7 Podcasts to add to your day
The entire world is going through a difficult period with the current persistent lockdowns, but we must keep our bodies, spirits, and minds constantly active. In the last 12 months of lockdowns, podcasts have become a fantastic way to achieve this. The beauty of podcasts is that they can be listened to while studying, showering, cooking, or cleaning – and, in addition to entertaining us, most of them can teach us valuable lessons about life, politics, science, art, and other topics, opening ourselves to new experiences and worlds.
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Here are some of the podcasts you can listen to right now, ranging from familiar picks you might not have had time to listen to before now, to ground-breaking new shows deserving of much more attention.
Hardcore History is Dan Carlin’s forum for discussing all kinds of historical subjects from around the world. With each episode’s emphasis varying wildly from show to show, they are all focused on particular historical events well researched and presented in a personalised “theatre of the mind” format. Although episodes are published irregularly, with a new one being released every four to seven months on average, we are fortunate that there is a backlog of 66 episodes for free on his website right now.
Just recently, Carlin has released his fifth episode in a six-part series on Imperial Japan’s rise and fall in the Pacific theatre of World War Two. Each episode roughly totalling 3 1/2 hours each; hopefully, you’ll get them all finished in time for episode sixes release
This year has been marked by sorrow in various forms: for those who have died as a result of the coronavirus, for the industries that have been decimated, and for the life goals we had planned for ourselves before the pandemic. “Griefcast” is a cathartic listen for those dealing with grief. The host, Cariad Lloyd, lost her father to pancreatic cancer when she was 15, and she struggled for years to express how it affected her. She was inspired to produce a show about saying the unsayable as a result of that experience.
Lloyd gathers a group of comedians and performers to “meet, share, and laugh about the strangeness of grief and death.” The show slices through the isolating haze that sometimes makes grief intolerable, mixing gallows humour with searing compassion.
Cole Cuchna hosts the top-rated music podcast Dissect, which premiered initially in 2016. The podcast is known for its over the top in-depth examinations of modern popular music, with each season taking a deep dive into the hidden messages found beneath the surface in many of today’s most famous albums. Cuchna has a music degree in composition and puts it to great use, as he expertly approaches contemporary music in the same way he might for classical music.
Dissect has so far reviewed Childish Gambino’s, Kanye West’s, and Beyonce’s albums, with no plans to stop soon, with the podcast being recently bought and produced by Spotify itself.
It’s no surprise that bad news spreads faster than good news, so “Kind World” reflects on examples of courage and human kindness instead, be it a charitable act, a chance meeting that sparks a bond, or someone going above and beyond for their community, Kind World intends on sharing those stories. During the earlier Covid lockdowns, the show aired a series of bite-sized episodes called “A Moment of Kindness,” in which viewers from all over the world messaged in to share their own stories of daily empathy. The podcast ended in the summer of 2020, but there are enough life-affirming gems in the back catalogue to keep your confidence in humanity high for a few more months.
Laughter has always been seen as an established antidote to help relieve stress and anxiety. With live comedy out of the picture, for the time being, listening to this long-running comedy podcast can be a valuable coping mechanism. “Comedy Bang Bang” began as a radio show in 2009 and has since grown into a podcasting institution whose enduring popularity is based on its purposefully unpredictable style. Every week, Scott Aukerman hosts a series of interviews with comedians and celebrities that easily devolve into a bizarre mix of character skits and improv segments.
Regularly playing games of ‘Would you rather’ or ‘Who said it?” to keep the organised chaos at bay. The comedy show is dangerously easy to consume one after another, but fortunately, there is a vast collection of 687 episodes to dive into.
Maybe breaking the rules of the list but is too great not to include; the Midnight Gospel is an adult animated streaming television series created by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward and comedian Duncan Trussell. It features actual podcast interviews between Trussell and various guests, all taken from Trussell’s 8-year-old podcast, “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour,” in an animated adventure that serves as a light-hearted background visual for the deep and spiritual material of the conversations.
Each episode is only 20 minutes but will leave you pondering the topics discussed for days afterwards. The show somewhat seems like a “best of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour,” but after 400 episodes, the best is genuinely remarkable.
Where is My Mind, another tremendous spiritual podcast by mindfulness specialist and artist Niall Breslin about the effect of our manic, overwhelming world on us, is much more critical now than it was when it first came out in 2019. Our lives may have been forced to slow down, but the universe has never been more perplexing, disturbing, or anxiety-inducing. Breslin teaches the fundamentals of mindfulness, meditation, and self-care in a way that will help you see the positive in the world more clearly.
Podcasts were instrumental in keeping us laughing, learning more about the environment, and unwinding during the year, and they will continue to do so in the months ahead. We have compiled a list of our favourites to entice you away from any lockout funk. Is there any particular podcast that you have recently started to help with your lockdown?