It’s official: Austin traffic stinks to high heaven. This year I’m going to be spending a LOT of time rotting in claustrophobia-inducing, jerk-central, bumper-to-bumper hell. The only things that save my sanity, keep me from getting speeding tickets, and prevent me from punching faces are the mighty podcasts. They can help you too!
Do you hate to doing laundry? Cleaning the house? Wasting time in traffic? Talking to your boring family during dinner? Going for walks? Exercising? We don’t like doing anything that results in our brains not being constantly stimulated by entertainment. So stimulate your brain during the mundane with podcasts (I rhymed).
You can learn AND be entertained! Therefore you don’t feel like you’re wasting the precious moments of life folding laundry or willing the death of the driver in front of you. So learn how to listen to podcasts below and I’ll share a few of my faves.
How to get started
If you’ve suffered through boring life thus far without listening to podcasts and don’t know where to begin, this article will help ya out: The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasts.
My Favorite Podcasts
I listen to some random podcasts because my interests are varied and frankly, odd. So take these with a grain of salt, but I HIGHLY recommend all of these.
For the curious…
“Science Vs takes on fads, trends, and the opinionated mob to find out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between.”
I loooooove this podcast. They heavily research (hundreds of sources used per episode) commonly held beliefs, myths, and dogma, then report on their findings. This is done in a highly entertaining, humorous, and pretty unbiased way. Even if you find science boring or don’t enjoy having your beliefs challenged, you will enjoy this podcast.
Topics they’ve covered range from the benefits of essential oils, organic vs. non-organic produce, and even sharks to more political issues such as abortion, vaccines, and illegal immigration.
The host, Wendy Zuckerman, is just the most charming individual ever! Her Australian accent is an absolute joy to listen to. Love ya Wendy (call me)!
Stuff You Should Know
Listening to hosts Charles “Chuck” Bryant and Josh Clark make you feel like you’re in a silly drunken/stoned chat with two friends. You know the chats I’m talking about…when y’all start asking really weird and random questions about life?
Such as, what is the deal with crop circles? What does prison food taste like and how is is made? How do TV ratings work? What really happened with the Donner party (spoiler: they ate people)???
They have covered billions of topics and make every single one interesting. So if you want to be the weirdo at parties constantly starting sentences with, “Did you know that…” and ending with some obscure and crazy fact, listen to this show!
Host Alie Ward dives into the details of every -ology out there. Examples can be psychology, mycology (study of mushrooms), victimology (didn’t know this was a thing until her podcast), and even ludology (video games)!
Alie is the perfect mixture of intelligent, curious, and hilariously entertaining, making even the most dull-sounding topics fascinating. Example: I was binging her episodes when I came across a topic called, “hagfishology.” I thought, “There’s NO WAY I’m going to find this interesting…”
However, I listened with glee to the episode from start to finish! I forced my newly found knowledge on unsuspecting friends and strangers, gabbing about hagfish slime and how they defend themselves. Sorry not sorry!
For the health nut
This Podcast Will Kill You
If you’re a hypochondriac, this might not be for you. But if you’re someone like me who LOVES learning about the history of disease, viruses, and bacteria (don’t judge me), it definitely is for you. They’ve covered measles, H.pylori (people with acid reflux should check out this episode), and the Zika virus, just to name a few.
They discuss prevalence, the history of discovery and treatment (best part in my opinion), and how the disease/virus/bacteria does what it does so well. Super entertaining, well produced, and highly recommended.
Dr. Ruscio Radio
Dr. Ruscio is a functional and integrative doc who LOVES digging into the science, which is why I enjoy this podcast. You’ll have access to the findings of numerous health studies you’d normally have to pay mucho buckos for. All the while listening to a trained professional sharing his interpretations of the results (instead of the freaking media who don’t know crap).
He frequently chats with super-educated and experienced guests, ranging from medical doctors to psychologists to endocrinologists who come from all areas of the health spectrum. He also talks about case studies from his private practice. I love how he combines science with lesser-known, alternative treatments in order to consider treating the body as a whole unit.
For the crime freak
My Favorite Murder
You can’t mention a murder podcast without talking about these lovely ladies. It’s probably the most popular murder podcast of the moment!
I’ll admit, when I first started listening I didn’t like it. I was expecting a serious and detailed podcast about murder cases. Instead I got two chick-a-dees giggling, talking about their lives, and throwing out random numbers they didn’t understand such as, “He stole $700 back in 1825. That’s equal to $10 billion U.S. dollars today!”
This is literally a comedy murder podcast. I know, that sounds uh…insensitive? As the ladies explain, they use humor to deal with extremely dark and serious topics that morbidly fascinate them. And trust me, it works. This is one of the most entertaining podcasts around for anyone obsessed with murder.
Warning: If you are someone who can’t handle women who curse like pirates and are insanely funny, this is not for you!
Serial: Season 1
If you’re a podcast junkie, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve listened to this already. This podcast became a phenomenon equal to the Netflix version of “Making a Murderer.” It follows the murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her boyfriend Adnan Syed.
The production value is through the roof and there are soooo many twists and turns your head might fall off. Starting one episode is like opening a can of Pringles; Once you pop, you just can’t stop!
For the comedy junkie
Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend
I just love this man so much. He is one of the funniest and most lovely people on the planet. For you youngins’ who don’t know, he used to be a writer for shows such as The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live before settling on being a talk show host.
Now he’s hosting this ridiculous podcast where he invites famous people to chat in hopes of them becoming his friend. Guests thus far have included Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Obama, Howard Stern, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Colbert, Kristen Bell, Will Ferrell and much more! I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND CONAN.
If you hate laughing so hard you snort in your car or spit out your drink, avoid this podcast!
Chris D’Elia, whether he knows it or not, is my comedy spirit animal. This guy is the complete opposite of Conan O’Brien, being constantly pissed and going on hilariously long rants about whatever bugs him at the time. This man is ridiculous (he started a cult where his members are called “babies”), insanely quick-witted, and doesn’t take crap from anybody.
Recently he went viral with his parody of Eminem and is now featured on Eminem’s new album. You can’t make this stuff up.
Warning: For those who are bothered by men cussing and being, sometimes, purposely offensive…this ain’t for you!
For the history buff
Two of the U.S.’s (arguably) largest political scandals of the past century are covered in Season 1 and 2 of this podcast: Watergate and the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky/Whitewater scandal. They uncover facts you didn’t know existed and can’t believe occurred. They do this in a way that makes you feel like you’re listening to the most insane soap opera ever written.
Except it’s not. It’s our freaking history!
Hopefully you’ll enjoy the podcasts I’ve recommended. They have saved my life from boredom and reduced the amount of speeding tickets on my record! Podcasts are the new TV people, so hop on the cool kids train of learning!