Since I first started listening to podcasts in – I don’t know – probably 2015, they’ve become an integral part of my daily life.
Know I have a long solo drive/trip lying ahead? Save up the latest episodes of all my favourite podcasts to savour word for word as the road ahead unfurls.
Bored and need some inspiration? Re-listen to some of the stories that made an impression on me before.
Basically, podcasts are my go-to form of entertainment.
They have also become one of the ways in which I practice self-care on a daily basis, as they feed my mind, uplift my spirits and inspire me to become a better interviewer/storyteller/writer.
In recent weeks, I have found much solace, food-for-thought and amusement in the following four podcasts:
First impressions: I first came upon the Podcast while scrolling through the Emergence Magazine website. Filled with mesmerising photographs of outdoor vistas and magical illustrations of wild beings, I knew I had found something precious that I never even knew I was looking for! And even better yet – many of the articles had a little tab in the top right-hand corner marking it as a podcast transcription. I immediately searched for it in Overcast – my listening platform of choice – and downloaded an initial selection that piqued my interest. These episodes did not disappoint, managing to translate the visual beauty the website portrays into words, music and sound.
What I love about it: The website describes itself as ‘a quarterly online publication featuring innovative stories that explore the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality’ and, honestly, I think we need A LOT more of this. The podcast episodes I’ve listened to featured storytellers with an engaging style and an almost disconcerting commitment to vulnerability in their tellings of things. Many of the episodes are quite long – exceeding an hour – so, perfect for a few dedicated listening sessions spread across a number of days.
Favourite episodes: I really enjoyed ‘Speaking the Anthropocene An Interview with Robert Macfarlane‘ and ‘On the Road with Thomas Merton‘.
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
First impressions: You know how when someone asks “How are you?” you just say “Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day? Terrible, Thanks For Asking is the opposite of that. Podcast host, Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both. (This was taken directly from the TTFI website, because – seriously – I couldn’t say it any better)
What I love about it: The honesty. The way in which people show up so bravely to tell their excruciating stories. Their vulnerability. The hope so many of them leave you with. I also just LOVE Nora’s way of hosting the podcast – she’s intuitive and kind and gentle, but also very funny and 100% relatable. Like, you want to be her friend.
Favourite episodes: ‘The Bride Price‘ and ‘WWJD? (What Would Jenny Do)’ are both stories by women about the heartbreaking, beautiful and complex relationships with specific other women in their lives.
First impressions: If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll probably know that I’m a HUGE fan of Rob Bell and The RobCast. I just find his take on Christian spirituality very refreshing and life-affirming. Forever on a mission to nurture my spiritual life and deepen my relationship with God, I’ve been looking for other Christ-centred podcasts that feed my soul for a while now but haven’t really found anything that really speaks to me. So, when I stumbled upon Cafeteria Christian (by being a Nora McInerny superfan and following her on Instagram), I got super excited! Co-hosted by Nora and Natalia Terfa, a young Lutheran pastor, the podcast is all about trying to navigate life as someone ‘who loves Jesus, but [isn’t] so sure about some of his friends.’
What I love about it: As you can tell from the ‘what I love about it’ paragraphs above, I really appreciate it when people aren’t afraid of being honest and vulnerable and are also able to admit that they don’t always know the answers to life’s many questions or what to do next. Cafeteria Christian is full of these kinds of conversations and, while you needn’t agree with everything that comes out of each episode, it sure does provide some pretty solid food for thought.
This is Love
First impressions: As much as I believe I’ve shed the hopeless romanticism of my youth, I do still love a good old love story. Especially if it doesn’t follow the deeply-etched lines of Hollywood Romcoms. And, as the name suggests, This is Love delivers just that! The team leaves no stone unturned in investigating stories of love – romantic, platonic and everything in between.
What I love about it: I love that it shines a spotlight on how many different forms of love there really are. From the love we have for the places that inhabit our earliest memories to the unlikely affection seemingly unromantic creatures lavish upon one another.
Favourite episodes: The current season of This is Love is all about Italy and there are some real goodies! My personal favourites so far are ‘Ugly Club‘ and ‘Silvia and the Cats‘. In previous seasons, ‘Message in a Bottle‘ and ‘Something Large and Wild‘ are completely captivating.
What are you listening to?