I hadn’t realised how long I’d been listening to podcasts until a podcast I listen to celebrated its 11 year anniversary. Of those 11 I’ve been a listener for 8 almost 9 years which is – when I stop to think about it, a long time to be a fan of anything. A lot of what I listen to is based on what I’m currently interested in, where it be television, film, things that intrigue me or want to learn more about.
Initially podcasts were a way for me to engage more with the two things my 16 year old self absolutely loved and adored, the first was Harry Potter and the second was Twilight. I know you might raise your brow or chuckle at the thought of the latter, but at the time they were my two favourite things to talk about and finding out there was a whole community out there who shared the same passions for these fandoms was a revelation to me.
And so, the Twilight series ended, my love for all things Harry Potter continued and throughout the years when I became interested in particular TV shows or began a new hobby I subscribed to podcasts – and that’s pretty much been the process ever since. There’s so much variety and so many to choose from that I’ve never been short of something to listen to. On long commutes, short walks to the supermarket, whilst cleaning my room, making dinner, organising my bookshelf, during lunch breaks, whilst getting dressed, travelling etc. There are at least 20 other places I can name where I’ve listened to a podcast – the list is endless.
I’ve tried a number of podcast apps over the years but my favourite has to be ‘Player FM‘, so if you do want to download a podcast app, that’s the one I’d recommend.
Here are a few podcasts that I listen to regularly, and think would be a good starting point:
1. Stuff You Should Know
Learning new things or learning about things that I should know is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. And so I stumbled on this podcast which pretty much teaches you how, for example ice ages work, how motion sickness works, how makeup works, whether computer addiction is a thing, how reverse psychology works, why we stare, the origins of fairy tales and why we’re read Miranda Rights. There are 100s of episodes to choose from so you’ll never be short of something to learn and they’re also relatively short, so you could very well learn about why humans stare in just a single bus journey.
It had been a while since I’d done a full re-read of the Harry Potter series, this time I wanted to read the books (without skipping Order of the Phoenix) and gain more insight into how the story progressed from the perspective of others who enjoyed reading the series too. To my surprise there were many podcasts doing chapter by chapter re-reads of Harry Potter; Alohomora was the first one I came across and let me tell you I didn’t know how in-depth both the hosts and readers could get with their analysis of this story until I started listening to this podcast. I’ve learnt so much more about the Harry Potter universe and J.K Rowling’s writing than I would have on my own.
3. Mysterious Universe
This isn’t generally the type of thing that I’m into but I find a lot of what is discussed interesting and intriguing. It’s basically two hosts who explore and discuss the vast and mysterious things that happen on Earth. From Big Foot, alien encounters (I’ll never forget the first of the alien encounter episode I listened to – so fascinating but so creepy), conspiracy theories, cosmology, near-death experiences and so much more. Sceptics beware.
A few other podcasts I’d recommend checking out are Mugglecast – another Harry Potter podcast, which is also the very first podcast I started listening to (can you tell I’m a fan). Collider – a movie-centric podcast, and if you love Game of Thrones like I do, give Game of Thrones the Podcast a listen.
If you do decide to start listening to podcasts after reading this post, I refuse to be held responsible for all the unintentional smiling and laughing you might do in public.