Tuning In: My Favorite Podcasts

Hey World,

I think I'm the last one on the podcast party, but now that I've joined, I cannot believe it took me so long!

Once I remembered my iTunes password, and then realized podcasts are free on iTunes (!),  I subscribed to over two dozen channels right off the bat -- talk about hooked. 

Since then, I've been "testing" those I subscribed to figure out which ones I enjoy listening to every week, and which ones I had to say goodbye to. The easiest test for me has been the length...I find anything over 40 minutes hard to dedicate time to listen which has made it easier to part with a few highly rated podcasts!

Below are the seven podcasts I've been able to keep up with over the course of the last two months (all of which I highly recommend): 

StoryCorps: If you don't know what StoryCorps is all about -- you should. Every episode has a theme, and each is only 10-20 minutes long, which is perfect for when you need to unwind or do something mindless. Here's the description from online:

"StoryCorps travels the country collecting the stories of everyday people, who get to take the microphone and interview each other about their lives. Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street. Learn more, including how to record your own interview, at storycorps.org."

Basically I now want to find someone in my life to interview for StoryCorps :)

99% Invisible: The description online calls it "A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99invisible activity that shapes our world", which is pretty accurate. Last week, I listened about earplugs that could prevent the prevalent occurrences of hearing loss from soldiers. A few weeks before, how cities/companies use strangely designed benches and odd lighting to keep people moving. This week, it was about a man-made lake in California that's slowly evaporating away. It's super interesting to listen to - and the lengths of the shows change every week depending on the content. 

Freakonomics Radio: If you've read the book, you'll be interested in listening along each week about one crazy thing or another. If you haven't read the book, then maybe the podcast is a great place to start learning about "the hidden side of everything".

 This is the longest podcast I tune into (often 45-55 minutes), but find it a great Sunday morning listen while I putz around the kitchen prepping for the week ahead!

Planet Money: This is a Brady favorite, and after so much exposure, it's made my top list too. What I like most about this podcast is that the show is rarely more than 20 minutes so I can almost finish it on my walks to work! They also have SO many previous episodes and often re-air episodes online, so I'm never at a shortage of having something new to listen to which is interesting. Think Freakonomics, but more succinct.

Smarty Pants from the American Scholar: I subscribed to this podcast to listen to a show that my favorite professor from undergrad was featured on in an interview about his recently published book, but loved the idea of re-visting American Studies, which I loved so much during college, in my working life!

This podcast I usually tune into while doing work at my desk at home - shopping online, paying credit card bills, making my schedule for the upcoming week. It's on average 40 minutes, and  while I sometimes tune in and out, I think it's more beneficial than watching Friends reruns in the background!

She Explores: This was a recommended "new podcast" when I was looking at iTunes, and I'm so glad I subscribed! It's a show hosted by women, interviewing women, who enjoy traveling and feeling connected to the outdoors. Insert #girlpower and rays of sunshine on dirty hiking boots emojis here!

It comes out weekly, and also is about 30 minutes. I put this on during work when I'm doing "busy work" such as data entering numbers, responding to simple emails, or between some Excel number crunching!

I've saved the best for last because despite having only two full episodes released, this is a highlight of my week! I listen to this podcast while going for walks around my neighborhood, which is fitting, as it's also about urban planning, and the people behind changes in cities. It's hosted by Slate, so if you enjoy their articles, you might also like tuning in to this!

Podcasts on the docket to test that others have recommended:
Serial, Moth, This American Life, Invisibilia, Radiolab, You Must Remember This

What podcasts are on your weekly rotation? When do you find time to set aside for podcast listening? If you have any channels that you think I might enjoy -- especially any inspirational or motivational ones -- let me know!


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