When I first began hearing the term Podcast, I thought, what is all the hubbub? It is just people having a conversation, not unlike a youtube video or talk show.
Then, as podcasting grew in popularity - rather rapidly, I must say - I went from skeptical to enamored upon discovering a few that interested me.
I realized podcasts could be creative, educational, inspirational, and downright hilarious. They are a great companion for long drives or days when you are doing work around the house (or in these times of quarantine). I also find podcasts enjoyable when I am working on a project that does not require my full mental focus - such as knitting or sewing.
There is an abundance of podcasts available today, spanning a wide variety of topics. It can be quite overwhelming to search for a few that suit your interests. Due to this, I want to share with you a few of my favorites. I will cover an array of subjects, from humor to history to relational and therapeutic. I hope you find one, or more, you enjoy.
Yes, if you are wondering if this podcast is based on the popular fantasy role-playing game (RPG) Dungeons and Dragons (commonly known as DnD), you are correct.
Don’t scroll past this one yet, though! Even if you think you are not interested in playing DND, I urge you to hear me out.
It may seem odd or uninteresting to listen to someone else play a game, but Not Another DnD Podcast (naddpod) is so much more than listening to your family play, say, Catan or Candyland. This is storytelling at its finest. Naddpod will pull you in and immerse you in the fantastical world of Bahumia.
The hosts - Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Caldwell Tanner, and Jake Hurwitz - are all comedians you may recognize from other platforms, such as Collegehumor. This crew and their wily characters (The 2 Crew or the Band of Boobs as they are sometimes referred) are certain to make you laugh and, occasionally, even make you cry, as you journey with them through a fantasy realm created from the brilliant mind of dungeon master, Brian Murphy.
On their ninety-fifth episode, this campaign is about to come to an end, but never fear, all the episodes are available for free wherever you get your podcasts (ie. Apple Podcasts, Castbox, etc.). Get caught up and get ready for their second campaign, sure to be wilder than the first.
Hosted by hilarious, fun-loving comedian Ian Karmel, along with Sean Jordan, David Gborie, and countless other entertaining guests, All Fantasy Everything is a podcast you can not help but love.
In each episode, Karmel and his compatriots' fantasy draft pop culture - covering topics ranging from board games to holiday foods, fictional apocalypse survival teams to the lies we tell ourselves, and countless others. If you can think of it, they have probably drafted it.
With 178 episodes and new ones coming every Thursday, this podcast is there to provide you with endless laughs and good feels. It is a great option to help break up an otherwise boring drive or any time you need a little comedic relief. Wherever you are listening, this jovial crew will make you feel like you are kicked back in the studio, laughing alongside them.
History on Fire, “where history and epic collide”, is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli. If you have a proclivity for history, and two or three hours on your hands, this is the podcast for you.
Bolelli is passionate about the past, particularly the wild west past. His podcast boasts multi-part episodes on Crazy Horse, Theodore Roosevelt, and the war for The Black Hills. He also offers talks on Roman history, Joan of Arc, the conquest of Mexico, and a multiplicity of other fascinating historical events.
The episodes are a bit like a mini-series. Each one usually runs close to two hours long and often has multiple parts, providing you with seemingly endless material. Bolelli puts month's worth of research into each series, which is why there are only fifty-two episodes of the nearly five-year-old podcast. His care and attention, however, are what make them the epic and fascinating tales they are.
This podcast does require some focus, as there is a lot of detail in each episode, but Bolelli has an excellent voice for narration. You will be lulled as if you were listening to your favorite book, rather than feeling like you are in a lecture.
Dead Eyes is a podcast with a purpose, and that purpose is to solve a mystery that has haunted actor and comedian Connor Ratliff for two decades: “why Tom Hanks fired him from a small role in the 2001 HBO mini-series, Band of Brothers.”
This funny and sincere podcast, hosted by Connor Ratliff himself, will hook you from the very start and have you just as invested in the quest as he is. Each episode, Ratliff takes the listener through moments from his past that relate directly or, sometimes, indirectly to the firing.
You will meet guests from the world of show business, brought on the podcast to share their expertise in the hope of helping the host make sense of his mystery - some you may recognize, such as Adam Conover from Adam Ruins Everything.
Some of these guests' stories are intertwined with Ratliff’s in rather fascinating and unbelievable ways. I don’t want to give away too many details, though. This is a tale much better told by the host. That being said, go give it a listen. There are only seven episodes thus far, but, perhaps the future holds a conversation with the man from which the mystery was born, America’s sweetheart, Tom Hanks.
The Liturgist Podcast discusses a variety of topics through the lenses of science, faith, and art. Their main focus, though, is to create an “intentionally open and supportive” space for people who have experienced trauma at the hands of their church or community (largely conservative Christian) and those deconstructing or reconstructing their faith.
You do not have to be a Christian to enjoy this podcast. The Liturgist has listeners from all faiths and backgrounds, including people who are not religious at all. Their episodes are not sermons, and, what I love most about them, they are not trying to sell you religion.
The hosts of this podcast have created a beautiful picture of what community should be. Everyone is welcome, and they prove they mean it. The Liturgist episodes have a diversity of guests from all identities and walks of life.
They cover a variety of topics. Some are heavy, but healing - especially those episodes that dive into the harmful aspects of certain forms of Christianity. Other episodes are light and funny or delve more deeply into the scientific.
If you fall in love with The Liturgist Podcast and want to be more involved, you can join The Liturgist Community. Just sign up on their patreon and you get access to ad-free episodes, a full library of meditations, 24/7 hangout rooms via Zoom, behind-the-scenes live streams, and The Sunday Thing - a weekly get together with the hosts of the podcast.
The Liturgists are, truly, so much more than a podcast. They are a community, a family, even if somewhat unconventional.
There is a great multitude of podcasts out there. I realize these five do not even skim the surface, but I do believe they are worthy of sharing. Now, go forth and listen.