Switching Spotify for Castbox: why you should listen to podcasts

I love music. I think all human beings with functioning ears love music, be it the repetitive pop that comes on the radio or the indie rap we download to our phones through less than legal means.

Music is fantastic. It allows us to fill our brains with harmonious noise while we ignore the 65 year old woman sitting next to us on the bus that really, REALLY wants to talk to you about the weather and show you pictures of her grandkids (listen, I consider myself a polite person, but you’ll have better chances asking me to breakdance than asking me to make small talk with strangers on a Monday morning).

But do you know what are also great and don’t get enough love? Podcasts.

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There are podcasts out there to fit every taste and genre: comedy, storytelling, movie and music critiques, fashion and dramatic role plays. You name it and it probably exists, but more than just exist, it’s likely also good.

You don’t need a lot to make a podcast. In terms of resources, a good microphone bought secondhand and a well-isolated room is more than enough to get you going. Pick a theme you care about for your show, ask a mate to participate (so you aren’t talking for 30 minutes on your own), practice your best radio voice with Youtube’s help and bam! You’ve got a podcast going.

I love listening to podcasts while I’m out and about. As I try to walk 10 thousand steps every day, I find music is often more mind-numbing than it is distracting, whereas podcasts always keep me entertained. I often make a fool out of myself by laughing out loud as I listen to my favorite comedy podcasters, but that’s fine.

I came into this world to have a good time, not to worry about what others think of me.

I find it disheartening how unpopular podcasts seem to be in Portugal. I don’t want to tell people to delete the music apps from their phones and replace them with podcasts, but I do believe everyone should try searching for their interests and listening to an episode or two of something they care about at least once. I guarantee you’ll find something you enjoy that will make that drive to work so much more bearable.

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And if you don’t know where to start, here’s a small list of some great podcasts, curated by yours truly.

This American Life » my current favorite! Comes out weekly in hour-long episodes and it’s a primarily journalistic, non-fiction program that features stories about real people. I find the storytelling aspect to be the most compelling part about this podcast, the stories they tell are always quite interesting, like two women who were switched at birth or the reenactment of Hamlet at a high-security prison. 

No such thing as a fish » I’ve talked about this podcast before but I figured I would give it another shout out since it’s still one of my favorites. This is a comedy podcast where each week the four hosts present an interesting fact that they then all discuss/joke about. The facts are either hilarious or genuinely interesting, so this is both a learning opportunity, as well as a great laugh.

The Heart » A heartfelt podcast in the lines of This American Life, The Heart tells real stories about real people. This is a good podcast for anyone with the desire to connect more to others and learn how to be more empathetic to the struggles and diversity of this world.

How I Built This » a podcast about innovators and entrepreneurs and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures and insight told by the founders of some of the world’s best-known companies and brands. If you dream of starting your own business or are about to enter the workforce, check out this podcast for some great advice and inspiration. 

Pop fashion » As I’ve mentioned about a billion times before, I like fashion! I’ve struggled a lot to find a good podcast about fashion where the hosts don’t spend 80% of the time discussing their frivolous daily lives (the cliché to rein all clichés) and so far this is my favorite. Gives you updates on the big news in the fashion industry, including insight on economic issues and the environmental impacts of fashion. The hosts are funny and don’t try too hard and really, want more can a girl ask for?

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