My Favorite Podcasts (for Now)

On the terrace, listening to a podcast. Lausanne, Switzerland, March 2019.

On the terrace, listening to a podcast. Lausanne, Switzerland, March 2019.

I used to run to the sound of the world around me, never taking my phone.

Then I started to take my phone with me when running while on travel, as I have no innate sense of direction. I find getting lost fun only when I intend to have an adventure, not when I have a meeting in an hour.

Next, I figured that if I had to carry a phone, I may as well use it. I don’t enjoy listening to music when I run; even when I think a playlist will make me peppy, the song tempo never matches my running mood at the moment, causing me to fiddle with the phone to skip through songs until I find one I like in that instant, and then doing it again three minutes later, when the song I could tolerate ended.

And so I tried podcasts.

After much trial and error, I’ve landed on these podcasts as go-to favorites:

Most of my go-to podcasts have a grounding in stories told by the people who lived them. For only a few minutes each, my favorite podcasts let me into the worlds of people I wouldn’t know otherwise.

Story podcasts remind me that we can never know another person’s travails, that we all deserve and need compassion and empathy, and that each of us play bit parts in the lives of the people around us.

Over time, I’ve gotten to where I listen to podcasts in transit, on long walks, and even as background noise while working (for only the more repetitive work and with only the less engaging podcasts, of course). Frequent podcast listening means I need to always search for new podcasts.

What are your favorite podcasts (for now?)