Saturdays Are Best: Podcast Edition

podcast, podcasting, podcasts, listen, podcaster,

Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are you really into these days? What topics interest you?

Podcasts are wonderful. I love them. They are excellent for when I am working and need the exact right level of distraction. They’re great for listening to when your eyes just need a break from the work of the day. They can be used to motivate, encourage, and inspire. A good podcast will have you smiling, nodding in agreement, and occasionally talking back to the podcaster who – let’s be clear, here – can not hear you. The best ones will most definitely leave you thinking.

If you have been wanting to get into a good podcast and weren’t sure where to start or what the heck you should be listening to, fear not! I am here for you.

I have found myself listening to a lot of podcasts lately and I definitely lean towards the ones that are uplifting, cheerful, happy, or helpful. I also love to learn new things, so if there is an educational component, of course, I appreciate that, too.

I find podcasts that are about 30 minutes in length are just about perfect for me. I can almost always find 25-30 minutes (give or take) to listen. A half an hour is also a great length for people who listen on their commutes. Obviously lots of people have much longer commutes, but mine is super short and even if someone is taking transit from the burbs to downtown Halifax, for example, it isn’t too much longer than 30 or so minutes. Regardless, I enjoy a nice, crispy, short, podcast.

In fact, some of my very favourite episodes are super short bonus type episodes. Some little golden nuggets that simply must be shared by the podcaster. Despite the fact that I am loquacious by nature, I appreciate succinct things. It’s true. I do.

So if you are a podcaster or are thinking of starting a podcast, know that those little nuggets are a good idea. Definitely keep that up (or include it).

I prefer shorter podcasts, but don’t get me wrong, there are a few I enjoy that are far from short. I’m cool with people’s artistic choices. I might suggest, in the most respectful of ways, that it’s okay to spread some content out, though, to have parts or miniseries when your topic is just too darn amazing to contain to one episode.

I’m here for it. Really. I promise I will come back and listen to the second, third (and possibly, fourth, fifth, and sixth, parts.) (You know who you are.)

Without further ado, I give you a list (in no particular order) of some of my favourite podcasts to actually listen to from beginning to end on a regular basis.

Riding in Cars with Cats by OneRedCat Media

3 Books with Neil Pasricha

The Quote of the Day Show with Sean Croxton

Distraction with Dr. Ned Hallowell

WTF with Marc Maron

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Changing the Narrative

Under the Influence

I have listened to five of the podcasts listed above today (several episodes of each, actually) and will spend some time catching up on the longer ones on Sunday.

So, what do you think of my lineup? I’d love it if you took a bit of time to check these podcasts out and let me know what you think. Also, if you have the time, I’d love to hear what you are listening to these days. If you’d like to share your favourite podcasts in the comments that would be great. Go for it!

I hope you have had a spectacular Saturday. Here’s to a sunny Sunday!

 

 

Credit where credit is due: Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash

“A” is for ABBA

This morning I was sitting here (No it was NOT procrastination! It was an exercise in collecting my thoughts. Believe, you, me, that’s a job in and of itself. SQUIRREL!) about to open iTunes and choose my soundtrack for the day. I had this really fun idea to just go alphabetically and see where that led me, when suddenly a tweet popped up over on “the” Twitter that my friend Alex was doing the same exact thing! Proof that there are no original ideas.

Not only was I going to do this, I was going to do the thing I always tend to do, which is skip ABBA because I have the “Thank You for the Music” box set and listening to “People Need Love” every time I open iTunes and randomize it, kind of grows old, so I have taken to just skipping ABBA. I know it’ll come up again when I get to movie soundtracks in the “M”s, so I just wait for “Murial’s Wedding” or “Mamma Mia!” to pop up and enjoy “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money” like everybody else on the planet who grew up in the 70s.

Well this little twitter conversation made me press pause (heh heh) and reflect on what my plan was actually going to be. Would I skip ABBA (iconic satin pants wearing Swedish band of my youth) and go right to Adele or would I – nay should I – start with ABBA and commit to listening to the very first band in my collection of CDs? (Yes. I own the CDs. They’re all in iTunes now and I have a love hate relationship with that fact that I can tell you all about that at another time.)

The answer was clear. Thanks to that little Twitter exchange, I decided to begin with the beguine. It had to be ABBA.

Do you know how many songs ABBA has? Do you know how many have been enormous hits? It’s astonishing.

Disc 2 has just started. “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. I LOVED this song when I was kiddo and actually I think this section of the box set is my favourite because it brings back the best memories of summers in Cape Breton as a free-range kid. Up and OUT! All day. Biking and swimming and climbing trees with best friends. Or building forts  or walks to “the” woods (like they were the only woods in the world – and when your world is that tiny they are the only woods in the world!) to eat.. er.. pick blueberries. It was the life, I tell you!

Anyway, I am currently on a glee-filled, ABBA induced, high and – quite possibly – couldn’t be any happier at this moment in time. My cheeks hurt from smiling and if it’s possible even my ears are happy right now. Despite the fact that they are being forced to hear me belting out all the songs .

Speaking of singing, can you even imagine a better song than “Thank You for the Music” for a little girl (or boy) to listen to when they have dreams of being on Broadway, or singing at the Met, or playing in Carnegie Hall or becoming a professional musician in any capacity? I defy you to try. It is THE best. I love it. I have loved it since the moment I first heard it, decades ago, and I love it still. I love hearing it and until I breathe my last breath (many, many years from now when I am a crazy old lady who rambles on and on about things) (Which is vastly different than now, when I am young and perfectly sane and ramble on and on and on about Things!) I will love it.

There are so many great, inspiring songs and lyrics in ABBA’s catalogue. I mean, they have had a feature film made about the band, their music has graced a stage on the Great White Way and then went on to become the soundtrack for the movie adaptation of the Broadway production. (“Mamma Mia!” I know *you* know, but I felt that maybe some people might need a refresher.) “Mamma Mia” has been a hit time and time again around the world. That’s some pretty amazing “reach”, wouldn’t you agree?

With lines like, “… try once more, like you did before, sing a new song [Chiquitita].”, or  “… one chance in a lifetime, yes I will take it, it can’t go wrong”, or  “… if you see the wonder of a Fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail..”. (Come on! That is gold!) it is practically a collection of “Life Lessons from ABBA”. In fact if Benny, Bjorn, Agnatha or Frida were to write that book, I’d probably buy it. No. Not probably. I would definitely buy it. *coughs* Pre-order *coughs*

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty, what would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music. For giving it to me.