Caroline Recommends: Podcast Edition

As we near upon the 2-month mark of being in quarantine, I, just like everyone else, have turned to a variety of different modes of entertainment. Prior to quarantine, I knew that podcasts were a semi-popular way to pass time, but have always been skeptical of the retention and format of listening to information. 

This changed when I started quarantine. Being home with only my parents and dog to talk to in-person can be a bit repetitive. Talking to my friends through FaceTime is always a great way to connect too, but soon I was just starting to crave human connection and stream of conversation, so I decided to turn to podcasts. As I started my search for the best fitting podcasts for me, I realized just how many different types of genres of podcasts there are- ranging anywhere from sports to news to true crime podcasts; there is a large supply and demand in the podcast market. Here are my top 5 recommendations:

1. Commit or Quit by DIVE Studios

Commit or Quit is a show where the hosts- brothers Eric Nam, Eddie Nam, and Brian Nam- watch the first two episodes of a variety of shows and decide if they want to quit or commit to the show. This is a fairly new podcast, started by the brothers in quarantine, but offers a fun way to find new shows to watch while we continue quarantine. I think that the brother dynamic and banter is well balanced out with a discussion about the shows, so it really makes you feel like personal and home-y. In addition to the show, DIVE Studios offers a few other podcasts ranging from topics like K-pop, relationship advice, and interview-style entertainment, which I highly recommend. 

2. Switched on Pop by Vox

If you’re a music lover (aren’t we all?) and are interested in the making of music/ music analysis, I highly recommend this podcast. This podcast has an in-depth analysis of popular songs (their episode about everyone’s favorite Tik-Tok song “Say So” by Doja Cat was amazing) and offers a cool perspective about the thought and detail that musicians go into when curating an album and sound. They also list and play clips of the songs they talk about, so if you want to check them out, you can!

3. The A24 Podcast by A24

Now this one is for movie lovers! If you’re into more indie-type movies and want an insider look into the personalities and lives of the makers and actors of A24’s movies, this is the podcast for you! For most of the episodes, you don’t have to watch the movies to understand everything the guests talk about, but for the nerdy film-buffs (guilty as charged) who want to know everything about their beloved films, this is a great look into the film world. Another bonus: it’s really interesting to see what actors or directors they pair off together and what kind of dynamic they’ll have!

4. Poetry Unbound by On Being Studios

If you want to sound (and be!) an intellectual, and to explore the world of poetry, this is a great introductory podcast. I’ve personally never been that interested in poetry, but whenever I had read it (usually in a classroom setting) I found it oddly comforting. Hearing the soft, Irish lull of the host, Pádraig Ó Tuama, recite these various poems is a great way to wind down for the day and for some self-reflection during these times. 

5. Audio Books (Audible, Amazon, Local Libraries)

As a big reader throughout my life, I have always been a bit skeptical of audiobooks. For some reason, I always felt like I was cheating when I would “read” books through this method, which is not the case. If you're feeling lazy, and don’t want to look down at a book page or phone screen to read, audiobooks are a great solution. Audiobooks are also a great way to visualize the scene of a book without having to also focus on the act of reading. My favorite audiobook is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings written (and read!) by Maya Angelou. 

As I found myself diving into the world of podcasts I realized that they maintain and satisfy a way to maintain human connection. While we are still isolated from each other, feeling like and maintaining a sense of community is an important way for all of us to feel connected with each other. I hope that some of these recommendations will help those who also crave and find comfort in connection.