Do you have the September buzz?
You know…the early autumn buzz that makes you want to buy new pencils, organize notebooks, and learn a new language?
It’s the back-to-school buzz! And even though many of us are d-o-n-e with formal education (for now), we still get that itching to learn something new. To engage our senses. To expand our brains.
Why podcasts are like continuing education
Of all the self-help, self-improvement, and self-care practices I’ve adopted over the past couple of years, listening to podcasts is hands-down one of the most important.
I am not a big reader. I am, however, a big learner. I love to learn new things, hear about other people’s lives, and find fascination in the everyday.
My appetite for knowledge is way bigger than the time (and energy) I have to sit down and read a book.
Not to mention the stuff that really fascinates me (science, astrophysics, medicine, economics, anthropology) don’t *always* make for the most bracing, exhilarating reads.
If you love to learn, OR if you love the calm companionship of talk radio, you must give podcasts a spin.
The expanding planet of podcasts
There is an insanely wide range of podcasts available (all for free, btw). You can find podcasts about crafting, entrepreneurship, exercise, and even learning foreign languages. (Qué suerte!)
If you’re new to podcasts, read on for my top 6 picks.
And if you’re a podcast fiend like me, leave a comment and let me know YOUR top 6 picks!
Radiolab, the godfather of podcasts, has been around forever. Their episodes are nerdy, poignant, and educational in a way that I’ve never experienced in formal education. They are also juicy listening experiences, with expert sound design that goes well with driving, cooking, and even exercising. Check out their recent episodes The Trust Engineers, Translation, and Juicervoice (you may want a box of tissues for that last one).
2. 99% Invisible
As someone who thrives in the invisible world of yoga and the subtle body, I so appreciate this podcast’s mission. Each episode brings attention to the invisible designs behind our experience of the world, from flag design to underground subway tunnels to airplane autopilot. If you’ve ever been called out for asking too many “why?” questions…..this podcast is for you! I loved their episodes on O-U-I-J-A, Octothorpe, and Edge of Your Seat.
3. The Moth
There is something addictive — and simultaneously healing — about listening to other people tell true stories from their lives. The Moth is based on the live storytelling event where people boldly take the stage and (without a script) tell their stories. The stories, and the honesty of the people who tell them, are equally inspiring. Scroll through recent episodes and choose a title that calls to your heart.
4. Death, Sex & Money
“A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.” Anna Sale brings on the difficult conversations in this easy-to-listen-to podcast. Her interviews with Jane Fonda and Ellen Burstyn were delightful, insightful, and surprisingly spiritual. In other episodes, she tackles big burly questions about sibling hood, mental health, and real love. Her recent series on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was quirky, beautiful and honest.
5. Magic Lessons
Liz Gilbert’s new book Big Magic comes out on September 22, and she created this podcast as an extension of her research on creativity. In each episode, Liz advises a struggling creative on how to get unstuck and fall back in love with their art. After listening to Eat Pray Love and Committed on audiobooks, Liz’s voice now has a serious chemical reaction in my body that induces feelings of calming self-love and epic gratitude. If you’re an artist, or looking for either of those feelings (self love, gratitude), this is a good place to start.
6. Dear Sugar
Where do I start? I am addicted to Sugar. One night, I fell asleep listening to the entire collection of Dear Sugar episodes. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond dish out heartfelt advice to the “lost, lonely, and heartsick” and, apparently, me. I recently called this podcast “free therapy” because it hits all the issues with grace, love, and compassion. Listening to an episode has the same healing effects of a good cry and a slice of homemade peach pie. Mmmm.
How to subscribe to podcasts:
- Open the “Podcasts” app on your iPhone or iPad (I hear the “Stitcher” app works for Android and other tablets)
- Search for the title of the podcast (i.e. “Dear Sugar” or “Radiolab”)
- Press “Subscribe”
- You can view older episodes (including those mentioned above) in the Feed tab. When a new episode is published it shows under the “Unplayed” tab.
Love and happy listening,
[Photo Credit: Unsplash]