Podcasts 101: A brief introduction, and some of my favourites

I want to start off by saying that I am merely a podcast newbie. My experience is only but a year old, so I wouldn’t say that I am the podcast guru you all have been waiting for (If there is such a thing). However, I am an avid listener, and as most podcasts only post weekly or monthly, I have collected quite the list of favourites. Below I would love to introduce you to the world of podcasts, help you discover new favourites, or simply just provide some good reading material. (I’m quite the writer, I know.)

You can find podcasts on so many platforms these days, and I honestly find it a bit overwhelming. But there are a couple that I find better than others, with most of them being available for free and for most iPhone or Samsung owners;

  • iTunes: This might for many be the most obvious answer, as I imagine plenty of us own an iPhone. Here you can find most podcasts that are often available elsewhere on the internet. The app, Podcasts, is where you listen from, and the option of adding your favourites to a list for easy detection, as well as notifications from you subscribed shows, are very appealing. I find this the easiest, as I can download episodes, and play them without internet. This came in handy when I traveled to The Netherlands just last week.
  • Soundcloud: Some people might not know this, but Soundcloud is not just an excellent place to release your fire mixtape, but also a place where many big podcasts are broadcasted. If you are an Android-user, I would definitely recommend this platform, as they carry most of the podcasts you find with Apple’s iTunes. You either can listen from the internet or download the app from Google Play.
  • Podbean and Libsyn: Now, these platforms require you to sign up, and pay a certain fee. But they are in return very practical for networks who produce more than one podcast. A number of news outlets use these platforms, as it is basically the same as an online newspaper, which you often have to pay extra for these days.

These are just a few off the top of my head. And if you plan on listening on your laptop, computer or tablet, most of these podcasts have their own website, where they upload the episodes with the same regularity as the platforms I’ve mentioned.

The way I found my favourite podcasts involved a lot of research. But what I failed to realise, is that most of the people I follow on either YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and so forth, actually have their own podcast. You just have to look. Often they are included as links in their descriptions or bios.

If you are a science nerd, like me, and you especially love space and science of the future, StarTalk Radio is the perfect podcast for you. Every week, a new episode featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, is published. Almost every week features a celebrity of some sort, often authors, actors, or entrepreneurs. With humour, wit and loads of interaction with fans (you can submit questions), every hour is guaranteed to leave you feeling educated and relaxed.

This second podcast might alienate some of you, but that is a risk I am willing to take, as it is so good. Stuff Mom Never Told you has got to be one of the best podcasts out there, regardless of category. It is a weekly show that centres around feminism and current events. Hosted by two Cristen Conger and Caroline Irv of HowStuffWorks.com, this is definitely an educational and interesting podcast. Unfortunately, the last new episode was posted just a few weeks ago, as both hosts are leaving HowStuffWorks.com for other projects. However, they do still post throwback episodes, and have no plans of shutting down any time soon.

If this made you feel sad, I have a backup for you. It is called Ladies Who Lunch, and is hosted by YouTubers Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes. With a feminist lense and a millennial perspective, and topics ranging from women’s and mental health to sex and politics, this is probably a podcast for a more mature audience. It is still a very lighthearted and fun podcast though, and every episode features the hosts eating everything from bagels to Red Vines (Hence, the name Ladies Who Lunch).

The last podcast I want to talk about is not one you want to listen to alone at night. It is called Casefile, and is a true-crime podcast that explores a new crime every week, from famous serial killings, to unsolved crimes of all ages. The host is anonymous, which in my opinion adds to the mystery and creepiness. The episodes all suck you in and makes for a very exciting experience.

Honourable mentions: Jenna & Julien Podcast, My Favourite Murder and Accused. (If you’re in the mood for pure fuckery and hilariousness, Jenna & Julien Podcast is for you.)

Now that you’re probably tired of reading, and hopefully ready to listen, I hope you have a great time! I would love to hear from people in the comments if you have any favourites to share. Happy listening!