Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash
I mean it. I’m obsessed. I think it’s why my book reading has slowed way down. I can’t get enough of these little buggers. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’re in luck because I’m going to give you the low down.
First off, let me explain the weird name. It’s a combination of two words: iPod + Broadcast = Podcast. They are basically audio files that you can download via iTunes, Overcast, Soundcloud or a gazillion others. I prefer Overcast for the aesthetics and ease of use. Podcast hosts usually embed their episodes on their websites so you can just click and listen via your computer as well. The benefit to the website version is that is where you’ll find the show notes. These are like the Cliff Notes of show and will contain links to content mentioned in episode. The podcast apps are great for listening on the go which I do whenever I get the chance.
You can subscribe to a podcast just like you subscribe to a website’s newsletter. But all you have to do is hit a button rather than enter your email address. Whenever an episode goes live, it will get automatically downloaded to your app and you can choose how many episodes you want to have downloaded at a time. I like to have three episodes per podcast ready to go at any time. Then once I listen to them, they disappear, opening up space on my phone again. If there is a particular podcast episode that I love, I star it so I can find it again easily.
How to Find Podcasts Related to Your Interest
Usually the podcast apps will have categories to search like New and Politics, Business, Society/Culture, Arts, Most Recommended. However, my favorite categories like Health/Wellness and Personal Development aren’t listed in Overcast. So what I will do is go into my Podcast app that automatically comes with the iPhone (the purple background with the white microphone) and search there. If you click on Featured, you will see a Categories button on the top left part of the screen. There you will find every category. You can also search Top Charts as well.
When I find the podcast I want, I will go back to Overcast, type the title of the show in the search box and voila! You can either download specific episodes or subscribe to the podcast. The latest three (or however many your choose) will be automatically downloaded when you are connected to WIFI.
Benefits of Listening to Podcasts
Become more imaginative and creative
Studies show that listening to podcasts stimulate mental imagery by building pictures of what they are listening to in their head therefore, podcast listeners have stronger imaginations.
Learn new things
There are podcasts that cover every single subject you can imagine. And I mean EVERYTHING. Do you need some financial advice? Try The Dave Ramsey Show. Want to travel the world but don’t know where to start? Try Zero to Travel Podcast that shares conversations with world travelers on topics like running an online business while traveling, traveling on a budget, backpacking and much more.
Control the noise
You know how when you turn on the television or radio and you feel blasted by a firehose of information? It used to wear me out emotionally sometimes…the news alone puts me into a state of despair. Podcasts can be a way of controlling the noise in your life. We are by-products of the people and things we let occupy space in our lives and podcasts you hand pick can be a great way to fill up that prime real estate.
Gain some empathy and insight about the world
I’ve listened to interviews and topics related to the human condition that have opened my eyes and heart as to what others have gone through. I feel as if my soul expands when I listen to these type of podcasts and almost like I’ve taken a spiritual trip. There are some amazing people in the world and I feel like I’m part of their world by listening to their stories.
You know I’m all about sharing my favorite things so here are some of mine:
The Rich Roll Podcast: Rich was an unhealthy, unhappy lawyer turned ultra-endurance athlete/inspiration/podcaster. How’s that for fricking bio? He changed the direction of his life at 40 and now at 50 is considered one of the leaders in the plant power movement as well as just a really cool dude that everyone wants to talk to. He has interviewed Danielle LaPorte, founder of The Desire Map, Jessica Lahey, educator and author of The Gift of Failure, Dr. Rachel Abrams, primary care physician, integrative health expert and author of the book, BodyWise, Kerri Walsh Jennings…do I really have to give you the deets on her? I didn’t think so.
The theme of his podcast is to highlight courageous and inspired living so he’s always on the top of my to listen list.
Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais: Dr. Michael Gervais is a high performance psychologist who shares the inspiring stories of some of the world’s best athletes, business minds, activists, teachers, etc. who basically by the end of the show all turn into heroes. Whether it’s the things they’ve endured to get where they are, the amazing feats they’ve pursued, or the suffering that they have gone through to then find a way to use that for good in the world, Gervais uses his Jedi mind tricks to unpack it all in about 90 minutes. Yes, his episodes may be long but, oh, so good.
SuperSoul Conversations: As far as I’m concerned, Oprah is the holy grail. This podcast is going to do two things for me: 1) save my soul 2) free up a shitload of space on my DVR. I have as many episodes saved as my DVR will allow me and I have yet to watch any of them. I had every intention of watching them but I failed to remember that I don’t watch television. I’m so excited that her televisions interviews with brilliant authors, luminaries, and health/wellness experts are now in podcast form.
Beautiful Writers Podcast (a monthly podcast): Writer Linda Silverstein talks with bestselling authors and creatives about writing, publishing, inspiration, etc. and has hosted some of my favorites like Danielle LaPorte, Brené Brown, Steven Pressfield, and Dani Shapiro. The only problem I have with this podcast is that is only monthly and not every week. Linda is a gracious yet authentic person and the conversation reflects two friends hanging out to talk shop. The conversation is real, stimulating, and inspiring as hell.
Can you tell I’m on a self-discovery journey?! I know I could use some diversity in my list of favorites but I can’t help it. I love me some inspiring conversation.
The GoalDigger Podcast: Jenna Kutcher, small town photographer/educator/artist, offers this business podcast for creative entrepreneurs. She mixes interviews in with workshop style episodes to support other girl bosses as well as share what has made her successful. Her content is loaded with nuggets of wisdom and proven practices that will make you want to get out your notebook and start scribbling away.
Here are some other popular podcasts in case these are more up your alley:
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- Pod Save America
- This American Life
- Fresh Air
Are you a podcast fan? If so, please share some of your favorites in the comments!!