a YouTube comedian I've been a fan of for a couple years now. Her dry, absurd sense of humor translates well to her podcast, where she interviews various guests with her own questions and listener submitted questions. I'll admit, some of the episodes are a bit too vulgar for my tastes but most of them have me laughing out loud (which, by the way, is not a good thing when you're listening while walking to work and you don't want people driving by to think you're crazy).
- The Message
- This is a really short, story centered podcast that I discovered last year. It's about a group of scientists who think that they've made extraterrestrial contact, a reporter with a hidden past who wants the scoop, and, of course, the ensuing, slow descending chaos. It features a wide cast of characters and locations, something I found really different but a little confusing at times. If you want a story that you can start and finish in a week or so, check this one out!
- Welcome to Nightvale
- With 97 episodes (and counting!) this podcast took me a year and a half to catch up on. It's a hilarious story based podcast featuring what I like to call 'casual surrealism'. The podcast is a radio show broadcasting from a fictional town where angels are illegal, a hovering glow cloud is likely to shower you in dead animals, said glow cloud also the head of the local school board, and a vague yet menacing government agency is watching your every move. It's amazing and you should go devote a year and half of your life to listening to it.
Will Teach You Something
- The History Chicks
- "Any resemblance to a boring old history lesson is purely coincidental!" Every episode of this podcast details the life of some famous woman in history. From Cleopatra to Madam CJ Walker, the two hosts tell about the story behind the name. They spend hours researching each episode, guaranteeing that it will not only be interesting but historically accurate. If you want to be able to impress your friends with historical knowledge, check them out!
- Note to Self
- "A tech show about being human" or that's how they describe themselves. Each episode tackles a challenge of life in a digital age (is your phone eavesdropping on you? should you post pictures of your kids online?) in an interesting way and with engaging conversation with experts in the field. Not only is the podcast interesting, it'll make you look at the changes of modern life in a critical way (how involved should technology be in schools?).
And that's it! Six of my favorite, go-to podcasts depending on what mood I'm in. If you're looking for more teach-ya-something type podcasts, I would check out the various NPR podcasts available; every now and then I download one from Planet Money to hopefully teach me something about economics, a subject I woefully know little about.
What are your favorite podcasts? I'm always looking for new ones!
Thanks for reading :)