I’m a huge fan of podcasts.
Every car ride, every walk, every search for a parking spot just becomes another excuse to listen to more podcasts.
I mean, I dig podcasts so much, I even started my own.
So I thought it might be interesting to list some of my favorite podcasts that I’ve listened to in the past year or so. I breakdown why I love each one, highlight a standout episode for each, and also share my favorite podcast app (hint: it’s not the Apple one).
So without further ado…
New Favorite Podcast
The Daily (by the New York Times)
This is the podcast I’ve been waiting for! A daily podcast that breaks down the most important news of the day in just 20 minutes – so necessary in the chaotic era of Trump.
The thing I love about this podcast is that it keeps from being too dry and stiff (cough NPR). It has a conversational tone that’s engaging, personal, and with just the right amount of production (not overly done like Radiolab).
- Standout Episode: Friday, May 26, 2017
We follow a Canadian man as he plans his perfect death and says goodbye to his friends and family. A surprisingly emotional and documentary-like episode.
Favorite Single Episodes
- Standout Episode: The Problem with the Solution
This is one of the most moving, powerful podcasts episodes I’ve ever heard. The co-host investigates a town in Belgium which has a fascinating approach towards mental illness. One that actually works. And in the process, she comes to understand her own family – and mental illness – in a whole new way.
Not only is this just a beautifully told, fascinating story about human behavior (as all Invisibilia episodes are) but the lesson here feels critically important to me. In a culture that’s obsessed with fixing, we need to learn the power of acceptance.
- Bonus Episode: The New Norm
- Standout Episode: Man of the People
Reply All is a podcast about the internet that’s often entertaining and, at times, educational. But this standout episode was one time it became downright riveting.
‘Man of the People’ follows the true story of a 19th century charlatan, “Dr.” John R. Brinkley, who uses the power of radio to tout the healing powers of goat testicle transplants. Yes, for real. And as his fame rises, a cat and mouse game ensues between Brinkley and an American Medial Association official who’s trying to shut him down.
The story is astounding, ridiculous, and feels like a movie. And I’m not the only one to think so – the story is now set to become a Hollywood motion picture directed by Richard Linklater and starring Robert Downey Jr.
Season 4 of Startup follows around Dov Charney, former CEO of American Apparel, as he tries to start a new fashion company. The episodes dive into Charney’s past, his unconventional management style, and his controversial sexual harassment charges – painting a portrait of a talented, eccentric man with some troubling issues.
It’s an intimate look at someone whose many talents can’t overcome their inner issues. Tragic, yet all too common.
- Bonus Episode: Shadowed Qualities (Season 4, Ep. 3)
This is one of my favorite episodes of any podcast, ever. Alex Bloomberg realizes that his inner issues are affecting the rest of his company, so he goes to see the “CEO Whisperer” – and ends up having a full on therapeutic breakthrough, complete with tears.
It’s unflinchingly vulnerable and raw. What a rare opportunity to witness the exact moment of a groundbreaking personal epiphany. And for many listeners, this’ll be the first taste of what therapy can offer. And how it can have huge ramifications for everything in your life, including your business.
Now just imagine if Dov Charney was willing to do this…
Homecoming is unique in that it’s a fictional narrative – kinda like a modern take on radio plays – acted out by some of the biggest names in Hollywood today: Oscar Isaacs, Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer, and more.
It’s a psychological thriller that feels like it could’ve been an episode of Black Mirror. The production values and acting are top-notch. I hope we see more fictional narrative podcasts like this in the future.
You’ve heard the hype (and most likely, the backlash as well). It’s the fastest downloaded podcast EVER…and in my opinion, well-deserved.
Don’t Google anything about it, you don’t want to be spoiled. Just know that this podcast will make you dive intimately – at times, uncomfortably so – into the life of a man in a small, podunk “shit town”. A man the likes of which you’ve never met before.
I laughed. I cried. I felt as if I had taken in a person’s entire life in a flash – and taken on his pains, his joys, his unrequited hopes as my own.
I’m a huge film fan and for some reason, this is the only film podcast that’s managed to get it’s hooks into me. There’s something about the chemistry of the three hosts that I just love. Each episode, they talk about what they’ve been watching, film news, and review a new film release – and the entire time, it just feels like hanging out with old friends.
You know how we all have our comfort foods? This is my comfort podcast.
- Standout Episode: Ep. 407 – Get Out
The gang discusses Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, and have some great insights on it. Plus, they try to figure out WTF happened during the craziest Oscar’s moment ever (La La Land…no, wait, Moonlight!).
Whenever I find myself interested in a spiritual teacher, the first thing I do is check if they have a BATGAP interview. If they do, I listen to it, and that interview is always enough for me to decide if I want to dive further into their work.
BATGAP has an incredibly deep repository of interviews with “‘ordinary’ spiritually awakening people”, many of whom aren’t on your radar, but deserve to be.
Unfortunately, the host can be a little annoying. And I only really listen when there’s a teacher I’m intrigued by. But if you’re interested in spirituality, I can think of no other resource that has this wide range of interviews.
- Standout Episode:
It’s hard to make a recommendation since your enjoyment will depend on how much you resonate with each individual guest. But at the very least, here are a few interviews that I resonated with:
- Loch Kelly – a teacher of non-dual meditation who uses science and his background as a psychotherapist to bring an accessible to the subject.
- Dr. Jeffery Martin – a scientist who’s spent the last decade conducting the largest international study on non-dual states of consciousness, or as he calls, persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE).
- Salvadore Poe – When you reach the end of your spiritual journey and are ready to stop seeking, Salvadore's teachings are for you. He's the rare teacher who's reluctant to be one. His style is simple, direct, and relentless about stripping away any preconceptions you have about being "enlightened".
- Bonus Spiritual Podcast: Lisa Cairns (Youtube Livestreams)
While not technically a podcast, I listen to Lisa's YouTube livestreams in the same manner. She's a breath of fresh air in the non-dual/spiritual scene. Whereas most non-dual teachers are old men who speak about the topic in a calm, impassive manner – Lisa is a spunky younger woman who's equal parts silly, passionate, and authentic. She's a joy to listen to and is a reminder that awakening doesn't necessarily mean living a dry, expressionless life.
Favorite podcast app: Overcast
I've heard for years that Overcast was the best podcast app, but stubbornly held onto the Apple Podcast app…until a month ago. And man, am I glad I finally listened!
Overcast has a less pretty interface but makes up for it with SO many useful features! Among them: create smart playlists, add episodes to a queue (like Spotify), Voice Boost to make voices easier to hear, clickable timestamps, and more. And of course, Smart Speed, which speeds up silences to save time – completely unnoticeably!
Normally, I'd find a feature like that sacrilegious, but it's so subtle I seriously can't tell the difference. And in just a month, it's already saved me 4 hours of listening time. Wow.
Anyways, hope you found that list useful.
If you have any podcast recs of your own, I'd love to hear them. Leave a comment below with some of your favorites!
(And feel free to give my own podcast a listen sometime: Guys with Feelings. We discuss the epiphanies, recommendations, and yes, the feelings, that help us in our own self-growth journeys. If you dug some of my selections above, you just might dig it.)