Monday, July 18, 2016

My 7 Favorite Podcasts

This year I discovered the wild world of podcasts. I know, I'm super late to the game. It's not that I didn't know what they were until this year, it's just that when I first listened to them back a long time ago, they weren't that good. Or at least, I had no idea where the good ones were. The iTunes podcast app is phenomenal at showing me great podcasts, and with my lengthy commute everyday (roundtrip around 90+ minutes), I am devouring podcasts rapidly. 

I've compiled a list of my favorite ones here. (Hint: Click the podcast's name to go to it's website to hear the episodes.)

1. Beautiful/Anonymous

This podcast is new and has only put out a handful or two of episodes. Basically, a random stranger calls in to his show after he tweets out the number, and he talks to them for an hour about whatever comes up. They never disclose who they are and he can't hang up on them during that hour. Conversations vary from person to person like family problems, career choices, funny stories, etc. It's pretty fun to listen to, and I've even thought about calling in myself. 

Favorite episode: 
Early Onset - About losing someone before they die. This one really struck me because, although my mom didn't have alzheimer's disease, her brain tumor took her ability to communicate properly, and she couldn't take care of herself for at least 8 months before she died.

2. Phonographic Memory

I am obsessed with stories of the human experience. One of my favorite genres of the human experience is how and why we have the music we do. What it means to us, and why it's continuing to be a part of our lives. Music is such a genius tool for connection. This podcast is all about a monthly event in San Francisco where people get together and share the story behind one of their records, and then they play a song from it. The episodes are usually under 10 minutes long, but they are not short on awesome.

Favorite episode:
Casey Fay's Late Night Haul - Sometimes your favorite records find you. (The embedder code from their site wasn't working, so you'll have to click through to hear it.) 

3. Modern Love

Love stories written by regular people and narrated by famous people. Not all are epic stories of romance, some are stories of broken relationships, family relationships, or the pain of life. Episodes are about the length of a tv sitcom, and beautiful. They also do follow-ups with the actual story writer. 

Favorite episode:
Fighting Words - A story of how sometimes you can choose not to react to a hard situation, and let people work out their own problems, even if it means they are wondering if they don't want to be your spouse any longer. I was so surprised at the ending of this one. It's beautiful and such a different approach to love.

4. Ask Me Another

This is a puzzle game show that makes me laugh out loud even when I'm alone.

Favorite episode?
I have no idea, they're all good. Just take your pick.

5. This American Life

True stories about anything and everything that can happen to Americans. All the episodes are phenomenally made, and the show has been running on the radio since 1995.

Favorite episode:
My Own Damn Mind - Several stories about the power of our minds. My favorite part of this episode is the guy that has delusions that someone is after him. Fascinating stuff!

6. Ted Radio Hour

They take a collection of Ted Talks that fit a theme and show you the behind the scenes details of each one. They speak with the person who gave the Ted Talk and give you a lot of insight into their work. If you like Ted Talks, this is for you.

Favorite episode:
Growing Up -  All about the ins and outs of children and what helps us grow up. All the episodes are great, so, really, take your pick.

7. Embedded

Kelly McEvers basically embeds herself in the heart of a recent news making issue, and finds out all the details about it, and delivers them excellently in each episode. It's the stuff the news anchors don't tell you in their quick broadcasts -- the backstory.

It's new, so I haven't quite developed a favorite episode yet, but I was fascinated by the stories of the opioid addicts and how they'd sunk so far for their drugs of choice.

++ What podcasts do you listen to? 


Join the conversation!

  1. I used to listen to a bunch of podcasts but then I fell really behind on them! I need to start listening again and keep up this time.

    1. I drive about 45 minutes each way for work, so these have been a godsend. I admit though, I don't keep up on any of them, I just will binge listen to them when I get around to it.

  2. Phonographic Memory sounds so interesting!! I really need to figure out a way to listen to podcasts!!

    1. You can listen straight from their sites! If you're unable to download them to your phone of iPod.

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