I listen to a lot of podcasts.
It dawned on me when I was sharing my five things Friday on Instagram and all I wanted to talk about were the podcast episodes I listened to. I listed a few and held back from the others because I didn’t want you to think that I do nothing else with my time other than listen to podcasts :)
The truth is, I do listen to several episodes each week. But I’m usually doing it while doing other things, so that makes me feel better about this habit.
I pop in my headphones and turn on a new episode when I’m making dinner, washing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming, picking up around the house and deep cleaning. It feels like a reward to me – I have to do all of these daily chores but at least I get to fill my ears with laughter, conversation, deep thoughts, insights, information and entertainment. I just can’t get enough.
(p.s. that picture was taken before I had a pair of wireless headphones and my goodness, what a difference it makes! No more getting caught up in a cord!)
I’ll also put on a podcast in the car, but only when I’m by myself. The kids DO NOT share my love of podcast listening. I drove down to Oregon last month by myself and there was something completely delightful about having 4 hours to myself to listen to whatever I wanted the whole way there and back.
A few more tips about my professional podcast listening skills:
For all but two podcasts, I listen on 1.5 speed. This is a big reason my kids do not like listening to my podcasts. It admittedly feels a little off, but as long as I can keep up, I like being able to move through them quickly so I can get to the next one :) The two podcasts that I listen to on regular speed feel like they shouldn’t be rushed so I honor them and their impact on my soul by listening slowly.
Headphones make concentrating much easier. If I’m at home by myself, I could listen through our house speakers, but putting the noise directly into my ears with headphones makes it way easier to stay focused.
Choose the right tasks to do while listening. There are some things that just don’t work for me to multi-task on – I can’t type and listen to words, drive unknown roads, make a complex recipe. Sometimes I need to just turn off the noise to get things done.
Curate a podcast list that makes you happy, challenges your thinking and keeps your brain engaged. If you listen to something a friend recommends and you’re not into it, no worries! There are so many different options and just because one show is super popular or someone loves a particular genre, it doesn’t mean you have to. My friend listens to all the crime/unsolved mystery podcasts and raves about them, but I’m just not interested (and that’s okay).
Be a podcast supporter. We can support our favorite podcasters by leaving reviews, encouraging them through comments, not getting annoyed at the commercial breaks, purchasing their books and products and using their affiliate codes. I am so appreciative of the hours and hours of work it takes to put these podcasts together and especially grateful that everything is FREE!
Okay, now for the list of my favorite shows (listed alphabetically):
This is a church in Portland, OR with such good teaching on following the way of Jesus. John Mark Comer is the head pastor and I adore his style of teaching. The sermon series called “Fighting the World, The Flesh and The Devil” (starting 9/13/18) was transformational.
Tim Mackie is the theologian behind The Bible Project (see below) and this podcast is a collection of 10 years of his best teachings. I started at the beginning and am working my way through. If you like lots of historical contexts, language understanding, and biblical teaching, this is SO GREAT. The series on “Heaven + Hell” (9/18/17) changes my non-biblical view (why was it that way to begin with?!) and I cried listening to the first Psalm episode (10/23/17).
The premise of this is so good – here’s the description: Join host Jess Connolly as she interviews women who are using what they’ve got to run on mission today. It is the mission of Go + Tell Gals to equip women to take their place in the Kingdom, using what they’ve been given, for His glory and the good of others. I have only listened to a few, but I enjoyed them very much.
Knox + Jamie (the popcast, see below) are the best hosts. They are funny, witty, so incredibly pop-culture-knowledgeable and also Bible-believers. This podcast takes stories from the Bible and talks about them in relatable, entertaining ways to help us understand them better. I happen to love a theological podcast, but this one is also super fun.
I LOVE THIS PODCAST. I love the Bible Project, in general, for their videos that breakdown books and themes of the Bible (go watch those here). The podcast is a collection of conversations had before the making of the videos.
Jamie just knows how to do an interview. She is personable and engages in interesting conversations with a variety of (mostly) women. If you want to listen to a blast from the past, I was on her show a few years ago (episodes 42 + 43).
This is one of the shows that I listen to on regular speed. There is just something about Emily’s voice and her words that make you exhale, think and reflect and leave the 15ish minutes more grounded than when you started. I especially adored her episode “If You’re Afraid of Making the Wrong Decision” (1/29/19).
The Pivot is a podcast about transition. The guests are mainly from the music industry but the stories are universal. It is so encouraging to hear how others are navigating change and pivots in their lives.
Two things about this: one, much of what these two pastors talk about is just slightly over my head and two: I feel privileged to listen in on their fascinating discussion of what it means to follow Jesus in a post-Christian culture. Also, Mark Sayers has an Australian accent and I don’t know why, but an Australian or British accent just makes me want to listen all the more.
This enneagram podcast is another one of my go-to’s. The guests are so varied and conversations never predictable. My favorite episode of all is the one on 1/23/19 with Ryan Stevenson. It was so powerful to hear the freedom starting to shine through as they talked about changing the narrative. So good.