Last year, I found myself commuting over an hour to work every day and find ways to keep me entertained on the dreaded TTC was hard, and avoiding eye contact with strangers was even harder.
Reading always made me dizzy and listening to music was driving me insane after a while. Realizing I was spending close to 10 hours a week in transit, I wanted to make my time worth while. Enter the Podcast!
For those of you still fuzzy with the concept – a Podcast is essentially a radio show that can get on the internet so you can listen to it any time you want.
So I decided to share a few of my favorites.
Metro Morning – I like to start my day with Matt Galloway. The podcast is the audio version of Toronto’s Yonge Street. A central urban artery that cuts through the heart of the city and beyond. Connecting people, neighborhoods, communities, diverse pockets, and populations. Getting caught up on the big news stories happening in Toronto is the best way to get centered when starting your day.
Freakonomics – This podcast covers the hidden side of everything. From the economy, headline news, to pop culture. To better understand where your career (or life in general) is headed, I would recommend learning where the world is headed. This podcast is a great start.
This American Life – Human connection is probably one of the most fundamental skills you can have in your career and everyday life. Each week’s show has a theme, explored in several “acts”. Each act features essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage. From anyone in a creative field who could use a spark of inspiration, I highly recommend this podcast.
TED Radio Hour – If you love TEDTALKS, you will love this podcast. If you don’t know what TEDTalks are, please crawl out from under the rock you’ve been hiding under. (TED is a platform for ideas worth spreading. Where technology, entertainment, and design converged – sharing ideas from a broad spectrum.) The podcast takes the elements of some of the best TEDTalks ever done, and continues the conversation.
Women of the Hour – Lena Dunham is currently one of the strongest female voices of the 20-something generation – with a lot to say. She said she launched this podcast to celebrate women who blow minds! She covers life, death, work, and friendship. I appreciate the honesty of these interviews and the tangible suggestions and ideas we can walk away with.
Plant Money – The older I get, the more concerned and aware I am about how I spend my money. In order to make my money work for me, I need to understand finances on a larger scale. This podcast introduces you to High Rollers, Brainy Economists, and Regular Folks – all trying to make sense of of our rapidly changing global economy.
Grownups Reading Things They Wrote as Kids – This podcast hits a note of nostalia from me. It is a live recording of courageous adults reading their childhood and teenage diaries, poetry, short stories, letters from camp, and much more – out loud in front of an audience. This is a great podcast to reflect on how we all got started in telling stories and depicting our own emotions as a better way to understand our relationships with other people, and our relationships with ourselves. Fair warning to all TTC commuters who listen to this, you will laugh out loud and people will stare. And it will be worth it!
WTF With Marc Maron – Being able to connect with people is one of the hardest skill to develop. WTF was created by stand up comedian Mark Maron after losing his job as a radio host, a failed marriage, and the need to reconnect with people. Listening to this podcast is like eavesdropping on an engaging conversation between two celebrities, you often forget it’s supposed to be an interview. It’s honest, funny, shocking, and sometimes heartbreaking. Maron’s raw and open book nature invites the guests to do the same. Leaving you to witness something incredibly unique and human.
Story Wonk – I am always looking to be a stronger story-teller on a multitude of levels. Whether it’s in my physical writing, public speaking, or an engaging conversation. Being able to captivate an audience of any size is a powerful skill to have. Story Wonk has a plethora of podcasts that focus on the idea of story-telling. It is hosted by husband and wife, Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens – who keep one principle in mind, “There is nothing in this world that can’t be made better by a solid command of story. There is a force of narrative that goes beyond the books, movies and television, and into personal relationships, identity, politics, and pop culture.”
Sidenote: their Buffy podcast ‘Dusted’ is my biggest guilty pleasure in life right now. I finally have found my people!
When it comes down to it, if you’re looking to participate in a conversation you can’t find in your day-to-day social circles, I guarantee you will find a podcast that is hosting that conversation right now.
In your busy life, it’s hard to find time to educate yourself. The glory of podcasts is that you can listen whenever you want. So why not turn off your playlist and add some education into your daily commute?
Now go and find your people! 🙂