I hopped on the podcast bandwagon about a year ago and have been an avid user of the Podcast app ever since. At one touch, you are offered an enormous array of topics at your disposal! If you are not sure what a podcast is, it is a series of audio recordings of discussions on specific topics that you can listen to, just like a talk radio.
Discussion topics can be about anything and everything under the sun; ranging from Health and Lifestyle, Comedy, World News, to Self-Help, learning new languages and instruments – all through a single app. It is a similar concept to listening to an audiobook, except that there is a wider range of topics that you can listen to, and most of them wrap up in under 60mins.
I typically listen to podcasts on my commute to work and school, or whenever I am helping out with household chores. It allows me to get hold of the latest news and happenings around the world just by listening, so I can focus on going about my tasks without my already-tired eyes fixated on my phone screen.
There are many reasons to love Podcasts and why you should start listening to them too! Just to name a few:
It is super convenient! Podcasts are available as an app on iPhone and Android, and it is also free on Spotify. All you need is your phone and your earpiece, and you can listen to the latest episodes of your favourite podcast just about anywhere.
Bored with your music library? I listen to my favourite songs on a daily basis and it can get quite repetitive at times. Some of my favourite tunes just don’t hit the spot. Switch things up by listening to a podcast, and you can get back to your music if you’re feeling it again.
It is educational. I learn new things everytime I listen to an episode. You can hardly get the same experience with the newspaper or a YouTube video within such a short amount of time. I find it an easy way to learn about current affairs, politics and health topics without going through the conventional news. It is nice to hear different perspectives between the podcasters as well, and their conversation usually gives opportunity to lead up to interesting divergences.
You can tune in and out of a podcast as much as you like, unlike an audiobook where the content is structured and much focus is needed to ensure you do not get lost in the middle of the story. Podcasts are usually made up of conversations between two or more people and like real-life conversations, it is easy to pick up where you leave off.
Here are some podcast recommendations which I truly enjoyed listening to:
1. More Than a Shop
It is a new podcast series hosted by broadcaster and journalist Elizabeth Alker to discuss pressing issues of today. Different guests are invited on the podcast to share their new perspectives and radical opinions on social issues, such as Mental Health, Education and Climate Change.
Their newest episode Let’s Build Something Together discusses the challenges faced by coops amid the Covid-19 pandemic and how they managed to turn things around despite their uncomfortable plight. It sheds light on how one co-op company has contributed to society by improving access to bicycles for people to travel light around the city, as well as to encourage physical activity during lockdown. This idea came about after realising that people the community have started to cycle more because of improved traffic conditions.
It also discusses how another coop, Larder, found grace in stressful times of Covid-19. When their cafe had to close its doors when their city went into lockdown, they shifted their focus to providing hot meals to people in the community – kudos to them!
2. The Financial Coconut
Proudly presenting itself as Singapore’s First Financial Literacy Podcast, host Reggie Koh helps us to uncover the best financial practices, understand investments and debunk financial myths. The Financial Coconut is available on Spotify and has 60 episodes thus far!
As a young adult with sparse knowledge on financial management, this is such a great
find. Do not allow unfamiliar topics scare you away; there is a whole range of light-hearted topics such as tips for young adults like us on how to reach our financial goals and how to avoid falling for scams.
This podcast is a great way to polish up our financial literacy without having to go through seminars and googling for answers. The episodes are easy to get through as Reggie is great at spicing up full topics with a touch of humour.
3. Not Overthinking
Presented by accomplished junior doctor & YouTuber and data scientist respectively, Ali and Taimur Abdaal are a pair of brothers from the UK who started the podcast to discuss human condition, productivity and social relationships. They discuss book reviews too. I first started listening to Not Overthinking after discovering Ali’s YouTube channel and I have been a great fan of their content ever since.
The brothers are a witty pair and engage really well with their listeners with their lighthearted banter. They often share disputing yet interesting perspectives on many topics which I find extremely insightful, such as ‘Words that changed our lives’ and ‘The principles of productivity’ – I have learnt much from this intelligent duo. They discuss many other current day social issues as well that are relatable to young adults on many fronts.
I do recommend listening to Not Overthinking if you are new to podcasts. Their episodes run a little long – an hour on average but many of them are worth the listen!
4. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
My first episodes of Oprah Winfrey’s podcast I listened to were the ones featuring Michelle Obama discussing her then newly released memoir, ‘Becoming’. I thoroughly enjoyed the few episodes with the former US First Lady and from then on, I could not help but keep returning for more interesting content.
Oprah invites a new guest (thought-leaders, best-selling authors, actors and health & wellness experts) for each episode to delve into conversation about the deeper meaning of life in the world around us, just as her podcast title suggests. Some of her guests include: Beyonce, Hugh Jackman, Nelson Mandela (from an interview in 2000) and Cheryl Strayed.
Oprah’s podcasts are inspirational and insightful, and I appreciate her choice of guest in every episode. The topics of her podcast range from childhood trauma, managing the emotions and giving medical advice. Thumbs up!
5. The Mindset Mentor
Host Rob Dial is a motivational speaker who discusses self-limiting beliefs and how to overcome them. Topics such as ‘How to Stop Caring About What Others Think of You’ and ‘1% Better Everyday’ aims to help people gain insight on life’s purpose and vision to be the best versions of themselves.
Many of his podcasts are very motivational and definitely relatable, as many of us struggle with self-worth and confidence on the daily, which affects our relationships with people and our daily lives.
At periods where my days seem extremely lacklustre, this podcast gives me the additional boost and helps me to create a more positive mindset. Anyone who feels as though they are stuck in the same humdrum existence, do try this podcast for a perk-me-up!
And there you go – five podcasts which are worth a tune into. They are not only great for entertainment, I love that many of them are highly educational too. I generally gravitate towards podcasts with a similar focus, but trust me that there are more than a dozen other selections available!
If you are into podcasts, do share with us your favourites in the comment section below. =)
This article is brought to you by Hazel, an undergraduate from University of Newcastle Australia who is currently interning at SNCF (August to November 2020). She is an earl grey enthusiast, caffeine addict, avid reader and passionate about all things health and lifestyle related.