I used to love listening to the radio in the morning. Hearing the latest songs on the way into work and listening to jazz on the way home. Somewhere along the way, I become bored with that and began a search for something better. That’s when I found Podcasts! An unlimited collection of listening material that ranged from entertainment to education. The first podcast I listen to was an episode of This American Life titled Americans in Paris. The story covered what it was like as an American living abroad in the city of Paris. The interview covered both good and bad experiences but mostly it made the idea of living abroad more real for me. I felt as is I had left Atlanta, traveled to Paris and could imagine and understand what life would be like living in another country. I was hooked! I wondered what others worlds I could learn about through listening to a podcast. It didn’t take much to find more. The beauty of a great podcast is it is usually one of a network of podcasts that covers a variety of topics. Radiotopia, a podcast network, produces several shows such as one that delivers old-school storytelling and another that gives insight on life in prison called Earhustle. Since you may not have an interest in getting any insight on prison life you might find more interests in one of my favorite podcast networks, Gimlet media. This network is all business — covering topics such as what it is like to start-up a business, pitch a business idea to investors and more. One of the things I love the most about listening to Podcasts is I get to hear how we as women are doing it big. And I mean big! Many of these technology and financial podcasts are launched by women. We are no longer waiting for mainstream media to tell our narrative. We are telling it ourselves in Podcasting. So if you are looking for inspiration, to expand your horizon, learn about life across other oceans or you just want to hear a good story try listening to a podcast. There are many apps you can use on your phone for listening including Sticher, iTunes and Sound Cloud just to name a few. Go ahead and download a podcast listing app to try out a podcast or two. If you are not sure where to start here some of my all-time favorites.
Some of My Favorite Podcasts
These are my educational Podcasts. They are both entertaining and informative…
This American Life is a journalistic approach to sharing stories in the everyday lives of Americans. Each episode has a theme that contains 2 or 3 stories that give you a glimpse into the lives of others such as what its like to suffer genital mutilation or a deep dive into the Ferguson, MO school issues.
Freakonomics Radio hosted by Stephen Dubner, author of the book Freakonomics, this show discuss what I will call an alternative way of thinking about everything from current events, history and just life in general. Everything is analyzed from the viewpoint of an economist and will challenge and change the way you think. Check out this favorite episode of mine on whether or not tipping should be banned because technically is discriminatory.
Stuff You Should Know (How Stuff Works) is where I go to research many topics first. I am not always in the mood to read up on google and I want an in-depth explanation of how things really work, like how internships work and how breast implants work. You know…need to know stuff. Sometimes the hosts can drone on a bit so I will fast forward to the meat and potatoes but the approach of the podcast is factual with a touch of humor so it’s on my list. Give it a listen and tell me what you think.
If I want to hear a good story (fact or fiction) then these are some of my go-to options…
Snap Judgement is one of the most entertaining and educational podcasts around. The host Glynn Washington opens with a story for each episode and it’s up to you to determine if its fact or fiction, either way, it will be entertaining. That brief opening is followed by 3 stories from all over the world, mostly true but all good set to music. This is one of the best podcast productions around.
Serial Season 1 This is the story of Adnan Syed, a Muslim American high school student convicted of murder at age 19 and sentenced to life in prison. There is an entire movement to grant Adnan a second trial due to questions around his trial and whether or not he was wrongly convicted. Probably the most addicted podcasts I have ever listened to.
The Truth is one of my favorite “escape from real life” treats. This podcast tells a story with actors playing each character which makes it feel like a movie made for my ears. The stories range from funny to a bit gothic but they are always really good!
For Business Education and my own handcrafted MBA…
So Money with Farnoosh Torabi because getting good insight on how to manage your money better and how to make more just feels good! And I like Farnoosh’s guests and tips.
Planet Money which basically teaches you about the economy including topics such as how one professor found a way to make taxpaying painless and easy only to be blocked by a big tax lobbyist (yeah…that happened). On Planet Money is where I was also “introduced” to Tom Burrell, the first black man in Chicago advertising.
Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman. If you know me you know I love business and I love hearing about how the businesses got their start. I listen to this podcast to learn how a business can grow from zero dollars to gazillion dollars I say start with the episode on Tristan Walker founder of Walker and Company Brands, Inc. and then listen to the one on Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix. Yes, very good stuff!
Let me know what you think of podcasts. I would love to hear which ones you enjoy so please feel free to share them in the contents.