It's not secret that I've been come a little teensy tiny bit obsessed with podcasts. It started last year during my exercise challenge, when I found that listening to something interesting while I took a walk made me not dread the task. And then, of course, Serial came along and suddenly everyone was listening to and talking about podcasts. Which made it that much more fun to find new shows to listen to.
(If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, click here for a tutorial on how to listen to podcasts.)
I listen to podcasts almost every day. They're great in the car (and in LA, you're in the car A LOT), but I also put them on when I'm cleaning up the kitchen or during some other mundane chore. They're great to pass the time in an interesting way.
Since we launched Sorta Awesome in the spring, I've been listening to podcasts with a different ear, noticing right away if it's a show for me or not. And because I know many of you are fairly new to podcasts as well, here are some of my favorite shows and specific episodes to check out.
My absolute favorites:
On Being had me at hello. Host Krista Tippett's voice is so soothing, it would be dangerous to listen to while driving if the content wasn't keeping me so alert. On Being is a spiritual exploration covering all walks of faith, asking "What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?"
The messages, themes, and questions in On Being is just exactly what I want in my life right now. Specific episodes that have left me with tears in my eyes for one reason or another: Mary Oliver on Listening to the World, Nadia Bolz-Weber on Tattoos, Tradition, and Grace, Thich Nhat Hanh on Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism, and Greg Boyle on Gangs, Service, and Kinship.
Swinging completely to the other side until you get to pure entertainment, The Popcast has quickly become my favorite thing to listen to that will put me in a good mood. Hosts Knox and Jamie discuss weekly all things pop culture, their mission is to "educate you about things that entertain, but don't matter." And that they do.
The Popcast is responsible for making me laugh out loud in my car more than anything else I can ever remember. A recent line that had me guffawing:
"I feel like you could get a Scott Foley at the Gap if you know the secret knock." - Knox on the Popcast
Don't get it? Well, you'll just have to listen.
Being Boss is technically for creative entrepreneurs, but it's more than that. I don't fully fit into their perfect demographic, but listening to Being Boss make me feel empowered. There's a lot of their business and leadership advice that I think goes across lots of life, and I trust what hosts Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson are putting out there.
Invisibilia (Latin for "all the invisible things") "explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions." The first season of Invisibilia only put about eight episodes, but I often think about little things I learned from those shows. This is kind of science-y, sort of intuition-based, but so interesting.
The Liturgists is not your typical faith-based podcast. It is so thought-provoking, I've had to press pause, just so I could think about these topics in the silence for a moment. It's really well done, and really interesting. Hosts Michael Gungor and Science Mike talk about the things I don't hear being discussed other places. I would start with the shows about their personal stories of losing God, and coming face to face with doubt: Episode 6: Lost and Found (part 1).
The Mystery Show is another bigger show that is a fun listen. On each episode, host Starlee Kine solves a mystery. Some of them are bigger than others, but all of them are meaningful in their own way.
I'm not a raving fan girl for The Mystery Show in the ways that others have been, but I did especially like the episodes about the Belt Buckle and Britney.
Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin is sure to be a favorite among you. Alec Baldwin in an incredible interviewer! He gets great guests and he asks hard and unusual questions. In podcast form, the celebrity-interviewing-another-celebrity idea works in a totally different way. It's more real, in a way. You will learn something from these conversations.
A few individual podcast episodes that I highly recommend (but I haven't listened to enough episodes to recommend the whole show):
The Robcast: Rob Bell interviewing Elizabeth Gilbert (episode #21, released on June 1, 2015)
(And Elizabeth Gilbert has also started her own podcast, called Magic Lessons.)
The Lively Show: How to access your intuition (episode #88, released August 13, 2015)
I feel positive that with podcasts ranging on all sorts of subjects, you'll find something here that you'll love. And I want to hear what you're listening to! Share in the comments your favorite shows or stand alone episodes. I'm always looking for new stuff.