First off, let me be completely honest and say that I’m not one of those people who can multitask to the degree of watching TV and reading a book at the same time. So my time dedicated to podcasts – where my attention is required in order to know what the heck is happening – is typically found when I’m doing more mindless tasks like cooking, cleaning, driving (I am paying attention to the road, I promise), and surfing the web (do people still say this?). And there are really only four podcasts I’ve found that draw me in and make me want more because…
Confession #2: Sometimes, peoples’ voices are super annoying and hard to listen to for a long time. I know it’s terrible, and I’m sure my own voice is awful, but just like I buy my wine based on the attractiveness of the label, I choose my podcasts based on the tolerability of the host’s voice.
So now that you all have a lower opinion of me, and without further ado, here are the four podcasts that keep me going (and learning).
1. Stuff You Should Know
Starting off with a softball here, but I truly do love Stuff You Should Know. Josh and Chuck have such a friendly, funny, and natural rapport that even the most seemingly boring topics are made interesting. I even have favorite episodes that I return to time and time again – and I can do this without making it predictable because I have a terrible memory that just deletes certain details, so there’s usually some part of the episode that’s always new.
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of Stuff You Should Know episodes, so you’d be hard-pressed to find an episode that doesn’t appeal to your particular area of interest. Some of their best, in my not-so-humble opinion, are their true crime episodes, anything having to do with conspiracy theories, and their history-of episodes that talk about anything from beer to horticulture and beyond.
Favorite Episode: Is the Pied Piper About a Real Historic Tragedy?
2. The Friendship Onion
The Friendship Onion is a new podcast that no one knew they needed, but I’m pretty sure it’s here to save us all. Basically, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan who were Pippin and Merry (respectively) in The Lord of the Rings trilogy movies came together to just be friends and talk life and Lord of the Rings on a public platform. And it’s beautiful.
I’ve not listened to a lot of The Friendship Onion but it’s definitely on the regular listening list from here on out.
A Good Place to Start (the beginning): Six O’Clock Twinkies
3. The Sleeping At Last Podcast
I just want to live inside of The Sleeping At Last Podcast. The host of The Sleeping At Last Podcast is the Sleeping At Last front man and musician/artist Ryan O’Neal who breaks down his music, sometimes down to each of the little sounds that make up the background ambiance, and talks about inspiration, new projects, and what each album and song means to him.
The songwriting process is fascinating, and O’Neal’s podcast is as calm, low-key, and beautiful as his music, which just makes me want to curl and put all of it on a loop for forever.
Favorite Episode: “Six” & The Enneagram
4. Pop Culture Coffee Hour
Fair warning, this podcast is Orthodox Christian based, hosted by Orthodox Christians, and views all of the pop culture topics through the Orthodox Christian lens. However, as an Orthodox Christian and a super-fan of most things pop culture, I find this podcast amazingly entertaining as well as fulfilling in a spiritual sense.
Even if you aren’t a Christian, you may still find Pop Culture Coffee Hour a fun listen and interesting in terms of seeing Christianity applied to and found in some of the most worldly popular TV shows, movies, and books.
Favorite Episode: Episode 160: Schitt’s Creek