So here’s something funny, my husband and I are very different people. The old saying “opposites attract” is pretty true when it comes to our relationship and life. He’s a true introvert, I’m an introverted extrovert. He’s into adult cartoons (think South Park, Family Guy, etc.) and I love a good historical drama. He’s a PC gamer, and I prefer console games. Ok, while that last one might not be a true difference, here’s the big one: he listens to hardcore, screamo, heavy metal music and I listen to pop, country, and musicals. So traveling in a car? It was absolutely painful for the first many years of our relationship (for the record, this past August we celebrated 10 years together, but we’ve only been married 4). Thankfully, over the past few years podcasts have become easily accessible through streaming sources. We do have SOME common interests, my husband and I, we’re not completely different. We started listening to talk radio, things like NPR, and then as we began the journey to become debt free, we would listen to the Dave Ramsey Show. Since we now have a car that we can link audio via Bluetooth, we can listen to other shows on our streaming aps.
We routinely drive about an hour to visit family so having something in the car to listen to that we both like is important. Like, really important. I don’t know about you, but when you live with someone and talk to them all the time, it’s hard to come up with new topics to fill an hour long silence. Now I 100% credit my husband with my love of podcasts. When we’re in our own separate cars, I’ll typically listen to music I can sing along to, and my husband favors audiobooks. Since we can’t agree on music, and audiobooks put me to sleep….podcasts.
Ok, so now that you’ve had a bit of backstory lets talk about why I listen to podcasts and what I look for when I’m starting one. Most of these I listen to alone, but there’s a couple that my husband and I listen to together. I listen for enlightenment, entertainment, and when I listen to them with my husband-for conversation. We really enjoy talking about what we did or didn’t know prior to the podcast, or how we could do something differently than the hosts.
Here’s what I look for in a podcast:
1) Hosts. Sorry to those solo podcasters out there, but I love a good dialogue and some banter. For me, podcasts have to have two (or more) people talking. Whether it’s just one host and new guests, or the same two hosts each time, I prefer having two people talking. It’s much more interesting.
2) Content. If I’m not interested, I’m not listening. End of story. Though I assume I’m not the only one with this opinion. My interests vary, but I’ll be hard pressed to listen to something if it’s not interesting.
3) Length. I typically prefer episodes that are 45 min to an hour long because they fit into my routine and commute. Though shorter or longer ones are definitely great for mixing it up.
So hey! If you’ve scrolled past all the back story and intro stuff (don’t worry, I’ve done it too) this is where we finally get into the list of podcasts!
1) Rachel Hollis’ “RISE”
Now yall know I love me some Rachel Hollis, so you shouldn’t be surprised that both of her podcasts are on this list. Her podcast is just like everything else she does, real, inspiring, and entertaining. By far my favorite thing is the variety of topics she talks about, from business to personal, she talks about it all and she gets some amazing guests too! I love to listen to her podcasts when I’m cleaning or on my focus days. It provides me with a positive energy and gives me something to focus on while I’m doing a boring and repetitive task. I’m always learning from the podcast too. Even if it’s not about blogging specifically, I often find ways that I can apply the podcast to my writing. You can pick up at any point, and listen in almost any order, although sometimes she calls back on an older episode. This is a great podcast for every day listening, professional, and personal development.
2) Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
I know, I know. True crime is all the rage right now. But yall, I grew up watching Criminal Minds, Law and Order (all of them), Bones, and any crime drama I could get my hands on. But the ladies of Morbid do a great job with all three of my criteria for podcasts. Most episodes are about an hour in length, and are fascinating takes on some of the most prolific serial killers with some interesting “Mini Morbid” tales thrown in. They cover not just true crime, but mysteries, general morbid topics, and some paranormal spookiness thrown in for good fun. This is one that my husband and I listen to together and we have a great time laughing at their antics and talking about what we knew (or didn’t know) about the case. You can start at any episode, make sure you don’t pick part 2 or 3 because there are a lot of those, but it’s totally worth scrolling back to their very first episode and listening from the beginning.
3) The Military Leader Podcast
This one might not interest everyone who reads this blog. But after 8 years of service, 4 of them in as an officer, I’m often looking at ways to learn about leadership and things that I can pass on as I get older and move into more challenging positions. Call it professional development, professional education, whatever. I read articles on The Military Leader frequently and have found them informative, thoughtful, and extremely helpful as I’ve taken on different positions. Enter their blog. Like “RISE”, they always have a great guest of senior leaders (both currently serving and retired) who each provide a new perspective on a different topic. Again, this podcast really applies to military members, but there are some topics that can be applied to any leadership position.
4) “RISE Together”
Guess who runs this podcast? Yep, Rachel Hollis. But this time she’s joined by her husband Dave. I love this one because they handle real topics of marriage and relationships, while being their upbeat and funny selves. This is another podcast that I will listen to with my husband, though I’ll admit it’s more interesting to me than it is to him because it’s definitely geared towards self-improvement. We’ve had good discussions while listening though so I don’t feel too guilty for making him listen. This one checks off almost all of my criteria, though I do find the episodes to sometimes be a little short. They’re great overall at creating discussion points between spouses. If you’re unsure of where to start (other than at the beginning) or want to ease into the hard hitting topics, start with Episode 60: Make Time for Random Conversations With Your Partner (Like This One). It’s a great podcast about nothing (or everything?) where Rachel and Dave just talk.
5) The History Chicks
Upbeat and interesting? Check. Two hosts? Check. Long enough to get me through a drive to my in-laws or a commute? And then some!! How about a podcast about women in history to get you through a long drive? Now, these episodes are a bit longer than my typical preference, so I save them for extended drives. But, each episode is well researched and entertaining, that it’s totally ok that they talk forever. I mean, I’ve been going on now for something like 1300 words about podcasts, so an hour and a half about Audrey Hepburn is totally understandable. I’ll admit, probably my favorite thing about this podcast is that it’s about women in history. It’s great to hear not only about the historical women that we learn in school, but also names I had never heard of prior to the episode.
Alright y’all, this one has been a long one! We’re gonna wrap this up with these final thoughts: podcasts are a great way to learn something or spark inspiration, if you don’t already listen to any hopefully this list gave you some ideas. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite podcasts are!