Friday, July 24, 2015

Podcast love

My love for podcasts knows no ends. I wrote about some of my favorites last year in conjunction with a story about how I listen to them instead of music while running, and while I've actually gone back to running to music, I still log about 8-10 hours of podcast listening each week. Between my daily commute to/from whatever theater I'm working in (I've been on the Upper West Side all summer which is roughly a one-hour commute) and my walks around town to simply run errands and see friends, I seem to be always on the go and almost exclusively listening to podcasts the entire time. I've discovered four new podcasts this year, and while I still keep the old standards in my queue (I'm lookin' at you, This American Life, Fresh Air, and Studio 360) I've added some new (or new-to-me) gems that I'm quickly growing to love.

*Mystery Show - there's only five episodes so far, so it's entirely possible to catch up on this new podcast in just a few days. With the devotion of Columbo and the quirkiness of a Brooklyn barista, host Starlee Kine solves one mystery per episode. And while the mysteries might not have the "Serial" gravitas we have all come to know and love, they do delve into the history and makeup of some very interesting people and situations.

*On Being - while a staple in the podcast world, this one was only recently introduced to me by some friends in reference to a book club discussion. Focusing on the spiritual background of her guests who range from singers to scientists, Krista Tippett asks probing questions that get fascinating answers. There's a ton of old episodes, so start with some of my favorites - interviews with Maria Popova, Pico Iyer, and a rare talk with Mary Oliver.

*Invisibilia - another relative newbie, this show blends psychology, science, and narrative storytelling to explain "the invisible forces that control human behavior." It's a fascinating look at the world around us and the unexpected characters that inhibit it. Season Two is in the works, so binge-listen to the first six or so episodes to get yourself excited for the upcoming new episodes.

*Death, Sex, and Money - as the title suggests, this podcast focus on life's biggest and hardest topics. Often sad but always poignant, host Anna Sale gets to the heart of people's relationships with deeply personal questions that make you think about your own life and loved ones. One of my favorite episodes featured an episode with actress Ellen Burstyn, whose "shouldless day" mantra (a day in which there is nothing you "should" do) has become my new outlook on life.

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