Yesterday at work I listened to the first episode of Armchair Expert, a podcast by Dax Shepherd, and I enjoyed it so very much. He interviewed his wife, Kristen Bell, who are both famous for those Samsung commercials, that Sloth thing, and being open about their lives, and relationships. I went into it thinking it was going to be two self-important celebrities giving advice on how to live like them, but it was not that. I can’t stop thinking about it! I am so inspired by how willing they were to talk about the particulars of their marriage and how they make it work.
Celebrity voyeurism aside, I ended the episode feeling surprised, inspired and informed and I didn’t spend a dime. I’m fairly new to podcasts, having only listened to them consistently for about a year, but I’m continually blown away by the sheer amount of things to listen to, for free, on the internet.
Anything you can think of–comedy, education, true crime, history, interviews, advice, relationships–there’s a podcast for you. My preferences are all across the board, and here are a few if you’re looking for some new listening.
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations: I’m going to say something controversial, but I’m pretty apathetic about Oprah. She’s fine! I was just never a huge fan when she was at her peak. Although, I guess she’s still at her peak, because she’s Oprah, so who knows. Anyway, her interviews on this podcast are good. She talks to all sorts of people, and her many years of broadcasting, and her talent for cutting right to the quick make for really interesting and compelling interviews. My favorites: Elizabeth Gilbert (Played on 11/27/17 and 11/30/17), Brene Brown (played on 8/6/17 and 8/7/17) and Sister Joan Chittister (Played on 9/20/17) among others.
- My Favorite Murder: I mentioned this in my February Looking Back post, but I adore this podcast. It’s a true crime comedy podcast, which you should know before going into it. They are always respectful and are great storytellers, but if you’re looking for a somber and chilling podcast, this ain’t it. Karen and Georgia have amazing chemistry and it feels like you’re just a part of a conversation between friends. I like all of the episodes.
- Dirty John: Unlike the first two, this podcast follows a story from start to finish. There are only 6 episodes and a very good twist. If you liked Serial or S-Town, you’ll like this one.
- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert: Liz Gilbert can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. I read her book Big Magic and was floored. This podcast is an extension of that book where she takes correspondence from fans who have questions or are looking for creative guidance, then she talks to other successful creatives for advice. There are only two seasons so far, but I hope that there are more to come. If you, like me, are interested in studying creativity, you’ll love this.
- American History Tellers: This podcast takes a deep dive into historical events you’ve always heard of but may be a little vague about the particulars. There is no angle or bias–it’s just history told in a way that is really, really interesting. Season 1 is about the Cold War, a topic I not only studied extensively in college but also one that I’d go “true daily double” on in Jeopardy, and I was shocked how much I didn’t know. Season 2, which I have yet to listen to but plan on starting this weekend, is about Prohibition.
- Heaven’s Gate: 10 episodes about the cult Heaven’s Gate as told by Glynn Washington who also grew up in a cult. His experience and story telling prowess make this a must-hear tale told with a lot of empathy.
- Armchair Expert: I’ve only listened to one episode but I really liked it! I’m looking forward to the Jimmy Kimmel Episode and the Adam Scott Episode. Dax Shepherd seems like a genuinely nice guy and I’m interested in his perspective.
- Slow Burn: Similar to American History Tellers, this podcast is a deep-dive into Watergate. If you asked me I’d tell you, “sure, I know about Watergate,” but after listening to this I realized my knowledge was limited to that scene in Forrest Gump. Not anymore! This is really interesting and the episodes are short and sweet.
Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites? I am always looking for new ones because there are so many and they are so free. There really is no excuse for not learning new things!