Stop and Listen: Podcasts to Visit rn

I’ve made a recent discovery: Podcasts are the sh*t. They are recorded conversations, usually with multiple speakers, on a general topic. The episodes are usually just under an hour, with about 7-10 episodes in a series.

I generally have music playing in my daily activities, whether I’m walking to class, driving, working-out, drawing, or folding laundry. I’m always listening to something. My friends offered podcasts suggestions before, but I had a blockage with listening for some reason. I was skeptical to have a conversation that I wasn’t a part of filling my sound waves. I predicted that I wouldn’t benefit from the speakers and their advice...I was wrong! It’s a good practice to stop or refrain from the real world for a second and listen or reflect while generating your own thoughts.

For those that haven’t embarked on the listening experience yet, consider it the next time you’re doing a task, such as driving, walking to class, chores in the dorm/apartment, or working out. Scroll on Spotify to find the array of topics on lifestyle, heath, relationships, music, science, and national/international affairs. Don’t have a subscription? Many series are available in the “Podcast” app on our iPhones.

The one in my heavy rotation is “Thick and Thin” from 23 year old Katy Bellotte. A recent grad from Elon University, Katy is just beginning her career in New York City. In high school, she started a YouTube channel, where she dished on beauty products, style, boys, drama, and more. Her premiere podcast is so inspiring as she discusses the bumps in the road us millennial females face. She offers advice while encountering milestones in our life aka college years, internships, boys, post-grad (applilable to seniors. lol sorry to remind you), and more! 

Here's what you need to know:

Subject matter: The episodes focus on (but aren’t limited to): (1) life in NYC, which she proclaims is “often fantasized because it’s an exciting time in your life”, but also presents challenges, “both glamourous and ugly”, (2) the four years of college: how we change perspectives and learn about “loving yourself first”, and (3) the millennial girl’s roller-coaster ride with finding love and social media: how our emotions are constantly tested and our understanding of self-worth is often altered.

What drew me in: Katy’s insight is honest, reflecting on the trials and errors in the modern adventures of finding love and happiness, whether in yourself, a significant other, or a career. She connects listeners to feeling ‘rejected’ , as if ‘nothing is going right’. We’ve all been there… but we bounce back! With a change in mindset and attitude, you become stronger than you think, and that’s what Katy preaches.

Why should I listen: I catch myself saying “Omg too relatable” or “Yass girl, this is me!” when Katy tells stories of life in college, finding yourself, and valuing the friendships/connections you make. The first time I listened, I binged-listened (can that be a thing with podcasts now?) the next six episodes...

Key Episodes: “Good things & french kisses”, “College guys...thank u, next”, “Forcing it & Faking it”, “In line at the bar…”, “Growing up and getting hurt”, “What Was I Thinking?”

Thick and Thin is in my heavy rotation, but my other favs include the titles below. It may be a good place to start!

 

Thrive Global: a series hosted by Arianna Huffington, interviewing celebrities and activists on their careers, as well as the steps they take in caring for their emotional and mental heath aka nightly routine, time spent on social media, exercise, morning routine, etc. Originally from Greece, Arianna is an author and columnist/co-founder at Huffington Post. Her voice is so calming and her advice is so important. Some of her friends may be familiar to you: Jennifer Aniston and why she’s not on Instagram, Ashton Kutcher’s take on fatherhood and his philanthropy work, and Demi Lovato’s facilitation on the discourse of mental health issues and how she’s bouncing back. Huffington engages in the hard questions that make the actors/celebs more authentic and real.

 

Dissect: a series hosted by Cole Cuchna, providing musical analysis of whole albums, depicting (aka dissecting!) 1-2 songs per episode. If there was a podcast designed for me, it’s this! He introduces the artist and their rise in music, discusses the composition of the album, and supplies a “close read” of the tracks, studying the lyrics and beats. The artists include Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”, Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, and Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” (my fav!). Lauryn Hill, the soulful R&B powerhouse, is the most recent artist Cuchna talks about. You may learn something new about the artists or songs!

Coffee and Flowers: A Podcast about The National: considered a tangent from Dissect is the series that solely focuses on the alternative, intimate band The National (whom I love!). Speakers Christopher Hooton and David Rapson, who have been fans since their college years, start their first season analyzing the album ‘Boxer’. The discourse reflects greatly on their ability to recognize the power of lyrics, beats, and musicality. Their use of words like “poetic”, “comfort”, “familiarity”, “musical feast”, and more allow listeners to connect to their emotional response of the band and what they preach. Listen to a few songs for yourself prior to the podcast to see if you like their style!

That doesn’t stop there! I haven’t explored these yet but they are on my list!: “Call Her Daddy”, anything depicting a crime story (Law and Order SVU like stuff, ladies!), “TED Talks Daily” “Everything Happens with Kate Bowler”.

Enjoy what you discover from the speakers! Hopefully you find benefits from stopping and listening.