When Spotify eats your cellular data and you haven’t updated your iTunes music folder in what feels like a decade, it may be time to fall in love with a new podcast.
With thousands to choose from, ranging from fitness and comedy to science and sports – it’s harder than ever to commit to just one. And why should you? Many podcasts air as single stories with new topics unfolding every week. These top five picks for 2016 should give you a nice starting point.
Podcasts That Inspire
The Rich Roll Podcast – Vegan athlete and recovering addict, Rich Roll, delves into the minds of captivating guests from Steve-O to Russell Simmons. Though the general themes seem to center around mindfulness, meditation, sobriety, and plant-based lifestyles, the new age radio broadcast never feels preachy or condescending. If anything, Roll’s soothing presence can be felt over the airwaves, giving way to the captivating stories that unfold before him. In his words, the commonality between them all is the journey to finding our “best, most authentic self.”
Tough Girls Podcast – Following a similar theme of fitness and self-help, Tough Girls features women from around the globe who have overcome long odds and defied stereotypes to bring you their personal stories along with golden nuggets of wisdom that propel you to reach your own goals. Past episodes feature inspirational women like Nikki Kimball – an ultra-runner with a long history of depression and Sally Barkow – a former Olympic sailor.
On Life and Love
Modern Love – These “stories of love, life, and redemption” are the real-life essays born from the popular New York Times column of the same name. Tune in every Thursday to hear sweet yet often heartbreaking tales of 21st century relationships and all their glorious baggage. Reader submissions are narrated by various hosts like producer Judd Apatow and actor Jason Alexander. If you’re drawn to the mystery of the human experience as it relates to love, this podcast should be at the top of your list.
Drama / Investigative Journalism
Serial – While certainly not new, Serial continues to be one of the most talked about podcasts for its cliffhanger storytelling that unfolds week after week. Each season follows one true story, narrated by host Sarah Koenig, so this isn’t a podcast you want to just jump in on mid-series. For the best experience, begin with the story of Hae Lee – a high-school senior found murdered in 1999 – and the unlikely perpetrator Adnan Syed, the former boyfriend interviewed from prison. Good luck doing anything with the rest of your day – Serial is marathon material.
Everything In Between
The Pod Delusion – A nod to Richard Dawkins’ bestseller “The God Delusion,” The Pod Delusion features host James O’Malley who covers a wide variety of engaging topics from science to philosophy. Though on hiatus for some time, thousands of fans from around the world continue to rate it highly – and why wouldn’t they? With over 200 archived episodes and half a decade of entertainment, it will keep you busy until the host returns – or until you find an equally entertaining podcast to take its place. Introduce yourself to The Pod Delusion by listening to Chris Hadfield’s interview of 2013.
With so many entertaining choices on multiple listening platforms, you no longer have an excuse to choose that tired vacation playlist over a popular podcast. If the behind-the-scenes work interests you more than story lines, check out All Things Radio or learn how to get started in the industry. Contact Be On Air for educational resources and locations near you.