A Day in the Life of a Podcast Junkie
Illustration by Eleanor Grisebaum
I’m a bona fide radio geek. I interned at my first radio station when I was 18 years old, and would go in at 7 p.m. and help the night jock (who was far from being a jock in the athletic sense) pull commercials, CDs (yep) and take calls for requests back when people used phones. If we were looking for caller 20, I was the voice on the other line that said, “Caller number four, try again!” Occasionally, I would also get to read dedications and requests on the air, and it was the biggest thrill to hit the red button on my mic, slide up the volume control and say, “Hey John, Stacy wants you to know that she would walk 500 miles for you any day. Here’s the Proclaimers on Hot 105!” I knew I had made it, however, when the overnight DJ called in sick and I was given my first solo shift. “Carrie-oke” (my radio name in 1993) was born and I was famous...in the eyes of Waffle House employees.
A radio gig is what brought me to Austin and, while I’ll always love that medium, times have certainly changed—I’ve now become an obsessed podcast junkie. It doesn’t matter your hobbies, occupation, or areas of interest. There is a show for every topic. Click your podcast app button, search your topic, and instantly download hundreds of shows to your heart’s content. Now, not all podcasts are great quality. Let’s face it, anyone can hit “record” and start talking, but if you want to keep up with current events, ease into your morning commute, or get some workout inspiration, there is plenty of quality programming to go around.
Here are some of my favorites on auto-download each week:
Early Mornings at Home
Wake up and meditate to the Meditation Oasis Podcast or Hay House Meditations. I’m not perfect, but at least four days a week, I try to start the day with some guided meditation and deep breathing before going from zero to 100 miles per hour.
Who among us couldn’t benefit from discussions on becoming our best selves and mastering our potential? It sure beats hearing about how bad traffic is on MoPac at this (or any) time of day. Mornings are prime for channeling positive energy, and favorites include Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais Show or The Tony Robbins Podcast. Both are conversations with coaches, athletes, business leaders, and others who talk about journey to mastery.
Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is the perfect time for comic relief. Enter The Nerdist and WTF with Mark Maron. These popular podcasts feature interviews with comedians, actors, musicians and writers. Both have turned me into a fan of people who I have never heard of, and made me a bigger fan of people I have. The TED Radio Hour is another brilliant podcast. Do you ever get lost in the online TED Talk abyss? Me too. According to their website, The Ted Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. They had me at “create.”
Heading to Lunch
On my way to JuiceLand (as you do), I catch up on this week’s edition of The Rich Roll Podcast. He’s a well-known, vegan, ultra-endurance athlete (as well known as vegan endurance athletes can be), and, while he does pontificate on the merits of a plant-based diet, his guests are thought leaders, athletes, and characters from all walks of life.
Turn the beat up with the Podrunner Podcast. I first discovered this gem about six years ago when I was training for a marathon. It’s an hour of techno/house music programmed to various BPMs (beats per minute). The optimal BPM for runners is right around the 180 mark (90 foot strikes per minute per foot), so I search for those first in order to drown out the world and run to the beat.
Other great fitness podcasts include the local Earn that Body podcast with Kim Eagle, and the Tower 26 Be Race Ready Show which focuses on, of all things, swimming for triathletes. I need all of the pointers I can get on that one!
Evening Commute and Meal Prep
Ready to unwind and ease into your evening? Creative storytelling podcasts get my mind off traffic and the stress of the day. Kids love stories because they enter a fantasy world. Why shouldn’t adults allow themselves this same pleasure? This is Actually Happening is a first-person podcast that explores what happens in your life when everything changes. Some of the accounts are scary, horrifying, funny, and charming. All of them are riveting. This American Life is the most popular podcast; it explores a theme and then tells real-life stories around that theme. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these tales, and I’m often home before I know it!
Bedtime and Time to Unwind
Can’t get to sleep because your busy brain is still in active mode? Try the Sleep With Me Podcast. I’ll admit, when I first heard about this one, I thought it was a joke since it’s literally described as a “Lulling, Boring, Droning Bedtime Story to Distract Your Racing Mind.” You’ve got to hear it to believe it! The reader’s voice is unlike any other, and there’s no doubt you’ll be counting sheep long before he gets to “the end.”
As you can imagine, I literally have hundreds of hours downloaded and will never be caught up, but I guarantee that they’ll get you through your workouts, your commutes, and even your “me” time.
Want more suggestions?
Here’s a few more popular shows on Austin Fit Magazine’s favorite list of topics: