Podcasting has never been bigger. The pundits and prophets have declared 2016 “the year of the podcast” (although some said that about 2015 and 2014, as well).
Everyone seems to have a “radio” in their pocket these days, and the popularity of megahits like Serial prompted legions of podcast newbies to finally figure out how to listen.
I have a regular rotation of podcasts that automatically download to my iPhone. I listen while I’m on a run, driving by myself, and folding the laundry (although I get “behind” on my podcasts fairly regularly, because I typically alternate a few days of podcast listening with a few days of an audiobook.)
It’s so easy once you get the hang of it, although Apple really through me for a loop when they changed their player a few months back. I almost switched to the Stitcher app (which is also available on Android) but finally settled on the Overcast app (also free), which feels a little more seamless than the native podcasting app for iOS.
(If you’re just getting started, check out Hollywood Housewife’s How to Listen to Podcasts 101 post.
You can subscribe and listen to every episode of a podcast, or you can listen to just one episode (I currently have quite a few single episodes queued up to do just that).
I’ve shared my favorite podcasts before; here’s an update on what’s high in my rotation right now:
• Start Up. I love Gimlet’s first podcast about launching a new small business. Well done, fun to listen to, and a great discussion starter at my house. This is the first thing I listen to when a new episode appears.
• Personality Hacker. So much fun for MBTI geeks like me.
• Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. I was iffy on the first few episodes, but her shows and guests recently have been fantastic: Cheryl Strayed, Ann Patchett, Brené Brown, Rob Bell.
• The Popcast with Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden. This pop culture show is devoted to “the things that entertain, but do not matter,” and it’s a breath of fresh air when my reading and listening skews towards the Very Serious. I was listening to this while brushing my teeth recently and I spit my toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror when Jamie started singing. You’ve been warned.
I was currently a guest on two of my current favorites:
• Sorta Awesome with Megan Tietz. This show is so warm and comfortable and funny, and Megan is perfect for the host role. I was recently on episode 38 to discuss the best books of 2015 with Laura Tremaine.
• Read Aloud Revival with Sarah Mackenzie. This wonderful show is devoted to reading with kids. Sarah and I had a great chat in episode 37 about cultivating a reading life at home (for grown-ups and for kids).
Individual episodes I’ve loved, or currently have queued up in Overcast:
• “Britney” on The Mystery Show. When I told my husband I loved the “Belt Buckle” episode but hadn’t heard any others, he said “have you really not heard the one about Britney Spears’s book?” That got my attention. I just listened to this yesterday and it is delightful.
• The Problem We All Live With Parts I and II by This American Life. Important and fascinating—even more so because I live in Louisville, Kentucky, a city singled out in the show for being an anomaly in terms of integration. I learned so much about my own city from this episode.
• Ira Glass on the Longform Podcast. Because who can resist Ira Glass?
• I’ve also been cherry picking from The Atlantic’s list of the 50 best podcast episodes of 2015.
What are YOUR favorite podcasts? What do you subscribe to, what app do you use (if any), what favorite episodes would you recommend?