Ten podcast episodes to get you through the holidays

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Yesterday I visited a book store (remember those?) and was handed a ‘Summer Reading Guide’. It was a long time since I’d rifled through one, but it was something I always used to look forward to. Summer holidays (or holidays in general) were always about reading for me. I still find it a great form of relaxation, but in recent years books have been overtaken by podcasts.

It’s because podcasts can be consumed while multi-tasking. In the car, on a walk and even while tapping away on my laptop. Just like books there is a podcast for everyone and there is also a podcast for every mood.

Last week a friend of mine put out an SOS on Facebook for podcast recommendations to get her through the holidays. There were some great recommendations and it inspired me to put together my own list. While entrepreneurial and business type podcasts are usually my go to, this is a list of fascinating, quirky, scary, hilarious and thought-provoking podcast episodes that will help you escape the silly season and be sure to give you some great conversation starters.

1.       Thrive Global with Ariana Huffington – Episode 11 with Brandon Stanton , the creator of ‘Humans of New York’. Thrive Global is one of my new favourite podcasts, and this particular episode is such a beautiful conversation with Brandon who is a warm and interesting soul. If you enjoy this I also suggest Ariana’s interviews with Tim Ferris and Glennon Melton Doyle.

2.       This American Life – No Coincidence, No Story! This fascinating 2013 episode is from the archives, but it will get you thinking are coincidences really coincidences?

3.       No Filter – Dianne McGrath – The woman with a one way ticket to Mars.  I found this interview so interesting that I jumped at the opportunity to attend an event Dianne recently spoke at. Taking on the Mars voyage is not for everyone, but you can completely understand why Dianne is so interested and passionate about it. Through her interview with Mia Freeman we learn of her super interesting way of getting used to her new life, including growing accustomed to a diet including crickets!

4.       Making Oprah. You need to start at episode one for this, but if you are anything like me you will binge listen to all three episodes. Not only are they a trip down memory lane they give you an insight into Oprah and how she became what she is today.

5.       Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – Brene Brown. It is hard to choose which episode to list as they are obviously all incredible, but you can never go past Brene. I’ve listened to many of her podcasts and have also been lucky enough to hear her in person. This has to be my favourite interview of her and thankfully Oprah extends it to two episodes as she has so much to say!

6.       My Dad Wrote a Porno. If you want to laugh out loud then this is the podcast for you! A little awkward to listen to on public transport and definitely not one for when the kids are in the car but it will definitely get you laughing these holidays. You have to start with episode one which sets you up for the rest of the episodes. 

7.       Alone, A Love Story. It is funny how the host’s voice, music and podcast editing draw you right in. Serial is a fantastic example of this, and I feel this podcast is the same, you just can’t stop listening. Once again you need to start with episode one. Let me know if you listen as I need to talk this through with someone, especially the ending.

8.       S-Town. This was the much anticipated series by the makers of This American Life and Serial. Just like Serial it is based on a true story, you will find yourself binge listening. It is very different to Serial but fascinating all the same.

9.       Magic Lessons. This was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to from start to finish. It is an extension of Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s inspiring book ‘Big Magic’, and has Elizabeth and experts help people regain their creative mojo. I think my favourite episode would have to be the one with Glennon Doyle Melton ‘Show up before you are ready’, although they are all inspiring and will have you running to the Art Store in no time.

10.   How I Built This – Lonely Planet: Maureen and Tony Wheeler. This is such an inspiring podcast. There are many good episodes to choose from, including Richard Branson and the founders of Ben & Jerry’s but I’ve long been a fan of the Wheelers after the Lonely Planet was a key part of my first overseas adventure in my 20s. It’s really interesting to hear their complete business journey and all the adventures they’ve had along the way.

Happy listening! I’d love to hear what you will be listening to over the break or if you have any recommendations you can add to the list.

 Here I am with Dianne McGrath who has a one way ticket to Mars! Listen to her super interesting  No Filter podcast!

Here I am with Dianne McGrath who has a one way ticket to Mars! Listen to her super interesting  No Filter podcast!