During the week I commute by car about 35-60 minutes one way to work each day and finding something to occupy my mind has been a challenge. I like music, but even with satellite radio, I found myself frequently switching channels trying to find a song I wanted to listen to. I’ve started using my Amazon app for music, but that sometimes isn’t enough to distract me. I used to listen to news channels, but now that’s become so ugly and depressing. Audiobooks were a possibility, but I don’t always want to make a commitment beyond my immediate trip to work. Podcasts have become the perfect choice.
My coworker was an avid listener of podcasts long before I gave them a try. I had played with the app on my phone, but really wasn’t sure what a podcast was. Her enthusiasm finally won me over and once I started listening, I wanted to find more.
I was listening to Half Size Me, a weight loss podcast, which I found positive and uplifting, and Heather, the show’s host, mentioned a podcast called My Favorite Murder. So I tried that one, and uh, no, it’s very popular, but was too disturbing for my tastes. I couldn’t even finish the episode.
Several of the people I knew in online weight loss communities talked about Gretchen Rubin and her book The Four Tendencies. She has a podcast called Happier, so I tried that next.
It’s funny to talk about it now, because I’ve become such a big fan, but when I listened to my first episode, I didn’t like it and thought her followers sounded almost like members of a cult. I’m glad I gave her another chance.
Gretchen does the podcast with her sister, Elizabeth Craft, who is a TV producer in Los Angeles and one of the best parts about the podcast is their relationship. I can tell they genuinely care about each other and want to build each other, as well as their listeners, up. There is no drama.
In the past several months I have built up a small library of favorites that I listen to every week no matter what the topic is. Satellite Sisters is great because it’s so optimistic and I can relate to them in their midlife adventures and The Popcast with Knox and Jamie is another top choice. It’s kind of silly, but really upbeat.
I have others that I enjoy, but pick and choose only the specific episodes I want to invest in. I also like mixing it up by looking for new listens to add to my library. I try to stay away from the darker topics, just my preference, but I did like the suspense of Dirty John and the well acted drama of Homecoming.
My long commute is now much more enjoyable and I am able to experience all the things I liked about talk radio, without the downsides.