Podcasts Worth The Listen: Entertaining, Informative, Inspiring, Funny

What is a podcast anyway? A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio.  An audio from of information, news, humor, or storytelling on the go.

I started to listening to podcasts in 2016 as a form of staying up to date with news and politics.  There no denying the importance of being an informed citizen. It can be exhausting, however. Most newspapers are more sustained with ads than meaningful content.  That simply grinds my gears. Furthermore, the majority of news is bad news: death, war, destruction, shootings, corruption, political unrest, discrimination. Maybe you try to read up on the news but sites like the New York Times have blocked your ability to open any more full content articles, without a subscription.  And I love the New York Times, I think it is a wonderful, credible source. Yet subscriptions are expensive. Same goes for most credible news papers.

    For me the solution is podcasts. Although podcasts are good for so much more than just news.  I only share because I first cultivated my podcast hobby by subscribing to the NPR politics podcast in 2016…  Yea, 2016. I will admit it, NPR may be slightly left biased.  Yet in the NPR politics podcasts I feel I have found a steady source of information on current political issues, candidates, polls, and updates from D.C.  

    Beyond news and politics, my podcast subscriptions help support my education outside of the classroom, make me laugh and smile, keep me up to date with arts and culture, cause me to think differently, and inspire the activist in me.

    So here are a few of my favorite and why you should subscribe as well:

Fresh Air. An NPR show, hosted by Terry Gross.  This is an arts and culture podcast in which Terry conducts thoughtful, thorough, revelatory interviews.  The interview is always followed by commentary from TV, book, film, music, or culture commentators. My favorite episodes include Terry’s interview of  Bill McKibben, interview of John Mulaney, and “How bad medicine dismisses and misdiagnoses women’s symptoms”.

The Doctor’s Farmacy. A podcast recorded by Mark Hyman M.D., a functional medicine physician and researcher with the Cleveland Clinic, and founder of the UltraWellness Center.  He discusses the critical issues of our time in respect to health, wellness, community, politics, and food. Hence, FARMacy. Doctor Mark is concerned with the root cause of chronic illness and the individuality of a patient. His podcast episodes are personal, educational, and inspiring. My favorites include: “Michael Moss on Salt Sugar Fat and the Role of Food.” “Why We Lie, How it Messes Up Our Lives, and How to FIx It” and “Dave Asprey on the Little Known Secrets to Longevity and Energy”

Ted Radio Hour.  Host Guy Raz ponders what it means to be human, and what makes us human. Each episode revolves around a central theme. Guy samples from TED talks and supplements with interviews by the speakers. Uncover fascination ideas, technology, innovation, new approaches to thinking and working.  My favorite episodes include, “Wired for Altruism” “Quiet” and “What Makes Us...Us”

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. The famous host of  Netflix’s Queer Eye interviews friends and professionals to help me understand whatever he is feeling curious about. This show is uplifting, funny, cute, and educational.